In the Swim of Things

by John Timko, Sports Editor
graphics by Adrienne Lirio

Sammy McClintock, Brae Burn Country Club

photo contributed by Sammy McClintock

A competitive swimmer for Crimson Aquatics, Sammy McClintock stayed by the pool this summer, working as a lifeguard and swim instructor at Brae Burn Country Club.  She said her inspiration to try lifeguarding came from her swim club teammates, many of whom are lifeguards as well.

“Being a lifeguard is a really good job because you get to use your strengths — it’s important to be a strong swimmer to be a lifeguard,” she said.

She said the job was straightforward and relaxing, as there was plenty of break time to swim with other lifeguards in between her shifts watching the pool.

“It’s a really positive working environment. Everyone there is super friendly, and it’s a very chill place to work,” she said.

As a swim instructor, McClintock taught younger kids new swimming skills and even helped some overcome their fear of the water.

“It’s really rewarding when you teach a kid something new and help them be more confident in the water,” she said.

Lifeguarding this summer allowed McClintock to be outside during warm summer days and soak in the sunshine and fresh air. Despite the extended periods of time sitting in her lifeguard chair, she said that if someone is looking to spend time outside and hang out with friends next summer, lifeguarding is the way to go.

Maya Jha, Paddle Boston

On a warm summer day at Paddle Boston, Maya Jha helps customers board and unboard canoes on the Charles River. She hauls the canoes from their storage racks to the water and back again when customers return. 

Ironically, Jha’s summer job opportunity came about from her winter sport.

”Paddle Boston and the Weston Ski Track are connected, and I do Nordic skiing,” she said. “So I was on the Weston Ski Track’s email list, and I got an email that they were hiring.”

This summer was Jha’s second at Paddle Boston. She worked at Nahanton Park, one of Paddle Boston’s smaller locations, with only four or five colleagues at a time. She said that while the majority of employees are college students, a large number of South students work at Paddle Boston as well.

“The people there are always super fun,” she said. “Especially on the weekdays when nobody comes in. You basically just get paid to hang out with people … It’s literally camp, but you get paid.”

One downside of the job is the frequent close encounters with critters, which Jha said contributed to her eventual decision to quit.

 “They have these massive spiders,” she said. “They’re wolf spiders, and they’re absolutely terrifying.”

This summer, Jha also worked at J.P. Licks in Newton Centre, opening and closing shifts, which allowed her to fit both jobs into her schedule. By lifting canoes all day, Jha said her physical strength improved. Although she often deals with massive lines at J.P. Licks, high traffic is not as much of a problem at Paddle Boston, where there are fewer customers. Jha said that while both jobs are fairly similar, she recommends Paddle Boston as a more laid-back opportunity.