A lifeguard looks on as Vivian Dreeling, 5, left, plays with her aunt, Danielle Bryant, at right, at Katelman Water Park, 1230 16th Ave., as the city pools open for the season on Saturday. Katelman and Pirate Cove Water Park, 915 N. 21st St.

Kids today — we should be proud of them.

When it appeared that the city wouldn’t have enough lifeguards to open both city pools this summer, local youth answered the call — and then some. So much so, that both of Council Bluffs’ two city water parks were open this weekend and busy, thanks to a late surge in lifeguard applications.

Katelman Water Park, 1230 16th Ave., and Pirate Cove Water Park, 915 N. 21st St., were open Sunday and Memorial Day. Ashley Kruse, the city’s communications officer, said it takes at least 43 full-time employees — including lifeguards, concessions workers and management — to operate both city pools. There are also part-time employees, those who work a few hours a week to make time for other jobs or activities. One element has to be met though: There have to be enough lifeguards to cover all the shifts.

After The Daily Nonpareil and local TV stations publicized the shortage the city had experienced, 63 applications were filed and more are still coming in, Kruse said. In addition, a city staff member had a connection with an Omaha swim coach, who passed the word around, so even kids from Omaha applied.

At a time where our young people are often criticized for being entitled, unindustrious and lazy, let this story be a reminder that not everything is as it seems. It is heartening to know that these young adults saw an opportunity and stepped up — not only to benefit themselves with work experience and a paycheck, but to help the city and its residents as well.

We applaud the initiative of every single applicant. Thank you, lifeguards, for stepping up for our community.

While we’re on the topic of the city pools: Now that there is adequate staffing and they are open, take the time this summer to check them out. Both Katelman and Pirate Cove are excellent aquatic facilities. They are also very affordable and great places to spend a summer day.

Katelman is normally open from noon to 8 p.m. on Mondays, noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and noon to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Admission is $4 during regular hours and $2 on Family Night (Monday 5 to 8 p.m.). A 10-swim punch card is available for $30, and a season pass for one child or adult is $75. A family season pass is $200, which includes up to five immediate family members. Additional family members are $75 each.

Pirate Cove is normally open noon to 6 p.m. on Mondays, noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and noon to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Admission is $4 without water slides and $5 with water slides. A 10-swim punch card (without slides) is $30, and a 10-swim punch card with slides is $40. Prices are the same as Katelman for season passes.

For information on pool parties, call Katelman at 712-328-4939 or Pirate Cove at 712-328-4694.

We appreciate all of the hard work going into maintaining these facilities. Council Bluffs can boast these two pools and their awesome staff members.

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