Hello again Happy Valley visitors! It’s Mikayla Austin here with your latest Wednesday blog post. Happy valley has been quite busy these past few days with a camp here, which means, everyone is working hard all the time! A shift that I have been scheduled for everyday this week has been lifeguarding. I’m glad to have this shift because not only do I enjoy swimming, but I also like being a lifeguard here at Happy Valley. I and the other interns had spent weeks of training before camps started arriving. Being CPR, AED, first aid, and lifeguard certified has given me a sense of achievement and joy. When I was little, I use to swim all the time! Everyday, all day in my back yard pool. My parents started calling me a fish because I spent my life underwater. For a majority of my childhood I can recall my wrinkled fingers, blurred vision, and tan lines. It wasn’t until I got older when I stopped swimming because I became afraid of… Pool machines. Yes, I had nightmares about them and I never went swimming again! I never went near my pool unless it was to save lizards in the hot Arizona summertime heat. Until I arrived at Happy Valley this summer, and then it was back into the pool for me. Luckily, there is not a pool machine in sight! So now was the time for me to get back into my swimming and I enjoy every minute of it. I had forgotten how much I loved swimming. As a lifeguard here, the interns train and do workouts every other day, which includes swimming laps, grabbing a brick from the deep end, treading water, surface dives, and scenario drills. When a camp is here, we first uncover the pool. Then we clean the pool as best we can by vacuuming, brushing, and skimming the surface. Once that is complete, we set up lifeguard stations and are ready for kids to come swim. Throughout free swim, we pay close attention to every kid swimming and rotate every 20 minutes. So far we have kept the swimming pool area a fun and safe environment for all campers and staff. I have learned a lot about lifeguarding when working here. Not only how to save lives, but what it really means to be a lifeguard.