(San Diego, CA - by Brianna Millican, Student Intern) This summer marks an exciting milestone for Poway Unified School District with the launch of the first Junior Lifeguard Camp. Taking place at Rancho Bernardo High School from July 17-Aug 3 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, the camp aims to introduce middle school-aged kids to the fundamentals of lifeguard training while building a greater knowledge of water safety.
The camp is led by Coach Tim Oelgoetz, a seasoned lifeguard with three decades of experience, and is designed to be an unforgettable opportunity for all students involved. Coach Tim's dedication to this initiative is evident as he wholeheartedly embraces the motto, "do what you love, love what you do." His passion for lifeguarding and teaching is inspiring as he encourages kids to explore the world of water safety with enthusiasm.
“We want them to be water safety advocates and educate others,” Coach Tim said.
The Junior Lifeguard Camp is not just about acquiring technical lifeguard skills. According to Coach Tim, the camp instills a sense of responsibility and awareness in the participants. During the three-week program, participants learn how to identify signs of someone in distress and take the necessary steps to assist them. They practice poolside rescues, learn to work together as a team, stay calm in stressful situations, and improve their swim strokes. These lifeguard training skills are proven to be invaluable not only in pool and beach settings but in other leadership roles.
Ellie, a participant from Twin Peaks Middle School mentioned how the lifeguard training camp will serve her future interests saying, “I want to be a lifeguard in the summer when I’m older.”
Another participant explained that she joined because she believes the skills she will learn in the program will make her prepared to tackle any emergency situation she encounters while babysitting.
As the camp progresses, the lifeguard trainees will gain the skills needed to pursue lifeguarding and become effective water safety advocates.
Coach Tim hopes to expand the Junior Lifeguard Program in the future so that kids from middle school to high school will have the opportunity to learn life saving aquatic safety skills and continue to advance their skills.
To learn more about the Poway Unified Aquatics Programs, click here.