Ten kids began their first week of Junior Lifeguard Camp at the Pine Island Pool last week learning various techniques on how to save another person's life.
Sandy Reynolds, Pine Island Pool aquatic supervisor, started the Junior Lifeguard Camp more than a decade ago to help prepare teens to become lifeguards. She said when she began the program, Lee County had eight pools running in the summer and they had a hard time filling all the summer positions that were open.
"We always had a shortage of guards," Reynolds said.
Kristen Cook practiced breathing techniques with Bryce Mayer during the Junior Lifeguard Camp at the Pine Island Pool to practice rescuing a conscious victim.
If Blaise Marra, 11, decides to pursue the option of becoming a lifeguard, he will be a third generation in his family to do so.
"A lot of motivation," he said of why he signed up for camp.
Blaise decided to take the camp because he thought it would be fun, along with the opportunity to learn something.
Two days into the camp he said he learned many different tactics to saving a person's life, which includes dives, jumping into the water, CPR and hand signals.
Senior Recreational Specialist Kory Herrin, who took the Junior Lifeguard Camp when she was 12 years old, has been one of the instructors of the camp for the past six years. She said she enjoys teaching the youngsters because of what happens the last week when all the information clicks together.
Kristen Cook, 12, signed up for the summer camp because she thought it would be nice to know how to save lives. A technique that stood out to the youngster early on in camp was the rear huggie rescue.
First Kristen said you need to go behind the person, so you can grab them under the armpits and bring them to safety at the side of the pool.
The camp, Herrin said, is fun for the group and teaches them how to deal with real life situations.
"It is a head start more than a summer camp," she said of becoming a lifeguard.
Kyle Camacho, 14, who wants to become a lifeguard, was one of the 10 youngsters registered for the camp.
"It's fun a lot of swimming," he said of his experience.
Although it depends on the situation, Kyle learned different techniques on how to get the victim on the guard tube when saving their life.
"It's worth it," he said of taking the camp.
The limit for the camp is 10 kids, who this year ranged from 9-14 years old, to ensure the youngsters have one-on-one attention.
"They learn everything a lifeguard does," Herrin said of the camp.
A third year veteran of the camp, James Wallace, 12, said the first year was fun, so he decided to enroll in the camp the next two years.
"I would like to be a lifeguard," James said.
When rescuing an individual, he said it is important to first approach the victim cautiously and then get them to the side of the pool carefully. James said CPR is then performed quickly.
The Junior Lifeguard Camp, which is held once a year, began June 18 and will end June 29. The two-week, five-day camp begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
"It sells out the first week," Reynolds said when registration opens.
The group of kids had hands on learning, which included assisting and active rescues; spring board diving; stroke development; unconscious shallow and deep water rescues; rescue breathing in the water and managing aquatic spinal injuries in the water. The campers also learned how to recognize a drowning victim, CPR skills for adults, child and infant and basic first-aid.
The use of guard tubes and swimming techniques stuck out to the youngsters.
Austin Pooser, 13, said he wanted to take the camp because he thought it would be fun.
"It would be nice to help people with their lives," he said.
The use of guard tubes stuck out to Austin of one of the many techniques that can be used when rescuing an individual. When using a guard tube, he said you have to push the victim cautiously to the side of the pool.
Sammie Sanders, 10, said she wanted to take the camp because people told her it would be fun and she loves to swim. One thing that stuck out to her early on in the camp was how to save people in the water with tubes.
Dylan Cook, 9, also attended the camp because he thought it would be fun. He said he learned to not go off the diving board when you do not know how to swim.
Blake Sanders, 13, said the camp is fun because he is learning different techniques to save someone by doing the backstroke and breaststroke.
Many of the youngsters said the CPR portion of the camp stood out to them the most.
Hannah Crews, 12, said on the second day of camp she had learned new things about CPR. She said when performing CPR, she needs to know the victim's pulse and when to push on their stomach.
Since Josh Sutton, 12, knew the lifeguards at the pool, he thought the camp would be cool. CPR was a technique that stood out to the youngster when saving an individual's lives.
He said you have to make sure the airways are not blocked, so you can try to get the victim breathing again.
On the last day of camp the youngsters will take a written test on water lifeguarding skills and receive a CPR card.
The camp also included a field trip to Sun Splash to get a tour of the facility and shadow guard with a lifeguard at the park. A trip to Fort Myers Beach to tour the Coast Guard Station was also among their field trips.
Herrin said the field trip to the Coast Guard is informational for the campers because it shows them how to deal with currents, rip tides and the lack of visibility to the bottom. She said they also are taught the military side of search and rescue and how it unfolds.