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Junior Lifeguard Program Has a Ripple Effect B Y R E N E E B R I N C K S S ome students spend their summers loung- ing at the beach. Others, however, study beach ecology, practice reading rip currents and learn to surf, snorkel and paddleboard in the bay. It's all part of California State Parks' popular Monterey Junior Lifeguards program, which opens in June. During two-month long sessions, students ages 9 to 15 explore a world of marine won- ders. They learn about tides, ocean rescue and basic first aid. They engage with guest speakers. They build sand castles. And, explains Program Instructor and lifeguard Kevin Brady, they gain confidence as they complete swim competitions and master water safety. "We expose the kids to different ocean dynam- ics, whether it's surging tide pools or sandy beach- es," says Brady, listing annual field trip spots like Lovers Point and Point Lobos. "Asilomar [State Beach], for example, has a different wave dynam- ic, so we spend time there." Participants apply program lessons to real life, and not just while working as lifeguards. Some have performed ocean rescues while on family vacations. One student used his CPR skills to revive his father after a heart attack. "Students go on and share what they learn," Brady says. "It becomes much bigger than just that one participating kid." To learn more about the Monterey Junior Lifeguards programs, go to SHORTCUTS AT LARGE Youth aged 9-15 participate each summer in the Monterey Junior Lifeguard Program to learn water safety and CPR skills, shown here at Del Monte Beach. 72 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Photo: Justin Riddleberger

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