Every summer, young people learn about ocean safety and recreation through an intense aquatic program at Dunes State Beach in Half Moon Bay. The Junior Lifeguard program serves boys and girls ages 9 through 15 with two four-week-long sessions each summer. The goal of the program is to educate the community’s youth about ocean recreation and safety.
The program is a combination of learning, exercise, and fun. A typical day starts with stretches and an assessment of the current ocean conditions. The day’s events can include run-swim-runs, buoy swims, boogie boarding, body surfing, lectures on topics such as lifeguard skills (rescues and first aid), and shoreline games and activities. These events are aimed to educate each Junior Guard on how to maneuver the ever changing ocean conditions, the importance of a daily workout, and maximizing the enjoyment of living on the coastside.
The training is centered at Dunes State Beach but contains field trips to other beaches along the coast, such as Montara State Beach and Año Nuevo State Park as well as participating in the Junior Lifeguard competition in Santa Cruz. Field trips and competitions teach participants about other beach environments.