First day of Junior Guards
Today marks the first day of our Santa Barbara County Junior Guards summer camp. The boys and girls are ready for it to start after passing their requirements: Treading water for 3 minutes, swimming underwater for 10 yards, and swimming 100 yards under a certain time limit! Local Junior Guards include Refugio, UCSB, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.
Lifeguards are important. Sometimes we forget how crucial they are. The use of lifeguards on beaches in California began in the late 1930’s. Because the beach is an inexpensive, entertaining, and relaxing activity, many families found it to be appealing in the post-depression era. However, the invasion of swimmers into the surf-zone in Southern California lead to many unheard of drownings. In the early 1900s, 18 drowned in one weekend in Newport Beach. In 1918, 13 people died in ONE day in San Diego. As a response, communities established lifeguard services modeled after east coast lifeguard operations. Numerous beaches had “swim lines” or “lifelines” which were ropes attached to shore that swimmers could hold on to. However, lifelines didn’t necessarily work, due to the idea that struggling swimmers couldn’t 1. always hold onto the lifeline rope and/or 2. swim out far enough to the lifeline rope. Some communities assigned police officers, or asked volunteers to perform water rescues, thus the idea of the “lifeguard.”
Junior Guards is a world famous, nationally-affiliated and disciplined training program of swimming, running, competition, and education. This summer program involves difficult and energetic daily workouts, water safety, first aid, surf lifesaving, marine education, lifeguard competitions and more. Physical fitness and development are paralleled with self-esteem, camaraderie and fun. The Junior Lifeguard Program provides individuals the opportunity to learn beach safety and ocean lifesaving skills from experienced Beach Lifeguard professionals.
The Junior Guards at UCSB also hold a sunblock face painting contest every year. They use different colors of Zinka to make the craziest faces! It’s one of the most popular competitions they hold and is actually extremely entertaining…Its held on July 1st, pictures will definitely follow!