FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start to summer as hundreds of community members splished, splashed, dove and swam at the Outdoor Pool, which opened Saturday.

"It got crowded, but the wind took over," said Spc. Sean McCarthy, lifeguard.

A Soldier with the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, McCarthy estimated that as many as 70 swimmers crowded the pool during its busiest time Monday.

More than 200 community members visited the pool throughout the day.

Trained lifeguards, made up of Soldiers and pool employees, trained for two months on CPR
skills, basic first aid and "back boarding" victims with potential spinal cord injuries, all in preparation for the swimming season.

"If we do our jobs right, we don't have to (use this training)," said Pfc. Casey Milsop, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

As the lifeguards stood watch, water bugs took advantage of the water slides and played games.

"We're playing water tag," said Christian Mortonn, 8, as he adjusted his goggles and snorkel gear.

Before swimming away to tackle his friend, Christian said swimming was his favorite part of the day.

In the wading pools, twins Cayden and Kaleigha Elledge, 2, cautiously entered the water, splashing each other.

"This is our first time swimming this year," said Erin Elledge, Cayden and Kaleigha's mother. "She loves the water."

Like many parents, Erin Elledge kept watch over her children as she soaked up the sun from her lounge chair. Others avoided the sun at all costs.

"I'm always in the shade," said Chris Graham, as she sat in the shaded area covered in towels. "I went to (Elitch Gardens) Friday and got burned so I'm not taking chances."

At the diving boards Spc. David Leopold, 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, launched himself off of the three-meter springboard Monday, performing aerial flips and twists as he dove into the water.

"I'm just relaxing and enjoying the day," he said.

Not to be outshone, Hailey Saiver, 8, also performed tricks off the high dive.

"I'm scared to do a back flip, but I want to real bad," she said.

Jakob Sandow, 6, put his tumbling techniques to work as he performed flips off of the one-meter springboard as his mother, Kris Sandow, watched nearby.

"He was 3 and wanted to go off the high dive," she said. "I just said go for it."

Dressed in Angry Bird swim trunks, Jakob performed dive after dive for his audience.

"My favorite is the 'Torpedo,'" he said. "That's when you spin so quickly, but your feet face the water."

Jakob said his favorite part about coming to the pool was getting to jump off of the diving board.

"It's not scary at all," he said.

Page last updated Thu May 31st, 2012 at 00:00