What Life-Guarding Means to Me

Jersey Phippen is a life-guard within our community. Here, she takes it a step further and explains the impact this job has had on her.

Jersey Phippen, Staff Writer

Why can’t the town of Atlantic seem to get lifeguards hired? When walking the halls of AHS, you hear students upon students talking about their new summer jobs, so why isn’t life-guarding in their interest? As a lifeguard for the Sunnyside pool and the YMCA, I love my job. I enjoy sitting in the sun all summer long listening to kids laugh and enjoy their summer while making money. While growing up in Cass County, I remember all the older kids wanted to be “water watchers.” However, as the years went by and I got older fewer kids my age wanted to become lifeguards. The small town still has difficulty figuring out why, as life-guarding was always seen as a noble and exciting job. 

Since the town couldn’t understand the teenager’s reasonings, they increased the sign-on bonus to $1,000 to catch eyes. (Western Iowa Today) One reason there could be a shortage of lifeguards is because there are three pools in one small town, so it gets hard having to share guards all the time. Does the country club seem to grab the attention of all the teenagers interested in guarding? Or even the YMCA? The biggest issue is no secret, that teens can seek out better-paying opportunities. Maybe teenagers don’t want to be a lifeguard because they think it takes too much work to be certified, or because the amount of swimming, paperwork, or the risk of failure. 

To me, it didn’t feel like loads of work to accomplish because once I started, that’s what I knew I wanted to do. I wanted to be a good lifeguard that can make people feel safe while swimming. My fellow co-worker Marissa Wheeler said “Life-guarding means responsibility.” Not only is it a job to be proud of doing but it’s fun and you see new things every day. But what makes this job so fun? Many reasons, like the people you work with, how people look up to you, the friends you make while guarding, and the bonds you build between everyone, indoor or outdoor, “When someone trusts you with their life in your hands, you tend to grow a bond,” Wheeler said.

“When someone trusts you with their life in your hands, you tend to grow a bond,

— Marissa Wheeler


It’s hard to find a job that brings out the best in someone, but life-guarding seems to brighten my day whenever I need a confidence boost. Making people feel safe in the water makes you feel rewarded. I always have fun guarding because of the kid’s smiles and watching families have a great time together. So what are you waiting for? Join the life-guarding community and let’s have a fun summer!