Joining the ranks of other popular summer camps at the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, a program set out to train young lifeguards is making a debut at the Y this summer.

With kids of all ages flocking to neighborhood and public pools every summer to cool down, the local YMCA knows how important water safety is during the season.

“We take being around water very seriously around here,” said Vikee Diaz, childcare director.

The YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane, will be training 12 to 15 year olds in water safety and swim lessons for four weeks in June and July for the Jr. Lifeguards program.

Jr. Lifeguards is the first of its kind for the YMCA in Ahwatukee Foothills.

With about 40 youth already signed up, Diaz hopes it continues to grow.

“We’re very excited because it’s also about teaching them leadership skills,” Diaz said.

Along with the lifeguard program, the YMCA will be offering its traditional summer camp from May 28 to Aug. 2. Other programs include the Adventures part-day camp and the Movin’ On Teen Adventures specialized for young teenagers.

With the lifeguards program, Diaz also said it’s practical experience for a future job in water safety.

“With these teen camps, it really hits their needs and interests,” said Diaz. “It gives them flexibility, but not so much that we can’t lead them.”

For more information about the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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