Parent Handbook


Exceptions to normal program hours will be announced for field trips and other special events.

It is the sole responsibility of each parent or guardian to insure safe travel for his or her child to and from the Junior Lifeguard Program. California State Parks and the Junior Lifeguard Program are not responsible for students outside of scheduled program hours and activities. The Program does not certify parent carpools. The only Program provided transportation is by licensed commercial carriers hired by the Program for group travel to special activities.

Parents are expected to be prompt at dropping-off and picking-up their Junior Lifeguards. Parents are responsible for their children immediately prior to and immediately following scheduled program hours.


The Junior Lifeguard Program is not a "learn-to-swim" school. Therefore, prospective students are screened at a tryout test to see if they have the minimum skills to benefit from the Junior Lifeguard Program. The instructors approve a child's skill level based upon successful completion of the test and on the child's swimming competence and confidence. The tryout test consists of:

  • Swim 100 yards in less than 3 minutes.
  • Swim 10 yards underwater.
  • Tread water for 3 minutes.


All returning Junior Lifeguards may skip the tryout testing. Parents or guardians must check the TRYOUT WAIVER OPTION box on the application requesting that their child not tryout this year. By checking this box the parent or guardian is certifying that their child is physically fit to participate in the Junior Lifeguard Program this summer.

All new students must successfully complete the testing process.


For the Junior Lifeguard Program to be successful, students must exhibit behavior that is respectful of our staff, other students, our equipment and facilities. Group activities are vital to our program. A student that is disruptive to group activities and disrespectful to instructors diminishes the enjoyment and education of the other students.

The intent of discipline is to instruct the student so as to gain compliance with acceptable behavior norms. Therefore, please familiarize your Junior Lifeguard with the following expected behaviors:

  • Arrive on time and be promptly picked up from the program.
  • Respect the Instructors and other staff.
  • Respect other students: no shoving, hitting or name-calling.
  • Respect and protect the facilities, equipment and property of others.
  • Cooperate with others.
  • Practice good sportsmanship.
  • Follow all safety rules and all instructions.
  • Listen quietly to directions / announcements.
  • Participate in regular program activities.

The progressive steps of discipline are as follows:

  1. When a minor discipline situation occurs, the student will be counseled about the situation and given an explanation of what behavior change is expected. 
  1. If a subsequent incident occurs, the student will be asked to take a "TIME OUT" or "TAKE A LAP". A "TIME OUT" is a period of five to ten minutes that the student spends quietly reflecting on the incident. A "TAKE A LAP" is a supervised swim or run of reasonable distance. After the "TIME OUT" or "TAKE A LAP" the student is allowed to rejoin the group activity. 
  1. When a student has a series of "TIME OUT’s” or "TAKE A LAP’s” in the same day or a series of discipline situations over several days, the Lead Instructor will inform the youth's parent or guardian about the situation. 
  1. When a student continually disregards the Instructors or shows little or no improvement with steps 1 through 3, the student will be suspended from the program for one day. The parent or guardian of the student will be informed that the student has been suspended. There will be no prorated refund of fees. 
  1. If after suspension the student's behavior is still not acceptable, the parent or guardian of the student will be informed that the student may no longer attend any of the program's activities. There will be no refund of fees.

Major first time incidents may progress the student directly to step 4 or step 5 of the above procedures. Major incidents would include:

  • Ditching the program.
  • Insubordination.
  • Fighting with another student or other person.
  • Unlawful or non-consensual touching of another person.
  • Stealing the property of another.
  • Vandalism of equipment or facilities.
  • Throwing rocks at other students, wildlife or property of others.
  • Other conduct, which brings disrespect on the Junior Lifeguard Program or the State of California.


Attendance is taken twice daily. We would appreciate being notified if your child will be absent. Please phone the Junior Lifeguard Office between 8:00 and 8:45 a.m. at 643-5003.


Students are encouraged to participate in all regular program activities. The younger, smaller students may not have the same opportunities as the older students to utilize equipment that requires body weight and strength. If you have questions, please see one of the lead instructors.


  • If a participant fails to pass the swim test, a full refund will be issued.
  • If a participant must cancel for any reason prior to 7 calendar days of the start date of the training a $50.00 cancellation fee will apply.
  • If a participant must drop out of the training for any reason within 7 calendar days after the training has started a 50% refund will be issued.
  • If a participant must drop out of the training after 7 calendar days of the start date of the training no refund will be issued.
  • If a participant is injured while participating in the training a pro-rated refund will be issued based on the number of training days that were started.
  • No refund will be issued to any participant that is suspended or expelled from training for disciplinary reasons.
  • There is no refund for uniform items.


If your child or the child of someone you know cannot participate in the Junior Lifeguard Program without assistance, please contact us for a Tuition Assistance Application.

Tuition assistance is first-come-first-served during the regular program enrollment periods. Tuition assistance is only available to students for one session per program year and priority will be given to first time applicants.

If you or your business has the means to make a tax-exempt donation to the CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION, TUITION ASSISTANCE FUND, please call the Junior Lifeguard Office.


Uniforms are Not included in program fees.

Student's required uniform (available at the tryouts and during the program)

Boys: Blue swim trunks and white T-shirt.

Girls: Blue tank type swimsuit and white T-shirt.

 Student optional uniform items 

Various optional Junior Lifeguard logo items are available through the Ventura Jr. Guard Student Store. Optional items include, sweat shirts, rashguards, etc. 


Assistants are identified by their distinctive yellow swim trunks. 


Instructors are distinguished from Assistants and students by their official California State Park red Lifeguard swim trunks, suits and Lifeguard patch. 


We are looking for youths who are turning 16 this year or older who would like to participate in the Junior Lifeguard Assistant Program. Junior Lifeguard Assistants help the instructors with various tasks from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Following the regular program hours, the Junior Lifeguard Assistants receive lifeguard specific and universal job skills training.

In past years, the Junior Lifeguard Assistant Program has successfully prepared young people for seasonal lifeguard employment. Interested youths should contact the Jr Lifeguard Office in the beginning of April. You must 16 years old to be paid.


We ask that you notify Carrie Johnson at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program if your student desires special accommodations or services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The California State Junior Lifeguard Program admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students through the program. The state does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, athletic and other program administered activities.