Lifeguard tryouts are this Saturday!
I’m relieved we’re finally to this point. Spring is always tough for us to staff the beaches since so many of our seasonal employees are either college or high school students. Fortunately, we’ve had a number of our high school guards who have been willing to come out and work the weekends so it’s mostly been the weekdays that have been spotty.
There are several reasons that staffing is a continual challenge. The main one is that beach guarding is hard! Not only is it physically a challenge to pass our swimming, running, and teamwork requirements, but the guards have to go through about 100 hours of tough training before they can “ride the pine” and take their place in a tower. But additionally, beach guards have to work under very challenging conditions in a harsh physical environment. They don’t only work when it’s a sunny, calm, cool day with low crowds. They’re out there when the wind is blasting 30 mph and when the heat index is well over 100. They’re out there when the current is ripping and they have to spend literally half the day in the water keeping swimmers away from rocks and rip currents. They have to deal with obnoxious people, lost kids, injured people and animals, people in crisis who are at their worst, and people who are lost or afraid or panicky.
Many may want to find an easier summer job. But those who are physically, mentally, and emotionally capable and accept the challenge receive plenty of rewards. They get to work in a beautiful environment with an incredibly diverse set of people. They are part of an elite team that is motivated, positive, and inclusive. This team becomes family for most of them. And, perhaps most importantly, they get to go home each day with the knowledge that if they were not there many people would have been hurt or worse. They get to go home knowing that they did their part in making the world a better, safer place and their actions had a direct, positive effect. They may be with people at their worse, but they are also with people at their best for the most part. They are there to celebrate being with family and friends at the beach. And they are there to help when things go bad. This work builds a level of character and confidence that is hard to get elsewhere.
We need guards who are willing to accept the challenge. Tryouts are tomorrow, May 13th at the UTMB Field House at 7am. We’ll start with a 500 meter swim in less than 10 minutes and go from there. We’ll start our lifeguard academy immediately after tryouts. Information is on our website.
If you know anyone at all who may be interested and able to work as a Beach Patrol lifeguard please encourage them to show up tomorrow morning.
It will change their life and save the lives of others.