When temperatures soar, do you enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the area’s cool pools? While you’re there, you might see Montclair lifeguard, Ava Jordan. This is the third summer Jordan has watched over swimmers and sun worshippers from an elevated, shaded perch at Mountainside Pool. The Montclair High School grad, who plans to attend the University of Vermont in the fall, is satisfied with her summer gig. The hours are good, she’s around people who are enjoying themselves, and she gets to soak up the sun. “It’s definitely better than an office job,” says Jordan.
Here are a few things that Ava and her guard buddies would like you and your kids to know before heading to one of the area’s swimming holes:
- Parents, please don’t just dump your kids at the pool. The lifeguards are not your baby sitters. They have to watch all the kids, not just yours.
- If your kids can’t swim, they shouldn’t be in the deep end—that includes on the wide stairs at Mountainside Pool, where many non-swimmers tend to congregate.
- Kids, please don’t run, do flips into the pool, or engage in aggressive horseplay. You could end up like one of the numerous swimmers each year who bang their heads on the side of the pool, or bloody their knees when they slip and fall on the concrete. Ouch!
- The pools don’t have WIFI—free or otherwise.
- The lifeguards aren’t weather forecasters. “You wouldn’t believe how many people call and say something like, ‘What do you think the weather will be like at 5pm?’” says Jordan.
- Of course, the pools close when it’s raining. Also, just so you know…some pools, including Mountainside, don’t reopen until 30 minutes after the rain, thunder or lightning stops.
Oh, and whoever sneaked in one night last summer and threw all the lounge chairs into the water—please don’t do that again. Ava arrived the next day to find all forty-plus chairs sitting on the bottom of the pool, as if silently waiting for a band of mermaids who might need to take a load off. Poor Ava had to remove them all, by herself.