Get to know our volunteer, Andrew Douglas!
He joined us on our international lifeguard exchange to Chile! And he’s a senior at Clemson University in South Carolina, majoring in Marketing and Spanish & International Trade.
What is your favorite beach in the world?
I have been to many beaches. None compare to the clean water and white sand in Ocean City, especially considering all that there is to do in the town. Everyone takes a lot of pride in the beach to keep it clean and beautiful. Long Beach Island, NJ will always be one of my favorite beaches because that is where I went every summer as a kid with my family.
I really enjoyed my time in Chile with ISLA because it was the first time I ever got to go in the Pacific Ocean. The geography of the beaches in Chile are much different because they are more mountainous. The beaches I am used to are barrier islands.
When did you start lifeguarding?
I was always a pool rat over the summer as I grew up. I knew I wanted to best summer job around as soon as I was old enough. I began lifeguarding at my local pool, where I worked for four years. One of my best friends and coworkers decided to do Beach Patrol one summer. When I visited him, there was no doubt that I was going to join him in Ocean City the next year.
How did you first get started with ISLA?
The same friend, Colin, found out about ISLA. We planned on doing a trip together, but he decided to continue his work with Students Helping Honduras. I was still interested, so I looked into the trip to Chile.
What interested you most about ISLA?
It was a unique experience to travel, to lifeguard, and to practice Spanish.
What is the best beach food?
In Ocean City:
Breakfast: Fractured Prune (28th Street)
Lunch: Belly Busters (45th Street)
Dinner: Macky’s (54th Street)
Favorite beach music?
I usually sing to myself in the stand (anything and everything that pops into my head). Batteries for my radio were too expensive. However, I used to stand up and dance with the guards to my north and south every time Call Me Maybe came on the radio
Sports, Working out, TV series, School, Traveling
Adventures of Huck Finn
Dave Matthews Band
Baseball and Water Polo
Favorite thing about lifeguarding?
I love the responsibility. I was in a position of authority on the beach at age 19. People really look up to the lifeguards, and they are very appreciative for everything we do. A bonus would be the blonde hair that all my friends at school think is fake when I return after a full summer.
Favorite piece of rescue equipment?
Buoy. It is basically the only thing we use. It also makes me feel like I am on Baywatch.
How will you continue to prevent drowning?
At OCBP, our mission is Education, Prevention, and Intervention. Ideally, we would never have to intervene. I believe in this mission, and I will practice it throughout my life.
I believe that someday, our public school system should teach kids how to swim. This would be costly and time consuming, but I think it is important. An easier option would be to simply teach kids about the ocean (since many learn to swim outside of school). This could be done with the Physical Education and Science teachers teaming up. This knowledge is essential. Just because you know how to swim does not mean you know how to swim in the ocean. Since I started working at the beach, it has become very obvious and scary to see how many people do not know what they are doing. That is why we educate in Ocean City, but we can only reach a limited audience.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Creature of Routine
Want to join our team?
We’re looking to add more people to our volunteer team. Are you someone with the desire to travel the world? Someone passionate about helping others? Are you interested in volunteering for an organization that changes the lives of thousands of people around the world?