Young aspiring lifeguards or even those with just an interest in lifeguarding have an opportunity to fulfill their needs and desires this summer.
Fenwick Island will begin a junior lifeguard program July 5. It will include six sessions, each three days long. Boys and girls ages 9 to 15 are welcome to attend.
The man running the show, Fenwick Island Beach Patrol Capt. Tim Ferry, implemented a similar program about 10 years ago, during his time with the Bethany Beach Beach Patrol.
Now, he will run Fenwick Island’s new program along the same lines as the program in the neighboring town. Helping Ferry will be Lt. Trey Hudson and patrol member Courtney Shay.
“The ultimate goal is public education,” Ferry said of the program. “The more knowledgeable everyone is, the more it benefits the lifeguards on duty.”
Each day of the session, participants will have a tip of the day, whether it is about rip currents or beach hazards. Knowledge of the environment will also be a crucial part of the lessons, such as knowing the waves and currents and how they are affected by the wind.
Participants will also learn how to use the rescue can and other lifeguard equipment, showing them how people can also use similar devices away from the beach to help save a life.
The kids will also have the chance to spend time with the lifeguards on duty and see things from their perspective.
Upon completion of the three-day session, participants will have received beach- and water-safety lessons, as well as physical fitness and lifeguarding skills. They are also eligible to compete in the junior lifeguard competition scheduled for Rehoboth Beach on Aug. 8.
A job may also be another long-term benefit for those participating in the Fenwick Island program.
“There are two lifeguards on the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol that I had as junior lifeguards a few years ago,” Ferry said.
The patrol captain said he knows that two or three other program graduates are working in Bethany Beach and still others serve as lifeguards at pools.
Each three-day session costs $35 and includes a uniform, instruction and supervision, a certificate of participation and United States Lifesaving Association junior lifeguard membership.
Session 1 runs July 5-7. Session 2 is July 12-14. Session 3 is July 19-21. Session 4 is July 26-28. And Session 5 will be Aug. 2-4, with Session 6 set for Aug. 9-11. Times will vary for each session.
For more information on the program, call Fenwick Island Town Hall at (302) 539-3011.