There’s a quote that states if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That statement rings true for a lot of the positions here at Kings Dominion, specifically for our lifeguards. Searching for a summer job can be somewhat of a drag, but when you combine sun, water and friendships all together, working during the summer isn’t so bad! That’s what Sean Dewalt found when he applied to work as a lifeguard for Soak City.
In the midst of preparing for the return of Soak City, Sean shared his experience as a lifeguard at Kings Dominion with us and how his position here is preparing him for his career ahead.
What got you interested in becoming a lifeguard?
I’ve swam competitively for the majority of my life – 14 years now, feels like forever. And I thought it would be fun to give back to what I had had for my entire life.
How did you find your position with Kings Dominion?
We had just moved to the area the summer after my high school graduation and had no idea what was out here. My mom had seen a flyer for Kings Dominion, and I thought it sounded like a fun job. I applied and was offered the lifeguard position.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the people. The lifeguards I get to work with and meet every year are fantastic - I have made friends that are probably going to last a lifetime. I have one friend that I met my first year. He hasn’t been back, just because he had to move away. We’ve kept up our friendship and try to see each other once or twice a year. The international associates I’ve gotten to meet are also fantastic and I was so excited to hear that some of them are coming back again this year. Even some of the guests – I’ve found people that live where I used to live, and we get to chat while we have the chance. It’s been so much fun.
Favorite memory on the job?
There’s two – First one would be before the water park opened for one season during cleanup and set up and we were just basically the park to ourselves and were running around getting everything done. We brought out the Soundsystem and were just jamming out to whatever was on the radio as a collective group of lifeguards. It was just so silly and fun and showed off everyone’s personalities…it was just a great time.
Another would be during Big Bash, which is this massive party for all of the associates, my second season. The lifeguards got really involved in it and we went out as a giant group. It was a great time hanging out with friends and I wouldn’t have gotten this chance if it weren’t for this opportunity.
How much training went into your position here at Kings Dominion?
Quite a lot! As a lead and instructor, I’ve had at least 8 days solid worth of training to be where I am this season. To just come in as a lifeguard is 3 weekends of training, and we make it fun along the way, so everyone gets to enjoy what they’re going to do. Kings Dominion is certified by Ellis and Associates and we have 10 instructors on staff that are certified by Ellis. We teach our own classes and specialize them for our facility to make sure that we get the best possible training. Each of the lifeguards that teaches it has been through full certification and we always make sure you know what you’re doing so that you’re always ready and prepared for whatever may happen.
What is your long-term career plan and how has your job at Kings Dominion helped with that?
My dream is to be a teacher - specifically a college professor. Learning how to teach in this environment that’s different from a traditional classroom setting has given me insight in to different methods of teaching and the different ways people learn. It’s been an eye-opening experience and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.
Even if you've always swam for fun, not competitively, you can become a lifeguard at Kings Dominion! We provide FREE training and certification for those who are looking for an AMAZING summer job out in the water! If you’d like to join our team of lifeguards, or browse other available positions, head over to our website and fill out an application. Guaranteed to be a summer job you won’t forget!