Lifeguarding is a popular summer sport

Courtesy of Emma Hecht

Courtesy of Emma Hecht

Emme Leong

Summer jobs are in high demand for teenagers who are looking to earn some spending money. But it’s difficult to find the compromise between soaking up the sun and getting a decent job. For many CHS students, a lifeguarding job provides that balance.

A September survey showed that nearly 6 percent of students serve as lifeguards, poolside or on the beach.

The American Red Cross reports that training and certification to become a lifeguard begins with a number of prerequisites and includes testing on comprehension and skills.

Sophomore Emma Hecht of Wall outlined the process she underwent to become a lifeguard at the Spring Lake North End Pool.

“To be a pool lifeguard, you have to swim a [500-yard distance] in under 10 minutes, run a pretty fast mile, be certified in first aid and CPR and learn how to make saves,” Hecht said.

Hecht attributes her nine years of competitive swimming to her strong comfort level in the water as a lifeguard. Next summer, Hecht plans to take one step further in her lifeguard duties at Spring Lake Beach, where she says more training such as paddle boarding and rowing will be required.

Junior Marie Schobel of Sea Girt shared a similar summer experience as Hecht as she spent her dog days doing what she loves the most: swimming. Her background in competitive swimming led her to pursue a lifeguard job at Sea Girt Beach.

“Swimming competitively has always been a huge part of my life, and now I can incorporate it into lifeguarding,” Schobel said.

The opportunity to stay in shape and have fun in the sun is an advantage to working as a lifeguard for both Hecht and Schobel. But they say the memories and friendships made while on the job exceed all other benefits.

“My favorite part is the bond I created with all of the Sea Girt lifeguards; they are my best friends,” Schobel said.

Hecht agrees and considers the outdoor work as another advantage to being a lifeguard. Student lifeguards like Hecht and Schobel have found the loophole in conquering a good tan, a good pay and a great experience.