Lifeguard uses job to enhance skills

At times the job of lifeguard can become mundane.
But Wapakoneta’s Kayla Prater finds the job anything but mundane as she has taken the position as a chance to enhance her communications skills since she has chosen that area as her future profession.
Prater, who began working at the park her sophomore year of high school, has now worked at the Wapakoneta WaterPark for four years and has become a familiar, friendly face to its many patrons over the summer months. She is now beginning her second year at Ohio University working on earning a degree in communications studies.
“It is nice to have the chance to meet a lot of people,” Prater said. “I try to talk to the kids a lot and be friendly. I ask them their name or what grade they are going to be in, who their teacher is going to be.”
Prater earned her lifeguard certification at the YMCA in Wapakoneta, completing training in CPR, AED, first-aid and oxygen training.
The daughter of Kathy and Scott Prater of Wapakoneta, has two siblings, a brother, Brady, 20, and a sister, Kylie, 25. Her mother is a fourth-grade teacher.
Prater said she intends to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2014 and hopes to become a professor in communications studies or even possibly go to law school at The Ohio State University.
She said her job as a lifeguard has prepared her well for both her classwork and the outside world.
“It’s a job where you have to use teamwork and good communication skills,” Prater said. “You have to know who is doing what if a situation should develop. Also it is one of respect. I have learned skills that I will use for a lifetime.”
She said she plans to continue working at the water park during the summer again next year.
She noted some of the best times while working at the park have been the different special events that they have scheduled for the patrons.
“We have had different competitions like a diving competition and a cannonball contest,” Prater said. “It is great when you can make it that much more fun for the patrons. They seem to like it when we have the competitions.”