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I want to spend a day on the water, but am not sure how to get started -- can Bridgewater Marina staff help me?

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Sometimes — just sometimes, maybe — when little sisters listen to their big brothers, there’s a real benefit. Ask Larissa Koefer. She’ll tell you all about how big brother Joseph led her to her job at Bridgewater Marina, a job she loves.

Joseph, who is 21 now, started at the Marina five years ago and has never made a secret of how much he likes it. So, when Larissa came of age two years ago, she talked to him about the marina, was impressed and applied for a job. She’s in her second summer now and Joseph is still there this summer, running the boat shop at Smith Mountain Lake State Park for Bridgewater Marina.

“He told me how much fun it was and how much he’s learned about customer service and interaction with people,” says Larissa.

The atmosphere at Bridgewater Marina, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer, has always been one of family, says owner Roy Enslow, and he keeps it youthful with the youngsters who interact with the customers on a daily basis, selling, instructing, coaching and encouraging.

Alaina Anderson says Larissa is “good with customers. She’s been at the lake since she was little and knows the boats. She answers any questions they have. Larissa did staff training for all of us,” and she’s still just 17 years old.

Larissa is a senior at Christian Heritage Academy in Rocky Mount and says she believes the training she’s getting has broad application.

“Customer service is especially challenging,” she says. “But we’re taught how to do it. The staff finds out what our interests are for the future and tries to work with us to develop skills in those areas.”

Larissa works 40 hours a week and finds the job “fulfilling. It’s exciting getting to know people, seeing families go out in our boats.”

While the staff at Bridgewater stays crazy-busy throughout the summer season, there are plenty of people who prefer to be on the water in the spring and fall, when the lake is quieter, the air is cooler and the trees have more color.

Local resident Doris Tice, a self-proclaimed amateur water skier and Sea-Doo driver, prefers “the smooth water when there aren’t many people out on the lake. Also in the fall is the SML Charity Home Tour with access by water or land.”

Larissa and her colleagues at Bridgewater Marina know how to help you have a great day on the lake any time of the year.

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