Lifeguarding the Summer Away....Great Memories and Great Lifeguards

Posted at by Jeannie on 04/15/2014



 Oh, the days of my youth, spent as a lifeguard at our local pool.  It was a great experience.  I learned so much by being a lifeguard.  But…things have changed, as they always do.  Of course, as most adults think, being a guard now, is so much easier than when I was teenager.  I’m sure I had to walk 10 miles to the pool, both ways, in knee deep snow!  Even in Arkansas summer! 

I grew up in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  It was such a great place to be a kid.  Small enough to know everyone in town, but close to Little Rock and the Air Force Base, so we had everything we needed close by.  I loved it.  And, like many other kids, my favorite place in the summer was the local municipal pool.  We spent the whole summer there, swimming, visiting with friends and idolizing the lifeguards.  They were gods and goddesses to me!  I wanted to be one of them!  So, when I turned 15, I decided it was time to make that dream a reality.  I was a good swimmer, so I thought it was going to be a piece of cake……

I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Back then, in the early 70’s, lifeguards didn’t use rescue tubes.  We depended on our swimming ability, physical strength and knowledge of the rescue skills.  Taking the class was rigorous and difficult.  Our instructors told us on the first day that their job was to flunk us out of the class.  I guess that makes sense, since we were going to be responsible for people’s lives…..we needed to be GREAT lifeguards.  And, as he predicted, I did flunk the swim portion of the first class I took, just as everyone else in the class did.  It was brutal!  For our final exam, we had a long written test to complete, which was okay.  I passed that…but the rescue part was almost impossible to pass.  Our rather large male instructor was the victim we rescued.   He tried to drown each and every one of us, and he could have.  It was a rough day, to say the least! 

But, I took the class again and knowing what to expect, I passed with no problems. 

So, on to my three years as a lifeguard at Jacksonville Municipal Pool. 

Being a lifeguard, I saw the pool from a completely different view.  It was no longer just the place to hang out with my friends and wile away the hot summer days.  No, now it was my job.  I enjoyed being there, but the weight of the responsibilities I held was daunting.  It was never far from my mind.  Even when the lifeguards would have contests, like how many kids we could sit out around our lifeguard stand, we knew what we were doing there was serious.  We were there to save lives, and we all had to put our skills to use. 

Luckily, we never had a serious injury in my years there.  I guess that impossible guard training was exactly what we needed!  We were great lifeguards!


So, it’s that time of year again.  Now, when lifeguard season rolls around, I let the memories wash over me and smile…but what I really focus on is helping my customers with their guard supplies and lifeguard suits!  When I was lifeguarding, we wore whatever we wanted, but most pools now have a uniform, or at least a color they like.  Splashwear can help you will all of your guard needs.  We have lots of styles of guard suits, both male and female.  We can do custom suits for your pool, or just off the rack.  Our guard suit prices range from $20.00 up to $80.00. We also have all the equipment you will need; from rescue tubes and visors to backboards and umbrellas.  If your pool needs it, we’ll find it for you! 






If you want your guards to buy their suits individually, I can set up a page on my website with your pool’s required items there and your guards can log in and purchase exactly what you want them to have at your discount!  We try to make as easy for you as possible!

Okay…so here we go….summer is on the way…..time for YOUR great lifeguard season!