One of the cool things about working in park operations is that you get to travel a little during the off-season. A couple of conferences here and training symposiums there and you get the opportunity to “hit the road” a few times each winter. It’s a nice privilege.
This Saturday marks the start of our annual Waterpark safety training week, held every January in Phoenix, AZ. And after the cold December we just had, a little desert warmth is just what this “northern boy” needs. The conference is called the “International Aquatic Safety School”, or as my fiancé calls it…adult camp.
So for 8 days, I get to spend 13 hour days with 175 of some of the best and most passionate Waterpark colleagues from across the globe. Throughout the week, we all get to spend some time in the pool together, learning the latest lifeguarding skills and techniques. There are also numerous classroom sessions scheduled. And finally, and most important, we get to network and talk. Talk about any hot operational topic that us Waterpark operators are facing these days. We discuss issues ranging from maintenance to staff incentive programs to lifeguard scheduling and training. Sharing ideas and thoughts are the best part about the week. Many operational “best practices” come out of this week long “camp”.
And while the days are long, and at weeks end you are on the brink of exhaustion, it is one of the highlights of my off-season. The week charges my batteries and reminds me why I do what I do. The passion of some of the folks in aquatics and waterparks is unmatched and it is humbling to be able to spend a week with these folks. People who work in Waterparks are truly unique.
Hopefully the Phoenix weather is nice, and the speakers are good. I am ready to take some notes… off to camp I go…