Bismarck’s outdoor pools a family tradition for Rusch siblings

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 3:56 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - If you’ve been to one of Bismarck’s three outdoor pools anytime in the past 20 years, there’s a good chance one of the Rusch siblings was there, too.

From kids making daily trips to swim, to teenagers working concessions and lifeguarding, to young adults moving up to manager roles, the Rusch kids have truly grown up at the pools.

Their story is that of a childhood well spent.

Welcome to Lexie and Rachel Rusch’s summer home.

“I lifeguarded here for three years and this is my third summer as manager,” said Lexie Rusch.

“I worked concessions the front desk for a year and I’ve been a lifeguard for the past four years,” said her sister, Rachel.

Some of their best summer memories are preserved in these photos that hang in the guard room at the Elks pool. Their pool days started long before they began working here though.

Lexie and Rachel Rusch
Lexie and Rachel Rusch(Shellie Rusch)

“Every day in the summers my siblings and I would go to Hillside pool,” recalled Lexie.

“We were always at the pool every single day,” added Rachel.

The six Rusch siblings looked up to the lifeguards.

“The lifeguards were always super cool when we were kids,” Lexie remembered.

They never dreamed they’d one day be the ones with the whistles though, until their brother Tanner became a lifeguard.

“When my brother did it was like, oh that is so cool I want to do that too,” said Lexie.

“It just kind of became a thing where I was like, ‘Oh, obviously, that’s what I’m going to do,’” said Rachel.

Five of the six Rusch siblings have worked at Bismarck’s outdoor pools. Lexie and Rachel are the last two here. The sisters say there’s nowhere they’d rather spend their summers.

“This is something that’s been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Rachel.

“I really think there couldn’t be a better job than being a lifeguard especially when you’re in high school. It’s a really great way to get out and make new friends,” said Lexie.

New friends and great memories they’ll treasure long after their pool days over.

This is Lexie’s last summer working at the pool. She graduated from NDSU last spring and will start her career as a music teacher in the fall. She’ll be teaching in Rugby.

Rachel graduated high school in May. She says she’ll probably be back at the pool next summer, maybe even as a manager.

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