Traits of a Good Lifeguard

The sun is high and the waters call out to your kids to indulge and have fun! While they frolic in the waters, you will want to make sure that your child’s safety is still the number one priority. This is where Mr. Lifeguard comes in. He watches over your kids to keep them away from danger and unexpected events.

Training a good lifeguard is hinged on professional standards. Here at Zodiac, we have partnered with The Lifesaving Society to offer National Lifeguard Courses under our Aquatic Leadership Program. The Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification is Canada’s professional lifeguard standard and is the only nationally recognized lifeguard certification program.

Let us share with you what we teach and incorporate into our National Lifeguard (NLS) Courses:

  1. Physical skills. This should come first in the list. We train our lifeguards with key competencies such as the following: object recovery, underwater swim, sprint challenge, rescue drills, endurance challenge, and approach and carry as well as emergency aid training. These activities hone each student’s judgment, skill and fitness, which are critical to execute their purpose.

  1. Reliability and responsibility. Good lifeguards are dependable and we will never tire of reminding our students that they carry such a big responsibility. This boils down to the littlest things like punctuality. It is a lifeguard’s duty to come on time for work, for there is no timetable as to when untoward incidents may happen. He must always be aware of safety procedures and protocols, and must implement these with utmost care and importance.

  1. Preparedness and calmness. Lifeguards must always know when and how to act when the situation demands them to. He must have a good knowledge of his practice and should exude calmness wherever he goes and whatever he does. One of the things that the NLS courses teach the student lifeguards is management of distressed and drowning victims. It takes physical and mental alertness, and good judgment to remain calm and respond immediately to these kinds of situation.

  1. Attention and patience. Lifeguards must always be on the watch. They are expected to be as vigilant as ever, so as to never miss one circumstance that will require their assistance and care. They must always be mindful of their guests, and do what they can to help them get to safety.

  1. Excellent communication skills. A lifeguard must educate the guests on what to do and what not to do. This must be done with confidence and calmness, but also in a polite way. The lifeguard must be able to explain himself clearly, adjusting his communication based on his audience.

  1. Open-mindedness. Your guests aren’t limited to one race or class or gender or age. Lifeguards must give equal attention to all the guests and must learn to understand them. One must never give rude service or exude certain prejudices. Lifeguards must be open to diversity. They must not choose only which ones to help or educate. Instead, a good lifeguard gives equal and satisfying service to ALL the guests.

These are just some of the traits of what makes a good lifeguard. Here at Zodiac Swim School, we strive to give quality training and courses that adhere to professional standards because we value life. This does not only include physical capability but emotional and intellectual acumen as well. We make sure that our trainees are at their best when guarding lives, whether it be at the seaside or at the pool.


What is the Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard Certification?

Lifeguarding is a serious job that carries great responsibility, but it also carries enjoyment and a thrilling experience. Lifeguards undertake courses that enhance their capabilities to help the people they are watching over, and work hard to prevent the worst scenarios.

Only those who are certified will be able to get a hold of the National Lifeguard Certification. Question now is, what is this Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard Certification and how can you get it?

It is a certification given to lifeguards who have undertaken and passed the evaluation and tests given by National Lifeguard Instructors and National Lifeguard Examiners. The tests and evaluations are based on a reference material, which is “Alert: Lifeguarding in Action”. The Lifesaving Society deems this certification “current” or active for 24 months after the certification.

Candidates for certification are responsible for reviewing the contents based on the reference. It is also their duty to take on their own preparations before taking the exam. This certification exam is an opportunity for lifeguards to showcase their skills and abilities and demonstrate all that they learned through their experiences and also from the courses they took.

After 24 months of certification, candidates will need to undergo another exam, which is the Recertification Examination, to make their old certifications “current” or active again. The exam is based on the National Lifeguard Award curriculum. The required content for this curriculum can be found in the Alert text and the Canadian Lifesaving Manual. Candidates should bring Alert, a whistle, barrier devices (gloves and pocket mask) and proof of prerequisite (previous National Lifeguard).

If you are interested to become a lifeguard, Zodiac Swim School offers the National Lifeguard course under our Aquatic Leadership program and in partnership with Lifesaving Society. Our aim is to train lifeguards with competence and skills to be at their best. There are a number of prerequisites for you to take on the lifeguard course. These are:  

  1. You should be at least 16 to qualify for the course
  2. Bronze Cross certification
  3. Standard First Aid-CPR Certification from any of the following: Lifesaving Society, St. John’s Ambulance, Canadian Red Cross, or Canadian Ski Patrol.

The National Lifeguard Certification is a premium proof of worth and skill. This is a ticket to raise a lifeguard’s value as they work in the future. Zodiac Swim School offers the opportunity to give assistance to aspiring lifeguards to take on this certification examination. Zodiac also offers an Examiner Standards Clinic for those who aim to be Lifeguard Examiners. All these opportunities are under their Aquatic Leadership Program.  If you want to be a lifeguard and aspire to be the best, Zodiac is the answer you’ve been waiting for.

Swimming Lessons at Day Camp

Are you looking for a new sport for your child? Children these days just sit around and stare at screens in their own little worlds. This sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity, lack of social skills, and poor lifestyle habits. Sports are a great and fun way to teach kids the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

What sport should your child join? Swimming is a fun indoor sport that is unaffected by poor weather. Your child can swim in the club without spending too much on equipment.

Why Swimming?

Swimming provides your child with multiple health benefits. This sport increases your child stamina, which makes him or her less tired when your child does chores at home. It also keeps your child fresh and alert throughout the day.

Swimming tones and strengthens the major muscles in the body. It develops the leg muscles, shoulders, chest, triceps, back, and core. These muscle groups help keep your child’s body fit and strong until they reach adulthood. This sport helps keep your child healthy and gives them the extra resistance to fight sicknesses that affect sedentary kids.

A fun sport like swimming helps your children develop a healthy lifestyle that they will carry into their adulthood. Once the foundation for exercise has been laid, your child will have the defense needed to fend off cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer that commonly afflicts old people.

Aside from the physical benefits, swimming helps your child become a holistic person. This sport teaches your child discipline, perseverance, and determination, traits that are necessary to succeed in life. The training in swimming keeps children focused, and teaches them how to follow instructions.

How Can Swimming Lessons at Day Camp Help Your Child?

Zodiac Day Camp offers swimming lessons for kids and parents looking for fun activities during the weekends.

Day camp is an ideal place to get swimming lessons for your children. Camp instructors have the experience to guide children and teach them the basics of swimming. Day camp provides extensive swimming instruction to make sure that your child does not move up a level until he or she reaches a certain level of proficiency.

Children will learn the different strokes and breathing techniques while in the water. Young participants are taught how to enjoy and stay comfortable in the water during their lessons. For kids who want to take their lessons further, camp provides lifeguard lessons.

There are just too many advantages of swimming, enroll your child to keep your children healthy and fit, and develop responsibility and discipline at a young age.

Instructor Courses for Swimming

Is your child looking for a new challenge after mastering the different swimming strokes? If your kid is interested in taking advanced swimming lessons, Zodiac Swim School has instructor and advanced courses that push their skills to the limit.

Why get instructor courses for swimming?

Instructor level courses are for kids who want to improve their skill and get certified as a water safety instructor and a lifeguard. The program will push your child’s body to its limit to determine, if he or she is fit to instruct and save the life of others.

The advanced courses are for kids who want to take swimming seriously, and consider being a lifeguard or water safety instructor as a career or part-time job while studying.

The program will test a child’s physical fitness and endurance. A part of the program will involve a test of a child’s ability to swim, rescue and bring back a supposed drowning swimmer.

The benefits of the advanced, instructor-level courses are not only physical, it will imbibe discipline and determination in your child. The skills learned will also allow them to save a life, if they are put in a life threatening position in a pool or beach.

Students for instructor-level programs also learn the basics of teaching. This is a great skill to acquire for anyone who plans to go into teaching or any instructor career in the future.

What are the requirements for the instructor level courses?

The requirements to join instructor level courses vary depending on the level the swimmer is applying for. In most cases, there is an age and a minimum swim level requirement. For instance, for the Assistant Instructor Level, the swimmer should be a minimum 14 years of age and must already have a Bronze Cross level.

Why choose Zodiac Swim for instructor level courses?

Aside from being one of the most reputable swim schools around, we have an extensive aquatic leadership program for different age and skill levels. We follow Canada’s professional lifesaving and lifeguard standard for our certification program include the Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard Certification and Red Cross Water Safety and Swim Programs.

National Lifeguard Courses at Day Camp

Is your child looking for a new challenge after taking several swimming lessons? May be your child is interested in becoming a lifeguard.

Lifeguard Courses

If your child has finished a certain level at swim camp, he or she is eligible to participate in lifeguard courses. The course provides a new set of challenges for young teens who want to push their limits and learn how to save a life. The rigorous program teaches kids techniques that will safely save someone from drowning and improve their skill in the water.

The Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification is Canada’s lifeguard standard for professionals. The curriculum of the certification follows core competencies in skill, fitness, judgment, and knowledge.

Students must meet the physical standards of the curriculum before getting certified such as:

  • Object Recovery. Students must display anaerobic fitness and strength to recover an object in the water. The swimmer begins in the water and must swim 15m and make a surface dive to obtain a 20lb object. He or she must resurface and carry the object 5m within 40 seconds.
  • Underwater Swim. The swimmer must show anaerobic fitness and skill by beginning in the water, submerging, and swimming 15m underwater.
  • Sprint Challenge. Must demonstrate anaerobic fitness by starting in the water and swim head-up for 50m all within a minute.
  • Rescue Drill. The student must display strength and endurance for rescue operations using a manikin. The swimmer begins in the water, must swim to recover a manikin 25m away and carry it for 25m within 90 seconds.
  • Endurance Challenge. The swimmer must show anaerobic fitness and endurance by swimming 400m in 10 minutes.
  • Approach & Carry. The student must display strength and endurance to help a distressed victim. Students begin in the water, approach victim 15m head-up in deep water, then carry the victim 5m while keeping the victim’s shoulders and head above water.

These skills are integral in enabling your child to rescue a person in the water. The course makes sure that each child is ready to save a person even in stressful situations. Participants will not get certified or move up, until they show ability to perform each skill well.
Zodiac Swim School provides the best opportunity for your child to explore options for a part-time job or future career as a lifeguard. He or she will get instruction from top-rate swimmers. The instructors help each child develop the skills needed to become a bona fide lifeguard.

Addressing Health & Safety Concerns in Camp

Summer camp is the time to be carefree and have lots of fun, but parents must also be wary of safety and health issues that may arise at camp. Accidents may still happen or upset stomachs and fevers may still occur while at camp. It is best to check the facilities, talk with the counselors, and check the potential health hazards that may arise before sending your child to camp.

Addressing Potential Problems at Camp

The first thing you do to alleviate the anxiety you and your child will feel while he or she is away from camp is to make a personal visit. Plan the things you want to do during your visit to camp to help your child prepare for anything.

Inspect the safety equipment at the camp you send your child to. Ask the counselors to take you to the activity areas or facilities. Check the harnesses, helmets, pads, or other safety equipment your child needs during the activities that he or she will join. Have the counselor make a demonstration of the safety procedures. Knowing the procedures even before camp begins helps you and your child feel safe. Make sure that the safety equipment used for activities are regularly maintained and have no broken or missing parts.

Inquire about the experience of the counselors in administering first aid or medicine to participants who may need it. Untrained counselors and camp instructors is a red flag. Lack of training may lead to a higher risk of accidents and health problems.

A personal visit to camp premises is also a good time to determine how clean the place is. Check for mice roaming around, cockroaches, dirty corners, junk-filled rooms, and general uncleanliness. These are signs that indicate that the camp lacks proper sanitary regulations to keep its premises clean. Dirty surroundings may attract pests and all sorts of germs that may cause sicknesses during your child’s camp experience.

Poor sanitation may poison food and water at camp. This may lead to upset stomachs, food poisoning, and other digestive-related ailments. Make sure you check the kitchen and find out if the camp keeps it clean and well maintained.

Putting your worries to rest

While most day camps are well maintained and follow the proper safety precautions, it is always up to the parents to help their kids feel safe. When you are confident of the health and safety standards in the camp, you can easily communicate this to your child to quell any concerns he or she may have.

Zodiac Day Camp has pristine venues, safe equipment and high standards of safety for all programs offered.

Why Kids Flourish in Summer Camp

Are you worried that your child will lead a sedentary lifestyle? Kids today are tech savvy but sometimes lack the communication skills or the genuine love for nature that some children had before.

It is common to see children glued to the screens of their smartphone or mobile device. To provide your kids with an alternative to sitting at home all day, enroll them in summer camp.

Why Children Flourish in Summer Camp

Camp has a way of bringing out the best in children because of the many activities, sports, programs and helpful counselors and instructors. Your child’s exposure to other kids and the different and exciting camp activities unleash their potential.

Sports at Camp

Sports are a great way to teach kids discipline and camaraderie. The different sports at camp provide your child with different options to explore their talent or hone an existing one.

The different sports programs instill discipline, perseverance, determination and goal setting in your child. Your kid carries these traits into adulthood, helping form them into holistic people when they leave camp.

They also learn the value of teamwork as they participate in group activities such as basketball, football, Canadian handball, dodgeball, floor hockey or other team sports. They learn to share, sacrifice and work together despite any differences through these camp activities.

There are also extreme sports such as trampoline, wall climbing and others for kids who want an adrenaline rush. These activities push the limits of your child and give them fun and exciting memories they will never forget.

The counselors that guide your child during the activities are trained and experienced. They will also make sure that each child participates in an activity that they like to enjoy their camp stay.

Forming Bonds

Summer camp’s most important aspects are the social bonds that kids create when they enter and leave its premises and the independence they gain. Children will have to learn how to be responsible and accountable for themselves when they stay at camp.

Dealing with other people with different backgrounds teaches your child that the world does not revolve around them. They will learn how to make friends with people who are not like them, which broadens their horizons. They expand their circle of friends and become more confident in communication with others through the social programs at summer camp.

Camp is a fun and exciting experience for your child. Enroll them at Zodiac Day Camp to help them discover their passion, learn new life skills and make lifelong friends.

What to Bring to Day Camp

Camp is all about fun, adventure and learning. In order to participate in the different activities and maximize the experience, campers should be prepared and must pack accordingly.

Day Camps, like Zodiac, have a list of things campers should include when packing. These are:

  1. Nutritious lunch

It is agreeable that every camper bring his/her lunch, unless the day camp offers a lunch service. Bring something that is packed with vitamins and nutrients so that you will have the energy to go through the activities for the day. In Zodiac, campers have the Lunch Program, and campers who have registered no longer need to pack their lunch.

  1. Change of clothes

Day camps have a lot of activities that exercise the mind and the body. While having fun, campers may encounter circumstances that require them to change clothes. Also, younger children are better not exposed to sweat for their well-being. Changing clothes after some intense playtime or activities is ideal, especially to the young ones.

  1. Sunscreen

When you go swimming or just plan to take a rest on the poolside, sunscreen will be your shield to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Sunscreen greatly lessens the possibility of having sunburns, so let this be your best buddy.

  1. Sunhat

The sun’s glare could really distract your eyes. Bringing a sunhat would not only protect your eyes and head from the sun; it could also give a nice boost to your get up.

  1. Running shoes

Day camps require a lot of running around. Shoes take you places, but running shoes will take you farther and quicker. You can prevent a lot of injuries by using running shoes than sneakers or other footwear. That is why packing with your running shoes is always a must.

  1. Bathing suit/towel/bathing Cap

Swimming activities are involved in day camps. Having these in your knapsack is a no-brainer. These will help you perform better and swim smoothly in the pool.

  1. Water bottle

It is important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Campers should never forget their water bottles. Here’s a quick tip: Freeze your water the night before your day camp and wrap it in tin foil as you go. This will keep your water cold for the day.

  1. Clothing for inclement weather

You never know when the weather’s going to change. It might be all sunny in the morning and rainy the whole afternoon, or it might get very cold sometime that day. The weather is unpredictable, so it is only best you prepare ahead.

  1. Bug repellant (optional)

You never know what bugs you will encounter for the day. Having a bug repellant ready will protect the children from acquiring bug-related infections or diseases.

  1. Zodiac knapsack (optional)

Be proud of being a Zodiac Camper. Using the knapsack makes it easier for the staff to recognize campers and the camp they are participating in.

Campers should always be prepared. Make sure you check all the things you pack before you go as you don’t want to miss any if you want to have a really good time. Pack right, and you’ll have no problems for the rest of the day.

Talking About Camp to First-time Campers

Is your child reluctant to join camp? It is normal to feel nervous about something like going to summer camp as it exposes your child to a different environment outside the comforts of home. There are a few things you talk about with your child before deciding camp begins.

Summer Camp Fun Activities

To get your child excited, talk about the activities that he or she can do while at camp. Discuss the different sports such as swimming, basketball, volleyball, biking, wall climbing and others. These discussions will get your kid excited about the things they will do. It also helps them visualize all the fun they will have during camp.

Take your child to the campgrounds to give them a glimpse of the things they can do. Sampling the sports will pique their interest and will leave them wanting more once they leave the premises.

After the visit, keep mentioning the activities to enforce the positive experience your child felt while visiting camp.

The Friends Your Child Will Make

Focusing on the activities is good, but discussing the new people and friends your child will make, makes them more excited about going to camp. There are kids who are shy and need a boost of confidence to muster enough courage to make friends with others.

Encourage your child to talk with fellow campers by discussing how friendly other people are and that making new friends broadens their horizons. Camp activities are a great way to break the ice among a shy groups of kids. The different sports give children an opportunity to bond over an activity they love.

The Things Your Child Will Bring

Once your child is excited about camp because of your talk about the activities and new friends, it is time to discuss the things he or she will bring.

Whether it is overnight or day camp, your child will be out of the house for most of the day. It is important that they bring the necessities such as a change of clothes, toiletries and items they need for the activities they will participate in. They will be responsible for themselves and their things during their stay at camp. Label clothes and other items to avoid misplacing or losing them.

How Excited You Are for Them

Reinforcing to your child that you fully support this decision would make them feel more confident about not being at home. Let them know that their time at camp doesn’t just benefit them but it also makes you, as a parent, happy to see them grow and develop.

Discussing these things with a first-time camper reduces nervousness and excites them about the upcoming camp activities.

Summer Camp Leadership Prepares Teens for College

Camps have always been associated with learning and freedom. There are many things one can learn from camp experiences. Camps help children develop different skills that are needed for college life. It may be safe to say that summer camps are preparatory opportunities for teenagers.

Responsibility, independence and interdependence are just some of the greater lessons one can learn in summer camps. Children have to live on their own and therefore, have to do chores that they may not be doing at home. At the same time, they also share responsibilities with their fellow campers, honing their social skills. Summer camp training allows children to experience how life will be like when they set off to college and live on their own.  

Summer camp also helps bring out a child’s individuality. It provides an experience where teenagers can act without their parents, and therefore, can discover themselves without someone looking over their shoulder and telling them what to do. But with this freedom, they are also trained to be responsible for their every action. This scenario is very much reflective of college life. Through camp activities, teenagers learn the weight of their decisions and actions, not only for themselves, but also how it affects the people around them.

Camp activities also hone one’s decision-making and communication skills. When they start to learn how they can affect the people around them and the circumstances that may occur, they become more aware of which decisions will be better for the majority. This skill gives them the edge to be leaders in the future. While they develop their decision-making skills, they are also enhancing their problem-solving capabilities.

Camp activities also help children develop their communication skills. Leaders have to be good communicators and summer camps provide an opportunity for such. Camp activities allow children to effectively connect and converse with a wide variety of people, from their fellow campers, to their counselors, and to the rest of the camp staff. This gives them a venue to be more aware of how other people think and act, and how to respond to these situations. This makes them more emotionally aware and this can help them immensely as they go through with college life and life after that.

College life is never easy, but it can be made easier by preparing your child and equipping them with the right skill sets they need as they venture through these different life stages. Summer camps, like Zodiac, offer this privilege to teenagers to discover themselves, and to grow with the experience. We have many children and teenagers joining the Zodiac Camp who were very happy with their summer camp experience and we believe that they have developed strong physical, emotional and social skills that will help them tackle the challenges that college life may bring.