COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

Junior & Little Guards

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Santa Cruz Junior Lifeguards

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In consideration of recommendations from Santa Cruz County Public Health and the CDC recommendations, Parks and Recreation Admin will be closed at least through April 10, 2020. For more information, see Parks & Recreation’s COVID-19 Response.  

2019 Jr. Guard Video 


Session 1: Monday, June 15 to Friday, July 10, 2020.
Session 2: Monday, July 13 to Friday, August 7, 2020.

Session 1 - Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11:00am & 1:00pm  
Session 2 - Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 11:00am & 1:00pm 

JOIN THE JG BOOSTER follow their Instagram accounts to get information about upcoming JG events, important dates, competitions, picture days, etc. Instagram account: SantaCruzJuniorGuardsBoosters

Scholarship information:
FOPAR Scholarship (City Residents) (English) (Spanish) due Friday, April 3, 2020 by 5pm.
JG Booster Scholarship (Non-City Residents) due Friday, April 3, 2020 by 5pm.

Donate online to the JG Boosters (FOPAR). Jr. Guard Boosters are parent volunteers who fundraise to support the Santa Cruz Jr. Lifeguard program. Donations provide scholarships, equipment, supplies,  competition snacks, and support program events.


JG Behavior Agreement
JG Parent Code of Conduct
Competition Philosophy
Wharf - Local's Parking Pass
JG USLA Membership included in JG registration - do not renew directly through USLA for 2020

Competition Philosophy

STATE Competition @ Main Beach
Little Guards - Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Junior Guards -Thursday, June 25, 2020

Capitola Competition @ Capitola Beach
Little Guards - Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Junior Guards - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

JG REGIONAL COMPETITION - Friday, July 24, 2020 (invitation only)

JG Regional Accommodation information: TBD



2020 NOR CAL COMPETITION: @ Main Beach 
Little Guards - Wednesday, July 29, 2020 (no Jr. Guard program this day)
Junior Guards - Thursday, July 30, 2020 (no Little Guard program this day)  

Friday, August 7, 2020, Harvey West Clubhouse, 6:30 to 9 p.m. 

Periodically community groups and individuals advertise fundraising events for the benefit of Santa Cruz Junior Lifeguards (“Junior Guards”).  Please note that the only such organization which has an affiliation with, and which reports to, the City of Santa Cruz is Friends of Parks and Recreation Junior Guard Boosters, (“FOPAR”).  No other community-based or individual fundraisers are affiliated with, or report to, the City.   Accordingly the City does not warrant that the proceeds, or any given percentage of the proceeds, raised by non-FOPAR fundraising events will ultimately be donated to the Junior Guards program.  In addition, it should be noted that a child’s participation in, or eligibility for, the Junior Guard program is never predicated on his or her parents’ or guardians’ patronage of any such fundraising event, including fundraising events conducted by FOPAR.

The Junior Guard program requires participants to be able and willing swim a minimum of 200 to 300 yards in the open ocean, run a minimum of 500 yards and participate in paddling races and other beach competitions daily. NO REFUNDS less than 4 business days before class starts. C's - must swim unassisted around the 1st buoy on the first day. B's - must swim unassisted around 2nd buoy on the 1st day. A's & AA's - must swim unassisted around 3rd buoy on the 1st day. The Little Guard program requires daily participation in entering and exiting through ocean waves and conditioning activities including calisthenics, running and beach games.

Little Guards: Practice swimming 25 - 50 yards continuously and treading water for 1 - 2 minutes. Red Cross Swimmer Level 4 and up is strongly encouraged.

Junior Guards: Practice swimming a minimum of 200 - 500 yards continuously (8 - 20 laps) and treading water for 3 - 5 minutes. Red Cross Swimmer Level 6 and up is strongly recommended.

Registration Information and Help (831) 420-5270 
Jr. Lifeguard Phone (6/15/20 - 8/7/20) (831) 420-6248

Little Guards and Junior Guards are instructed by qualified ocean lifeguards. All of the instructors have successfully completed an intensive United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) certified Open Water Lifeguarding training course and most have worked in the field as lifeguards for more than one year. Instructors are also certified in emergency first aid and CPR for the professional rescuer. Many of the instructors are graduates of the Junior Guards program and have teaching and interpretation experience with children. The program is held on Cowell Beach adjacent to the Municipal Wharf in one of the calmest areas of ocean in Santa Cruz. During the program, Junior Guards are also always under the watchful eye of on-duty beach lifeguards in addition to the supervision provided.

Beach Safety Information 




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