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Lifeguards and Swim Instructors

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Lifeguard and Swim Instructor Description

Being a lifeguard at camp is the quintessential summer role, and for good reason! On a sunny summer day, the waterfront is the place to be. You can teach campers swim strokes, enjoy the most popular spot in camp, and guard all the Free Choice swim fun! If you’re a swimming instructor in addition to being a lifeguard, you’ll teach boys of varying skill levels each weekday during activity periods. Regardless of the activities you teach around camp, lifeguards will take turns guarding during Free Choice periods, and receive a weekly bonus for being lifeguards. If you’re not already lifeguard certified, we offer this training on site in May, right before our All-Staff-Orientation week.

If you’re a swimming instructor, you’ll have the opportunity to help campers fine-tune their strokes and build endurance during the activity periods each week day. Outside of activity periods, boys have the opportunity to enjoy the upper lake twice a day during Free Choice. Everyone wears a PFD for safety during Free Choice, and boys can enjoy playing on our waterfront elements, jumping off the high dive, or just relaxing with friends in tubes. The waterfront has a huge “blob” that acts as a floating trampoline, allowing friends to rocket each other into the water when they jump onto the other side. We also have a zip line that spans the length of the lake, a rope swing, a balancing log, and a “roller coaster” that slides you down across the water.

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What’s a Typical Day Like For This Position?

Male camp counselors live in a cabin with one other counselor and eight campers. In addition to their activity instruction, male counselors will have an assortment of responsibilities related to the management of their cabin. Female camp counselors also serve as activity staff, but don’t live in cabins with the campers, and are responsible instead for organizational tasks during the times that male staff are busy with their cabins.

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Each day at camp begins with waking up and gathering as a community at Morning Watch. Next we enjoy a hearty breakfast and an exciting Morning Assembly on the porch. Then it’s off to the first three activities of the day, followed by a period of Free Choice before lunch. The Head of the Waterfront will assign lifeguards to a rotating schedule during Free Choice periods. On a typical day, each counselor will be assigned a specific area to supervise during one Free Choice period, and have the other Free Choice period to themselves as their “Self-Care Time”. Rest Hour happens after lunch, before the three activity periods in the afternoon. Then there is the second Free Choice period, dinner, and a fun Evening Program! A typical day ends with Milk and Cookies, followed by Evening Embers, a discussion time with your cabin mates to talk about the day’s adventures. Everyone is tired and happy by the time it’s Lights Out. On weekends, we take a break from our regular activity instruction, sleep in an extra hour, and play games as a whole camp community.

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At Falling Creek, campers are free to choose the 6 activities they want on their daily schedule. Even though you might have 8 boys in your cabin who are the same age, you’ll be instructing a variety of ages and skill levels throughout the day in your 50 minute long activity periods. If you’re a swimming instructor in addition to being a lifeguard, you might coach campers through their strokes, help younger campers pass their swim check, teach lifesaving skills, or keep swimming fun by planning relay races or water polo games. You can help campers work their way through our progression system and build confidence as swimmers!

Need internship credit?

Many of our counselors who need internship credit to graduate don’t realize that they can earn that credit while working at camp! We can coordinate with your department to tailor a unique learning experience, and have set up internship credit across a wide variety of disciplines. Read more about the value of an internship at camp or how to translate your camp experience to your resume.

Working at camp isn’t just fun and rewarding, it’s also a great way to jumpstart your professional development. The skills critical for success in today’s world are developed and practiced at camp, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. You’ll make connections with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, across the country and around the world. Being a Falling Creek alumni also connects you to a network of former staff and parents who are business owners, entrepreneurs, outdoor industry professionals, and employers. We are frequently asked to refer our most talented staff members.

Career Development & Resources
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Why Should You Be a Swimming Instructor or Lifeguard?

As a lifeguard and camp counselor, you’ll be a role model for the boys both on and off the waterfront, and will gain valuable experience in teaching, as well as training that will benefit you long after the summer is over. Our lifeguards have the opportunity to get certified in May, ahead of our All-Staff-Orientation week. If you’re majoring in physical education, sports management, or exercise science/kinesiology, being a swimming instructor will give you invaluable experience for your future career path. Even if your college major is unrelated to athletics, you’ll still be gaining leadership skills and networking connections that will give you a competitive edge in the job market.

What’s My Time-Off Like?

Each week you’ll receive a scheduled time-off period of 34 consecutive hours. In 2023 the time-off period began in the morning around breakfast on the first day, allowed you to be off throughout the reminder of that day and night, and required you to return the following day in late afternoon, around dinner. Staff are also able to take an hour of “self-care time” each day at camp, where you are free to read, workout, nap, or do anything you need to “recharge your batteries” daily. Everyone gets the same amount of time off; the schedule is based on your position and role at camp. Being well-rested and refreshed is a must! (During session changeover weeks, this schedule is altered slightly.)

What Benefits Do I Get?

We offer a competitive and progressive pay schedule that is determined based on your experience, age, education, certifications, and other factors. See the 2024 Estimated Pay Sheet here. Staff working the full summer (Orientation plus 4 sessions) will have a base pay of $4300, not including additional pay, experience, and bonuses.

In addition to housing, food, and pay, each day at camp brings adventure, physical recreation, and endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. You are welcome to use the camp facilities and participate in activities during your free time, so long as it does not take away from a class or camper.

Visit our “What You Get” page to read more about the value of an internship at camp, how to translate your camp experience to your resume, resources, networking, and certifications offered.

When Do I Need To Be Available?

While individual dates may differ based on your personal contract, our summer season is from mid May to mid August, and our preference is to hire for the full season. For the 2024 season, All-Staff Orientation begins on May 30th. Closing day is August 16th after the final session. Depending on your role at camp, you may need to arrive earlier in May for additional training (Lifeguard Training, the WFR Certification Course, Compass Horse Training, Adventure Staff Training, etc.) The WFR training for adventure staff will begin on May 18. You also have the option to extend your contract by joining us for Father/Son Weekends and/or Family Camp.

What Essential Skills Are Needed?

Completed At Least One Year of College and/or At Least 19 Years Old.

Our mission is existing to shepherd the journey of personal growth through love and adventure. Staff must be dedicated to live by the Falling Creek Code.

Patient. Flexible. Team Player. Genuinely Enthusiastic. Friendly. Eager to Grow. Open to Offer and Receive Feedback. Able to Think on Your Feet. Good Decision Maker. Hard Working. Get-It-Done Attitude.

See more on our staff FAQs page.