All new participants and previous Junior Guards who did not participate in a State Program last summer must complete the swim test requirement before registering.

Participants may register online on the state parks website after successfully completing the swim test. 

More information about the Junior Lifeguard Program is available on the State Park website. There is also a section on the website regarding ocean safety.

(Photo: courtesy CA State Parks)
Qualification trials are held at the HMB High School (Photo: courtesy CA State Parks)
(Photo: Courtesy CA State Parks)

The program is a combination of learning, exercise, and fun. A typical day starts with stretches and an assessment of the current ocean conditions. The day’s events can include run-swim-runs, buoy swims, boogie boarding, body surfing, lectures on topics such as lifeguard skills (rescues and first aid), and shoreline games and activities. These events are aimed to educate each Junior Guard on how to maneuver the ever changing ocean conditions, the importance of a daily workout, and maximizing the enjoyment of living on the coastside.

Junior Lifeguards may re-apply and return to the program in future summers. Junior Lifeguards with a passion for the out-of-doors can begin considering a career with State Parks by graduating to be Youth Aides. These Youth Aides, ages 15 to 17, assist the Coordinators in running the program but also receive universal and lifeguard specific job skills training. In addition to gaining more skills, they will also secure community service credits for their high school diploma requirements.