Beach Day

May 14, 2012
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I never knew that my volunteering service would ever lead to me helping save a stranger's life. I have volunteered at a local summer camp the past few years as a junior counselor. We take a field trip once a week to places where the kids can be active while having fun. Summer of 2009 we headed to the beach, a typically relaxing and beautiful day. I was posted in the ocean with my friend Kiera as a mark which the children could not pass. Everything was under control.

Suddenly, Kiera grabbed my arm and whipped my entire body around. She spoke in whispers, but I could tell she was worried.
"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh." She held her hand over her mouth, the other hand still clenched around me. I saw what she was looking at. A man was floating face up about ten feet away from us, with his eyes fluttering and foam leaving his mouth. We screamed for our head counselor, while starting to drag his body out of the water.

We called for the lifeguards and waited patiently as they performed CPR for what felt like an eternity. I sat with the camp children under a tent; many of them were confused, distraught, and crying in my arms. I explained to all of them that he would be okay, even though I was not sure myself.

Soon, an ambulance arrived and spoke with me. They were going to take him to the hospital because the CPR was not working. As they drove off, many the children began to sob. I tried my best to comfort them, even though I was also on the edge of breaking into tears.

Hours later, the news appeared on scene as well as a lifeguard. They informed me that the man was alive, and wanted to tell me thank you. I was overwhelmed with emotion; I was relieved as well as very proud of myself.

I was unable to be interviewed because of my duty to stay with the children, but I listened and watched as the reporters filmed and spoke with Kiera. She told the news exactly what happened, and the life guard credited us for saving his life, and doing so in a calm manner.

Being able to contribute to the continuous health and life of an individual brought an internal realization to me. I knew suddenly, even at a young age, that I had the ability to impact the lives around me. I constantly have done so through my work at the camp by simply being someone the kids could depend on. A motion as big as helping save someone's life allotted me to realize this. No matter how I am helping serve the camp, or my community in general, I am making an impact. Although he was the one who thanked me, I am forever grateful for this man's place in my life and my consistant camp service.





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