Mendocino Coast Junior Lifeguard LogoMendocino CoastDPR Logo
Junior Lifeguards
July 8 - August 2, 2024
9am – 3pm Weekdays

Big River State Beach

Program Dates, Ages, Location and Fees

The Mendocino Coast Junior Lifeguard Program Dates are:

July 8 – August 2 (4 weeks) Big River State Park

9am – 3pm weekdays

Program Ages 9 to 15 years

The cost of the four-week program is $550, paid after passing the tryout, online at Tuition includes Uniform Red Rashguard and T-shirt, Red JG Hoodie is $40 extra.

Registration opens April 1.

Tryout Dates

The Mendocino Coast Junior Lifeguard Program is not a “learn to swim” program, therefore prospective participants (ages 9 -15) must have a minimum level of competency to insure safety within the group.

Tryouts 10am to noon, Saturday, May 11 

C V Starr Community Center 
300 S Lincoln St, Fort Bragg CA 95437

(sign in upon arrival)

The tryout consists of:

100 yard swim in under 3 minutes, swim 5 yards underwater and tread water for 3 minutes.


All JG's need to report in uniform to Big River State Beach by 9:00 am and be picked up or handed off to Parent/Guardian at 2 p.m.

9:15 - 9:30 ROLL CALL
(roll call, announcements, notes from parents, remove beach hazards, sunscreen application, etc.)
9:30-10:30 EXERCISE
(stretching, warm-ups, calisthenics, sit-ups, jumping-jacks, push ups, beach runs, buoy swims)
(daily lecture topics include ocean safety, first aid, environmental awareness, ocean recreation, etc.)
12:00 - 12:30 LUNCH (bring your own lunch to eat on beach, sealed container, zippered backpack)
12:30 - 1:45 RECREATION
(beach games, ocean recreation, safe use of soft surf-boards, boogie boards, & JG equipment)
(pick up all trash, personal belongings, help clean & put away all JG equipment)

Parents and guardians are responsible for their children after 2:00 pm as there is no supervision beyond programmed hours! Please do not block Handicapped or Red Zones and do not double park while picking up or dropping off.

JG’s should bring the following items to the beach daily:

  • Uniform (JG Hoody, Rash Guard, JG t-shirt, navy blue boardshorts and wetsuit (required)
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hat, etc…) highly recommended
  • Foot protection (sandals, shoes, booties, etc.) highly recommended
  • Large lunch (sack lunch and lots of drinking water) highly recommended
  • Back pack & towel (bird/squirrel proof) highly recommended
  • Swim fins (we supply)
  • Wetsuits (Full Suits, preferably hooded) are required
  • Positive & enthusiastic attitude required!!!


JG’s are expected to participate in all activities!!!! Students should be on time, in full uniform, and prepared for a full day on the beach (i.e.: sand, sun, fog, cold weather, cold water, exercise, lectures, etc.). Parents should be aware that rigorous physical exercise and ocean swims are a daily part of the program and an integral aspect of lifesaving. Refusal to participate may result in removal from the program. If a student is unable to participate in certain activities, the student should provide a note (from a parent or guardian) to their Instructor first thing in the morning. Exercise and activities will vary for the children depending on their age, size, strength, ability, confidence level, and ocean conditions. If you have questions, please contact the Coordinator or one of the Instructors.


Attendance is taken twice daily. Regular attendance is encouraged and will allow students to fully benefit from the program. Please notify us if your child will be absent.


We require students to wear a uniform for safety and team camaraderie. The uniforms allow Instructors to safely monitor the children and distinguish them from non-Junior Guard beach visitors. Junior Guards must wear the required uniform in order to participate in the program. The uniform is a red JG Hoody, Rash Guard and T-shirt with the Junior Lifeguard logo (T shirt, Rash Guard included in course fees) and a solid Navy blue boardshorts both boys and girls. Uniforms are picked up on the first day of instruction.

*Note: Please write your child’s name on his or her uniform and all other personal gear. We are not responsible for lost or misplaced items.

We use for uniform items and a discount online site has been set up for our program.

Cost of Uniform Items (Tax included):

  • Red hooded sweatshirt with JG logo $40

Junior Lifeguard Instructors are distinguished from Assistants and students by the official California State Park Lifeguard uniform red swim trunks/swimsuits and Lifeguard patch, a navy-blue t-shirt and navy-blue jacket with the official California State Park Lifeguard emblem and Yellow “Instructor” rash guards.


The Junior Lifeguard Program is taught by professional State Park Lifeguards and specially-trained support personnel. The Lifeguards have extensive experience and rigorous training in surf and ocean rescue, beach safety, first aid, and CPR and in most cases have many years of grade school and high school teaching and interpretation experience. We have current Instructors that have matriculated through a Junior Guard Program. We maintain or do better than the 18 to 1 Student to Instructor ratio recommended by CA State Parks.


Prospective students desiring special accommodations or services under the Americans with Disabilities Act must notify the Program supervisor at least (60) days prior to the start of the Program, or as soon as reasonably possible.


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

Mendocino Coast Parent Handbook