During the summer, I had many opportunities to interact with campers one on one at the pool since some of the other counselors were also lifeguard certified. It was great seeing how excited the campers were to be at the pool, and how much they enjoyed swimming. I even got the chance to teach some campers how to swim and show them that the pool is not a scary place.
One specific instance I remember was a camper who knew how to swim across the pool just fine, but was a little nervous about treading water and going into the deep end. After wrapping up the swim tests for the day, I asked one of the other lifeguard certified camp counselors to take the stand so that I could show the camper how to get used to the deep water. Although he was scared, he trusted that I wasn’t going to let him drown, and was willing to do the exercises that I asked of him. I taught him for the entire duration of the swim time allotted to his unit, and by the end, he was able to jump into the deep end and swim across the pool to the other side without any assistance. He was so proud of himself that he was able to do something that he was previously scared to do.
It’s moments like these that make camp so memorable. Knowing that I potentially made an impact on just one camper over the whole summer makes the entire experience 100% worth it. If given the opportunity to serve as the pool coordinator again, I would take it in a heartbeat.