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 Junior Lifeguard Mission

 The mission of the Silver Strand Junior Lifeguard program is to provide quality water safety instruction and education.

The Junior Lifeguard program offers kids safe marine recreational opportunities. Further, the program is designed to improve a child's physical conditioning, their understanding and respect for the environment, and respect for themselves and others. The program provides education on topics such as lifeguard procedures, CPR and first aid. 

The mission is accomplished with activities including instruction and practice in open water swimming, paddle boarding, body surfing, surfing, kayaking, and self rescue. Respect for the environment is increased by the understanding gained with daily physical contact with the environment and through lecture and discussion of pertinent marine and aquatic topics. The students gain respect for themselves through personal progress and accomplishments achieved while participating in the Silver Strand Junior Lifeguard Program. Respect for others is increased by contact with compassionate instructors and by working with other kids in a team building environment.



Junior Lifeguard Program 

The Silver Strand Junior Lifeguard Program is a 3 week (2 sessions offered this summer) ocean recreation and education program that meets weekdays from 9am-2pm. This program is offered to participants ranging in age from 9 - 16 years old. A swim test is required to enter this program. 

The Silver Strand Grom Program (NEW) is a 2 week (2 sessions offered this summer) introductory program designed to get kids ready for Junior Lifeguards. This program meets weekdays from 9am-1pm and offered to participants ranging in age from 8 - 9 years old. A swim test is required to enter this program. 

*NEW Grom Program 

The Silver Strand State Beach Grom Program is a program offered to participants (8-9yrs) in a small group setting with the same emphasis as the Junior Lifeguard program of teamwork, leadership, and aquatic safety. The program focuses on learning self-rescue techniques and development of aquatic skills to become a Junior Lifeguard. An interpretive component provides information about ocean habitats, marine life, and local ecosystems. Aquatic recreation is a fundamental component of the program. Participants will spend quality time outdoors participating in recreational activities such as paddling, swimming, and surfing, with lifeguards. 



Our staff is made up of currently employed and fully trained CA State Parks ocean lifeguards. All instructors possess an intimate knowledge of the ocean, excellent lifeguarding skills, and a great ability to interact with youths.



The main focus of the program is aquatic safety, team building exercises, and physical fitness. The program content revolves around:

  • Recreation: Surfing, bodyboarding, paddling, swimming, land-based beach games.
  • Education:1st Aid skills, CPR skills, mock rescues, lifeguard operations.
  • Interpretation: Marine life, beach hazards, snowy plovers, local ecosystems.
  • Competition: Individual and team level, with opportunities to compete against other agencies.

To Qualify

The Junior Lifeguard program is not a “learn-to-swim” school. Prospective participants are screened at a tryout test to determine if they meet the standards to enroll in the program.  All three criteria (listed below) must be met in order to enroll in the program.

Note: Enrollment is filled on a first come first served basis. Returning JG’s do not have to tryout each year.

  • Swim 100 yards under the time standard of your age:

o   8-9 years (Grom Program): 1:35 *50 yards

o   9-11 years: 2:45

o   12-13 years: 2:25

o   14-16 years: 2:05

  • Swim 10 yards underwater
  • Tread water for 3 minutes

Program Location

Oceanside designated JG area: On the beach, just south of Tower 3. You will see picnic tables reserved for JG's in front of Restroom #1,  directly between Parking Lot #1 & #2, as well as signs/cones on the beach. This is the daily drop-off and pick-up location. 

Bayside designated JG area: North side of Tower 9 at Crown Cove. 

You will be given a Junior Lifeguard paper parking pass to place on the dashboard of your vehicle that should be visible to LAZ parking attendants while within the state park. If you plan to stay after Junior Guards ends, you must pay the required day use fee for the parking. 

Program Hours

The Junior Lifeguard program meets weekdays, Monday-Fridays. It is the sole responsibility of each parent/guardian to ensure safe travel to and from the program for his or her child. California State Park Service and the Junior Lifeguard Program are not responsible for students outside scheduled program hours, or anytime a commercial carrier hired by the Program is not used for transportation. Parents are expected to be prompt in picking up their child/children. We ask that Instructors are made aware if there are to be children staying at the beach with an adult guardian/s after program hours instead of their typical pick up.