Landing a summer job — any job — is a rite of passage for many teenagers.
Capt. Neill Frame, 72, who navigates the 75-foot wooden tour boat Walworth II as a mail delivery boat on Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva, is offering one that has local teens jumping at the competition.
Nine high school and college-age applicants tried out last week to be one of this year's mail jumpers. The jumpers crew the Walworth II and deliver the mail and newspapers from June 15 to Sept. 15 to as many as 70 lake house residents on Lake Geneva.
What makes this mail route unique is not simply that the mail is delivered by boat, but also that the boat does not stop moving.
Frame navigates the more than 60-ton boat close enough to the piers for the mail jumper to leap from the moving boat to the stationary pier. The jumper then has to run to the mailbox, drop off and pick up the mail and then run and leap the 3 to 4 feet back onto the moving boat. The boat keeps moving for safety, not for an extra challenge, Frame told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Slowing down is sometimes a fatal mistake," he warns his applicants. "You all of the sudden can't jump as far as you thought you could."