Help! We can’t swim!

Ruby Valley Pool joins ranks looking to hire

The Ruby Valley swimming pool in Sheridan is getting ready to open its gates for yet another season of fun in the sun. Unfortunately, this cannot happen without a little help from us, the community.

It should come as no surprise that finding lifeguards in today’s climate has been a challenge. Times, jobs and even the employees themselves have changed over the years. What was once a coveted position is often overlooked for the bright lights of Virginia City, the responsibilities at home or the ranch and the draw of screen time. What hasn’t changed is the draw of the pool itself.

Spending summers around a pool never goes out of style. The warm sun, the refreshing water; the laughs, the relaxation and the fun of being around friends. And on those hot days there is truly no better place to be. That is only part of the charm though. What you may not see are the people who show up for water aerobics to stay in shape; the people that convene on volleyball nights to defend their record; the “Moms & Tots” (and Pops!) that attend classes so the little ones can learn how to swim and the athletes that put in those impressive laps. There is even the potential of a summer swim team. Our public pool has so much to offer. I wonder how many of us, however, will take that for granted until it is too late.

I spoke with Mary Pat Graham, President, and LaTesa Schrank, Manager, of the Ruby Valley Pool. They are working hard to bring the 2022 pool season to life. I thought the allure of working outside, getting a tan and possibly saving a little life would be appealing enough, but they have much more than that on the table for this summer. Everything from paid training, competitive wages, flexible hours, bonuses, and parties are up for grabs this year.

I pondered the thought of becoming a lifeguard myself but pointed out that I was not a strong swimmer. “Most people doubt their ability” Schrank stated. And as she and Graham described the three-day training and what it involved, I realized that you don’t have to be Michael Phelps to be a lifeguard. You only have to be at least fifteen years of age and responsible. The training will provide all the techniques needed, including CPR. And for those newer to the workforce, being a lifeguard is a wonderful way to gain confidence, start a resume and make new friends.

So, calling all teachers, coaches, and parents! Do you know a young person in need of a summer job? An activity between sports? A social setting that isn’t virtual? And what about yourself? Spending a few summer days at the pool is a fun way to give back to the community. You could even do it with a friend.

I remember learning to swim at the public school as a kid. I also remember the first time I got the courage to jump off the high dive and smile at the lifeguard Billy. I can’t imagine a time when those rights of passage are no longer possible.

I hope I never have to. Applications to become a lifeguard can be found at or near the sign directly in front of the pool itself. Please email your application or questions to swimsheridan@ 

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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