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The California State Parks Junior Lifeguard Program is utilizing a new registration system, ReserveCalifornia, which is also utilized by State Parks for camping reservations and tours! In order to register for the JG Program, please follow the below steps before enrolling:

Step 1: Create an account on Reserve California

Step 2: follow the below to add dependents to your profile

Step 3: Search for the activity you wish to enroll in and register


You can also download the above instructions here: Setting Up Your Dependents in Reserve California info sheet

If you have any questions regarding setting up your account on ReserveCalifornia, please contact the ReserveCalifornia Contact Center at 1-800-444-7275, 8am-6pm (Pacific Standard Time).


New Participants:

To enroll, first-time Junior Lifeguards must:

1. You MUST register online prior to attending the tryout! Please make sure you are signing up for the correct session category (beach, session, and age group). We will not be held responsible for registration errors!

2. Complete the tryout at Cabrillo College. Applicants ages 9-15 must be able to swim freestyle stroke 100 yds continuously, swim 10 yds under water and tread water for three minutes. Applicants ages 6-8 must be able to swim freestyle stroke 50 yds continuously, swim 10 yds under water, and tread water for three minutes.Please make sure your child has these skills before signing them up. If your child does not pass the test, we will issue a full refund minus any processing fees. However, refunds can take up to six months.

Returning Participants:

For returning families, simply click on the online registration link and you’ll be taken to ReserveCalifornia where you’ll be able to register for Session 1, Session 2 or both! If you participated in the program last year, you will not have to complete the swim test.

Program Fees*:

Each Session cost sessions: $440.00.
There are no discounts for siblings.
Cost Includes: Uniform T-shirt.
*Registration prices are subject to change

The Santa Cruz State Junior Lifeguard Program accepts all major credit or debit cards FOR REGISTRATION ONLY. Uniforms can be purchased via a personal check made out to "California State Parks" or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted for uniform sales).

Tuition assistance is available upon request and must be submitted by the application deadline (go to "Tuition Assistance"). 

If you are interested in making a donation please contact us at (831) 476-4992.

Tryout Information:
The Junior Lifeguard Program is not a “learn to swim” school. Therefore, prospective students are screened at a tryout to see if they have the minimum skills needed to safely participate in and benefit from the Junior Lifeguard Program. The instructors approve a child's skill level based upon successful completion of the test as well as the child's swimming competence and confidence. We reserve the right to refuse admittance if it is felt a student will adversely affect the safety and welfare of themselves and/or others in the program. All new students must successfully complete the testing process to be eligible for the program (NO EXCEPTIONS).

Click To View Tryout Information


Uniform pickup and sales will be available at the tryout location on both tryout dates and the Friday prior to each session, at Lifeguard Headquarters (665 14th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062).
Uniform items can be paid with a check or by Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit cards (checks made out to: California State Parks)

Click To View Junior Lifeguard Uniform Information