Humble, but….

When we lived in Elmhurst, I found employment one summer as waterfront director (I’d had experience in scout camp administration) for the Brooklyn CYO camp.  They’d had a drowning the previous year.  I was humble in my position, but before the season was over I’d fired two or three life guards.  There were no drownings the year I was there.

But my changes were sweeping.  When the units of campers came to the pools, the counselors who did not take a swim had to stand on the edge of the pool with a long, ten-foot carpet pole in hand, to reach a camper who had to grab hold of something.  This was standing operating procedure at the scout camp.  Moreover, life guards had to be dressed to go in, no sneakers or such.

They kept these changes after I left, and I heard no more reports of drownings.  It left a gut impression on me; that’s why I didn’t work a second year, though they were sorry to see me go.

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