As much as we’d like to keep things the same, things move on.
On the Beach Patrol our Command Staff has, for a number of years, been comprised of three people- me, Captain Tony Pryor, and Lieutenant Kara Harrison. Kara has decided it’s time for her to move on from the Beach Patrol.
I remember Kara as a rookie lifeguard. She was just out of Texas A&M and had moved to Galveston from Snyder, Texas. She was a model student. She was attentive and sailed through the written parts of the 100 hours of training. In the water she was a monster swimmer- one of our fastest. She could even run. But Beach Patrol has always had its fair share of athlete superstars. 50% of our academy depends on the less quantifiable qualities of teamwork, ethics, and interpersonal relationships. This is where Kara really shone.
As Kara moved up from seasonal Lifeguard to Senior Guard to Supervisor, she modeled these qualities. And they spread. As she moved into a year round position, went through the law enforcement academy and earned the rank of Sergeant, she was able to have a stronger and stronger effect on our staff and our culture. And as a Lieutenant and member of Command Staff she took on the role of leader and helped steer the course of the organization.
If Captain Pryor is, as some say, the Heart of the organization, Kara is definitely the soul. She has kept us centered and has been able to exert the unique ability to keep people calm and getting along. Everyone likes her, even those she’s disciplined, suspended, and even fired. She is a truly good person.
Like many of our key staff members she is 100% in if it has to do with community service. She is happy to go to school talks, health fairs, and represent us with our partner groups. I have come to depend on her as the person to send out to any event to represent us, and she always makes us look good.
As much as we hate to see her leave, we are happy for her that she’s moving on to new pastures.
Sometimes things move on. Sometimes they change. But that’s what life is. Many thanks to Kara for all that she brought to the table and for all the work, love, time, teaching, and people who are alive today because of her tireless prevention and proactive rescues.
Fortunately, she leaves at a time of new beginnings. 6 new future leaders will join us as full time staff members. For all the good things we lose without Kara, I feel certain that we’ll gain others with our new staff members- and with our existing staff members who now will no doubt bring new abilities in to fill the void.
We travel this path alone ultimately. But on the way we are joined for parts of this journey. I feel grateful I was able to share part of the Beach Patrol Journey with Lt. Kara Harrison.