Silver Strand Junior Guard Parent Handbook

Program Hours

Junior Guard Program hours: 9:00am – 2:00pm (Monday - Friday).

Grom Program hours: 9:00am – 1:00pm (Monday – Friday).

Any exceptions to normal program hours will be announced in advance.



It is the sole responsibility of each parent or guardian to ensure safe travel for his/her child to and from the Junior Lifeguard Program. CA State Parks and the Junior Lifeguard Program are not responsible for participants outside of scheduled program hours. The Program does not certify parent carpools.

Parents or guardians are expected to be prompt at drop-off and pick-up of their Junior Lifeguards. Parents or guardians are responsible for their child/children immediately prior to and immediately following scheduled program hours.

If the Junior Guard participant will be riding their bike to and from the Junior Guard program, the parent/guardian will need to sign a document advising this.

A parking pass will be given to access the park for drop-off and pick-up. The passes can be picked up on the first day of instruction.

The posted speed limit on the frontage road within the state park is 15mph. Do not speed. There are a high concentration of kids in this area, and parking can get congested near the JG designated area.

Please stop at the front entrance kiosk stop sign. If there is a LAZ parking employee present in the kiosk, courteously notify them that you are dropping off or picking up a JG participant. Have your parking pass clearly visible on your dashboard.


Tryout Test

The Junior Lifeguard Program is not a learn-to-swim program; therefore, prospective participants are screened at a tryout test to see if they have the minimum skills to benefit from the Junior Guard Program. The lifeguard instructors/coordinator/supervisor of the program will 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 under a specific time limit based on age.
  • Swim 50 yards (*Grom Program only) under a specific time limit based on age. 
  • Tread water for 3 minutes.
  • Swim 10 yards underwater.



Attendance is taken twice daily (in the morning, and after lunch). If your child is arriving late, walk them out to the beach and personally notify an instructor of their arrival. If you are picking up your child early, you will need to walk out to the beach/bay and check your child out for the day with an instructor. Please advise staff in advance so they can have the child ready.


What to Bring

Junior Lifeguards should be equipped with the following for each day of the program:

  • All mandatory uniform articles (please make sure all articles are clearly marked)
  • Footwear (sandals are okay)
  • Sunscreen (please apply 15 minutes prior to arrival and encourage reapplication)
  • Water
  • Food (lunch and snacks)
  • Towel
  • Bag/backpack to store possession in
  • Swim fins


Group Determination

Initial group assignments will be determined by the participant’s respective age. The three groups of the program consist of the following: C Group (9-11 years old), B Group (12-13 years old), A Group (14-16 years old). Over the course of the first few days of the program, instructors will make an evaluation to attempt to group similarly skilled participants for the final grouping of the sessions. There will be a number of activities that are done by the entire group of like-aged participants.

Group determination is to ensure safety and provide quality instruction with appropriate lifeguard instructor to participant ratio. Group assignments for each child (A, B or C) will be made by the program instructors. No group request should be made by any parents/guardians of participants in the Junior Guard program. Grouping is based primarily on age and skill level in the ocean/bay; however, there may be other factors which influence your child’s grouping. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the program coordinator.


Participation in Activities

Students are EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE in all regular program activities. Although it’s possible for students to not complete some activities, it is necessary that they are willing participants in all activities. If students do not participate in some activities this will fall into the disciplinary procedures and staff will follow protocols outlined in the discipline policy. 


Personal Equipment

No personal equipment will be allowed unless approved by a lead instructor/coordinator/supervisor of the Junior Guard program. For specific events, such as surf/body board competition, JGs will be encouraged to bring their own equipment, otherwise we have plenty of equipment for the JGs to use.



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

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

  • Respect the instructors and other staff.
  • Respect other JG participants: no shoving, hitting, or name-calling.
  • Respect of 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.

2.)  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 5-10minutes that the student spends quietly reflecting on the incident. A “TAKE A LAP” is a supervised run or swim of reasonable distance. After the “TIME OUT” or “TAKE A LAP” the student is allowed to rejoin the group activity. A “TIME OUT” could also be in the form of having a student sit out of an activity in which the rest of his/her group is participating in.

3.)  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/guardian about the situation.

4.)  When a student continually disregards the Instructors or shows little to no improvement with steps 1-3, the student will be suspended from the program for one day. The parent/guardian of the student will be informed that the student has been suspended. There will be no prorated refund of fees.

5.)  If after the suspension the student’s behavior is still not acceptable, the parent/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.


Student Discipline for Major Incidents:

Major first-time incidents will result in an immediate suspension (1-3 days). Major incidents would include:

  • Insubordination
  • Fighting with another student or person
  • Unlawful or non-consensual touching of another student or person
  • Use of any illegal substance
  • Stealing the property of another.
  • Vandalism of equipment or facilities.
  • Throwing rocks, sand, or food at other students, wildlife or property of others.
  • Use of cell phone to engage in any inappropriate conduct.
  • Ditching the program.
  • Bullying. See Anti-bullying guidelines.

Any time a major behavior problem occurs, the Aquatic Program Supervisor shall be notified.  

Anti-bullying policy

State Park Junior Lifeguard (JG) Program will not tolerate bullying. It is entirely contrary to the values and principles we work, live and teach by. All participants of the JG Program have a right to be in a secure and caring environment at all times. They also have a responsibility to contribute, in whatever way that they can, to the protection and maintenance of such an environment for themselves and others.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is an act of aggression, causing embarrassment, pain or discomfort to someone. It can take a number of forms: physical, verbal, gestures, extortion, and exclusion. It can be planned and organized, or unintentional. It may be perpetrated by individuals or by groups.


  • JGs have a right to learn free from intimidation and fear.
  • The needs of the victim are paramount.
  • The program will not tolerate bullying behavior.
  • Bullied JGs will be listened to.
  • Reported incidents will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

Forms of Bullying

A few examples:

  • Physical violence such as hitting, pushing or spitting at another person.
  • Interfering with another person’s property by stealing, hiding or damaging it.
  • Using offensive names when addressing another person.
  • Teasing or spreading rumors about another person or his/her family.
  • Belittling another person’s abilities or achievements.
  • Writing offensive notes or graffiti about another person.
  • Excluding another person from a group activity.
  • Ridiculing another person’s appearance, way of speaking or personal mannerisms.
  • Misusing technology (internet, phones) to hurt or humiliate another person.

The Responsibilities of JGs

We expect our JGs to:

  • Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying, even at the risk of incurring temporary unpopularity.
  • Intervene to protect a child who is being bullied, unless it is unsafe to.
  • Report to a staff member any witnessed or suspected instances of bullying.

Anyone who becomes a target of bullies should: Not suffer in silence, but have the courage to speak out, to put an end to their own suffering, and that of other potential targets.

The Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians

We ask our parents to support their children and the JG program by:

  • Watching for signs of distress or unusual behavior with their children, which might be evidence of bullying.
  • Advising their children to report and bullying to any member of our staff.
  • Advising their children not to retaliate violently to any forms of bullying.
  • Being sympathetic and supportive towards their children and reassuring them that appropriate action will be taken.
  • Keep a written record of any reported instances of bullying.
  • Informing the JG program of any suspected bullying, even if their children are not involved.
  • Cooperating with the JG program, if their child is accused of bullying, try to ascertain the truth, and point out the implications of bullying, both for the children who are bullied and for the bullies themselves.


Procedures for dealing with incidents of bullying behavior

The following is a generalized description of the JG program’s procedures for responding to bullying:

  • Steps taken to support and respond to the needs of both bullied and bullying children.
  • All known incidents documented and records kept.
  • Action which may be taken (ie disciplinary in accordance with the State Parks JG discipline policy).
  • Contacting parents/guardians of all students concerned in the bullying incident.
  • Investigation.
  • Feedback to those concerned.
  • Disciplinary action when necessary.
  • Contacting relevant professionals when needed (ie CPS, law enforcement).


Limitations of this policy

It is our goal to stop incidents of bullying wherever and whenever we can, and we rely on the vigilance of our staff, our parents/guardians, and our JGs to do their part to help us achieve this objective. In short, if we are not aware of a bullying incident, we cannot do anything about it. Therefore, we urge you to take some time to review this policy and the policies listed in our Parent Handbook with your child, and to keep the lines of communication open.


Notice of Non-Discriminatory Policy

The CA 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 at the school. 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 administered programs.


Refund Policy

  • 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 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.