MONROE COUNTY -- Every summer, people hand in thousands of job applications all throughout the Poconos. From resorts and water parks to public pools and everything in between, it's an all-hands-on-deck operation.
If you've ever visited the Poconos, you're more than well aware that summer is a busy time. Between hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, golfing, and more -- fun in the sun opportunities are almost endless, but did you ever wonder about the work that goes into making all this fun possible?
Those operations would be impossible without the employees that keep the day-to-day activities going. With the thousands of applications submitted for summer jobs, I decided to get my hands into some of the most popular ones.
Speaking of popularity -- lifeguarding is at the top of the list!
"My job is probably one of the more important jobs," said lifeguard Antonios Stylianides. "You have to keep everyone safe in the pool, make sure no one is drowning. It's really important in that sense."
Hundreds of lifeguards are needed in the Poconos. It's not a job you can dive into without proper training, though.
"I had to do a 300. I had to swim from the shallow end to the deep end and dive down and get the brick and then carry it on my back and kick," said Kelsey Deschriver, a lifeguard in training. Then I did, we treaded water for two minutes with no hands."
I also tried the training. Keyword: tried.
Diving for bricks in nine feet of water took a few tries to perfect. Plus, there was a backstroke back to land with the 10-pound brick.
Add in the water treading for two minutes, and it's abundantly clear I would never be able to save someone's life.
While lifeguarding is popular from the smallest of pools to the largest of resorts, even more gigs are up for grabs at the big employers.
Many land lovers find their way to food service at places like Camelback Mountain Resort.
This time around, I was able to keep up with the work -- and in the summertime, there's plenty of it, both inside the lodge or outside at the waterpark.
"It's all hands on deck. We go into our summer time and it's super busy," said A.J. Stack, the event manager at Camelback Mountain Resort. "We need all the help we can get, so we've got great jobs for college kids because they are home all summer."
If food isn't your thing, you can always try keeping things clean.
There are plenty of jobs to choose from at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort near Marshalls Creek. Housekeeping is another popular job, and it's no easy task. It takes a lot to go inside and clean rooms. One housekeeper alone can clean up to 15 rooms a day, which includes making the beds.
"I'm looking for someone who is very serious about working. They need to commit to working weekends and holidays because that is when our busiest time is," said Linda Hester, the executive housekeeper. "You just can't work here Monday through Friday. People check out at 11 and we have to have the rooms done at 4 so you can see it's a big production."
What's a trip to an Inn and Golf Resort without a round on the links?
Caddying is another popular job, so we went to Great Bear Golf Club -- Shawnee's sister property -- to check it out.
Cleaning clubs, wiping down carts, those are just a few daily tasks I got my hands on.
"Seasonal staff is vital to our operation. Our prime months are the summer months when students are out of school, college kids come home from semester break and they are really important to our hiring," said Joe Manley of Great Bear Golf Club.
Maintaining the course is also vital. And of course, the crew had no qualms about handing me a shovel to go to work.
"A vital part of any golf course is aeration and you got to clean up some aeration plugs," Manley added. "Having that staff available during the summer months is vital to the operation."
Bottom line? A lot of work, but plenty to do out there for people looking to make an extra buck and have a little fun this summer.