Monday, June 17, 2013

The Good, The Great, and The Ugly

Please note that the following is an egocentric rambling of bad lifeguards and represent only the opinions and nightmares of the Camping Lifeguard and not necessarily that of other lifeguards, blogspot, or Google ;)

I like to classify lifeguards into 3 different categories. I have had both the fortune and misfortune to work with all of them. There are lifeguards who became certified for the same reason I did, they like to work with kids. Many camp counselors fall into this category, including myself.

Along with that are the lifeguards who became a lifeguard so they can get a job. Most of these guards are actually quite good at their job and maybe are a little more focused at small loads of swimmers compared to those of us like me who will hang around the family and chat with them and teach the little ones how to swim. Paying attention in their certification class they know the horrors of what can happen as a lifeguard, and wanting their certification they try their hardest to pass.

There is also a subgroup of that, which are guards part of the time, and water athletes the rest.  For some reason they are highly attracted to chlorine and are always in the water or watching it.  Their time doing sports makes them focused, their time in the water makes them fast.  They will have you out of the water before you know your drowning.  These are especially the ones you want in a lake or ocean.

Then there are the lifeguards who cause nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat…the Baywatch guards. Disclaimer: I have never watched Baywatch nor do I want to, but based on what I have heard of that show I would probably curl up on the couch and cry at the horrors. These guards are mainly teens who want the money, but also want the cute high school girls or guys and what better place then where you can show off your sexy tan body and never have to wear a shirt. And with a tight swimsuit on the girls and naked arms on the men, it’s all about the curves!

I worked at a pool the summer after my freshman year of college, where most of the guards were they Baywatch type. I have many stories about that pool and the guards there, but one stood out the most, whose antics almost resulted in at least 3 concussions and a drowning, and that was during my shifts. It appears that a way to impress girls is to take a basketball and wing it across the pool and put it into a hoop. Well, he never got the hoop, but instead went past it and not one time did the ball land more than a foot from a child. Had ball found head, we would have to deal with an unconscious child and very angry parent.

The scariest incident by this lifeguard came while I was guarding the diving board… In the diving well there is a diving board and a set of drop-slides. Dumb Dumb decided that a fun way to flirt with the lifeguard on the opposite side of the deep end from me was to jump off the diving board and towards her. He however landed at the same time a little girl, maybe 8 years old, plopped out of the drop slide nearest to the board and hit the water. Under normal conditions this would have worked out fine, as the slide and board have about 6-8 feet between them. Dumb Dumb decided though that the closer he got to his target the better, which resulted in about a foot gap between him and the little girl. After scolding this on break lifeguard, his response was "Chill out dude, I know what I am doing." Make sure you mention that when you do knock out a kid.

I know this may sound a little nuts that this was just part of the issues of that pool, but if you don’t believe me, ask my parents. On the way back up to Ashland, my dad told me it was ok to flip the pool off as we drove by.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard

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