Junior Lifeguard Program

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One 4-week Program with an AM and PM Session

AM Session, Monday, June 19th thru Friday, July 14th, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

PM Session, Monday, June 19th thru Friday, July 14th, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

*Each session will be capped at 70 participants and due to limited size participants will only be 

allowed to attend one session a day. 

Program Overview

The City of Imperial Beach Junior Lifeguard Program is a comprehensive program, designed to teach youth in our community ages 9 to 17 leadership, self-confidence, and respect for the ocean environment. Participants learn leadership skills, basic life-saving skills, physical fitness, water safety, and ocean awareness. This is not a "learn to swim" program. Participants will be involved in a variety of activities including competitions, ocean swimming, surfing, body boarding, and beach games. Guest speakers from different specialties organize presentations that pertain to the ocean and its environment. Participants will also be introduced to the profession of lifeguarding through exposure to standard lifeguard equipment and safety information presented by our staff.

Junior Lifeguard Instructors

Instructors are all experienced and certified Imperial Beach Ocean Lifeguards. As lifeguards, they are required to maintain a current Basic Life Support CPR/AED certification, as well as an Emergency Medical Responder certification or EMT.

2023 Summer Program Registration

Remember this is not a “learn to swim” program and your child will be required to pass the swim test (Swim Test description below).  During registration, please select the day you plan on attending a tryout.  Enrollment is limited and sessions are expected to fill quickly. We strongly recommend that you register as soon as possible during open registration to get your desired session. However, if the session you want is full, you may add your child's name to the wait list.  PLEASE NOTE: Session vacancies will be filled from the wait list giving priority to those not registered in another session and in the order received. Therefore, if the session you wish to register for is full, please do not register your child/children for a session they are unable to attend. Instead, place them on the wait list for the desired session.

2023 Junior Guard Tryouts

Tryouts will be held at Mar Vista Aquatics Complex located at 618 Imperial Beach Blvd. Imperial Beach 91932.  To access the pool, you will need to park in the gym parking lot and walk along the west side of the gym to the Aquatic Complex. 

All children will be required to swim 10 yards underwater, tread water for 3 minutes and swim 100 yards for time. Times to qualify based off age are:  

  • Group C - Ages 9-11 100 yards under 2 minutes and 45 seconds 
  • Group B - Ages 12-13 100 yards under 2 minutes and 35 seconds
  • Group A - Ages 14-17 100 yards under 2 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Cadets Ages 15-17 500 Meter swim under 10 minutes

Cadet / Assistant Program

The Imperial Beach Junior Lifeguard Program offers a transitional position for candidates who are between 15 to 17 years of age. Our agency does not hire Ocean Lifeguards until they are 18 years of age. The purpose of these positions is to mentor and train these select junior lifeguards to become Ocean Lifeguards as soon as they met the requirements and certifications of the job. Not only is this a chance to get on-the-job training, but a Junior Lifeguard Cadets also can earn up to a $750 stipend. Qualified Assistants will be able to participate in the program for free and can earn up to 160 hours of community service. Cadets/Assistants will take on more responsibility and be held to a higher standard within our program. The duties of a Junior Guard Cadet/Assistant include the following:

  • Help Instructors set up in the morning and shut down in the afternoon
  • Supervise younger Junior Guards when leaving the JG area
  • Understand and adhere to the Parent Handbook
  • Understand how to maintain and care for equipment
  • Understand the dangers of the ocean
  • Be able to recognize a Rip Current
  • Help Instructors supervise Junior Guards during skill development and keep them out of dangerous areas
  • Help Instructors during activities and competition training
  • Participating in all activities each day
  • Participating in the Captain PT at least 3 times a week
  • Supervising Junior Guards during lunchtime and reminding them to re-apply sunscreen
  • Must give your availability for the summer. Please give us notice in advance if you will be missing time during the session.

Cadet / Assistant Program

Cadets/ Captains need to download an application and must be able to complete the requirements. 

Swim / Run (Distance and times)

  • 500 Meter Ocean Swim – under 10 minutes
  • ¼ Mile Run


  • Interviews will be assigned immediately following the successful completion of the swim and the run. Interviews will be held at the Imperial Beach Lifeguard Headquarters starting at 1000. Each interview will be approximately 20 minutes. Interviews will be assigned on a first come first serve basis to the individuals with the fastest swim times.
  • There are five openings for the IBJG Cadet position. An additional two people will be put on the wait list. This position is very competitive; we look forward to seeing you at the tryout!!  
  • There will also be an eighteen hour of Cadet training for selected Cadet candidates dates and times TBD
  • From the Training “Mini Academy” we will make our final selection for Cadets and offer Assistant positions to candidates who are qualified but do not receive a Cadet position

If the water is contaminated candidates will then need to swim and run at one of the scheduled junior guard tryouts.