Learn why Hunter Ignasiak, Pool Manager, appreciates working with kids and families, how she plans on leading the pool team this upcoming summer and find out what a hidden talent of hers is.
Where did your love for the pool come from?
From a very early age, my life has been filled with the smell of chlorine. My childhood summers were spent at the pool and slowly I got into competitive swimming. After swim lessons at a club pool, I began swimming for the Rockford Riptide Community Swim Team where I developed a love for the pool and the sport of swimming.
Eventually, I also got into water polo. Through water polo and swimming, I have met some of my closest friends and made countless memories. I could not imagine my life without those memories, accomplishments, life lessons and tough times that built character. My time in the pool has played a large part in making me who I am today and I could not imagine who I would be without it.
What brought you to Egypt Valley?
Katie Clarin was my middle school swim coach and high school water polo coach. She was the pool manager here at that time, so I would hear her occasionally talk about Egypt Valley and how great it was. The pool staff at that time was mostly Rockford swimmers, polo players, and divers. I wanted to be a part of what sounded like an awesome environment, with my friends as coworkers, so I applied!
What do you appreciate most about working with kids and families?
I have always been incredibly passionate about working with children, spending time with them, and helping them grow. Combining that with my love for the pool and swimming makes this job a dream come true.
I appreciate so many things that come with working with kids and families, but a few things especially make me love my job every day. I love the relationships I have built with the kids and their parents over the past five years. Last year, as I was opening the pool, I’ll never forget spotting a member that I had not seen since the previous summer. She ran up to me with excitement to give me the biggest hug while she headed out to golf with her family. I can recall countless memories like these that warm my heart. The connections I’ve made with the families at Egypt Valley mean the world to me.
Additionally, I love swimming and I love teaching kids how to swim. Being able to work with kids and help them with my knowledge of swimming has been such an amazing opportunity. The look on the face of a child and their parents when they make a big accomplishment is simply priceless. Helping the swimmers accomplish amazing things and seeing their reactions—I wouldn’t trade that for the world. It brings me great joy to see their successes and excitement, along with knowing I can contribute to that in some way.
Lastly, watching kids enjoy themselves at the pool and spend time with their friends makes me appreciate the opportunity to work at this amazing place. It makes me so happy to see the families and kids at Egypt Valley beginning to develop the same love of the pool that I have, as well as building relationships just like the ones I had as a kid. I hope that my influence will add even the slightest bit to their summer and experience at Egypt Valley.
As you lead the pool team this summer, what can members expect to see that might be different from previous years?
Although I love Egypt Valley just the way it is, this summer I am very excited to implement a few things for the betterment of the pool.
First, I would like to increase the amount of sanitation done down at the pool. Following the recent outbreak of COVID-19, it is increasingly important to keep our families safe and healthy. With the help of our pool staff, we will be making a few changes to help ensure that everyone is in a clean and safe environment.
In addition to increased sanitation due to COVID-19, we may see more of a focus on activities and entertainment for our younger members. We would like to begin seeing our lifeguards as more than just pool staff, but also activity staff! In case there are still restrictions this summer due to the pandemic, we would still love to keep our families entertained. The majority of my focus is currently placed on preparations for how to most effectively serve the members of Egypt Valley with potential changes we must make due to COVID-19.
As a new manager, I know I have big shoes to fill. However, I am so excited to take on my new role and bring a new spirit to the pool. I would like to make Egypt Valley’s pool more than just a place to swim. Although our facilities are beautiful, I am here for the members to make the pool a place to build community, and I will be there to serve the members with whatever they need. Overall, I am hoping to be hands-on and be available to the members whenever needed, along with solving any potential issues with efficiency and agility.
What is your most-used emoji and why?
My most used emoji is 😂 because I am always laughing at something. My friends never fail to keep me on my toes!
What’s one of your hidden talents that most members would be surprised to learn about you?
I live up to my name! I am a deer and turkey hunter. My family owns property in Big Rapids where we build our own hunting blinds, plant food plots and trees, and hunt! My dad and I frequently visit our local shooting range to practice our shot, as well. I have been lucky enough to have harvested a total of five deer in my life. In addition to spending time with my dad, hunting also produces some very tasty dinners for my myself and my family.