According to Kaitlyn Cox of New Hope, the best part about lifeguarding is the responsibility.
“You could save someone’s life, and the feeling of having that responsibility makes you feel good,” the 16-year-old said last week.
The home-schooled teen lifeguards at Columbus’ Slip “N” Dip, as she has for two consecutive summers. She is one of 11 lifeguards at the water park.
Not much attracts kids on summer vacation more than pools and water-slides. Slip “N” Dip, located near Lake Lowndes State Park, has both.
“It’s just a great place to come, especially when its super hot,” Cox says.
The teen’s aunt and uncle, Lowndes County Fire Coordinator Sammy Fondren and his wife Angela Fondren of Columbus, own the institution which has offered summer fun for over 30 years.
Cox says she holds the lifeguard position more to help out her aunt and uncle and make friends, but she also wants to save money for a car or for college. She hopes to study to become a lawyer.
“[Being a lawyer] is kinda different from being a lifeguard,” Cox says as she laughs.
While the local amusement park gains popularity later in the summer when temperatures top 100 degrees, Cox says Slip “N” Dip has been busy lately with visiting summer camps. She says she prefers it that way.
“It’s better to have big groups than to sit here when there are no groups at all,” says Cox.
The lifeguard waves children and adults onto Slip “N” Dip’s water-slide as she sits under a blue umbrella at the head of the incline.
Cox has plenty of stories from her time working at the park, and she says she has a new story to tell every day.
While Cox loves the friendly, fun environment and the exciting stories, her favorite part of her summer job is the lifeguard party she and her colleagues throw at the end of the summer. She says they put glow sticks in the pool and have a blast.
For Cox, “the people” make her job fun.
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