California State Parks has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Junior Lifeguard Program as the state continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Participants who have signed up for the program are being notified and refunds will be provided automatically.
For more than 50 years, the Junior Lifeguard Program has emphasized teamwork, leadership and aquatic safety while introducing young people, ages 9 to 16, to safe marine and aquatic recreation opportunities. The State of California values programs such as this one, but it is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the junior lifeguards, their families and program instructors. State Parks will consult with public safety partners and health experts on how to move forward with the 2021 program.
Follow State Parks on social media - Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – or visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for the most up-to-date information on how the department is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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. 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.
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.
Each Session cost sessions: $440.00.
There are no discounts for siblings.
Cost Includes: Uniform long sleeved t-shirt.
*Registration prices are subject to change
The Santa Cruz State Junior Lifeguard Program accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit or debit cards only for registration. 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.
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 both tryout dates and the Saturday 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)