Babysitter Bootcamp Helps Green Country Teens Learn And Earn

Wednesday, March 16th 2011, 5:59 pm
By: News On 6

Carrie Netherton,

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Teenagers have a few more days to have a little fun away from school. Some of them are spending their spring break learning how to become better babysitters at Babysitter Bootcamp.

At the American Red Cross Babysitter Bootcamp, a room full of teenagers learn how to be better babysitters - using some realistic looking babies.

"It's cool that when you push on their chest and back it looks and sounds like they're breathing," said Sara Wright, a 12-year-old attending the camp. She plans to babysit a 2-year-old.

"I already knew the basics, but I want to learn more about how to save him in case anything went bad," she said.

Joshua Gonzales is one of the boys in the class. He watches over three younger sisters and sees an opportunity to make money.

"Well I just want to learn how to be a good babysitter, so I could get some good CPR and befriend a few kids so I could get a little jingle in my pocket," Joshua said.

The teens learn basic first aid, including how to remove objects lodged in a baby's throat. Instructors also help teens think through scenarios they may face.

"What would you do if your brother feel out of a tree, and you knew his arm was broken?" asked Red Cross instructor Kaylene Keener. "What would you do first? What would you do second?

They practice CPR with each other – and it makes them a little nervous.

"Just knowing that a kid could do that and if a kid were to do that - you just get scared," Sara said.

Besides learning CPR, the teenagers learn about the business side of babysitting, including building a resume and creating contacts so they can babysit some real babies.

Parents feel better knowing their child's babysitter - or older sibling - has better training. Teens, like Sara and Joshua, have more confidence.

"If someone starts choking, then I can help them and possibly save a life," said Joshua Gonzales, a teen attending the Red Cross Babysitter Bootcamp.

The American Red Cross is hosting another Babysitter Bootcamp Thursday. The cost is $75, and spots are still available. There are also "one-day training camps" offered once a month for $45.

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