Summer in Santa Cruz – Junior Guards is an amazing program offered through the Santa Cruz County Parks and Recreation Dept. My oldest son did 5 years from age 5-10 and his brother did 3 from age 5-8. That was our rule, if we lived near the ocean they needed to be able to navigate it. They learned about rip tides, skin cancer, sunscreen, paddle boarding, races, relays, competitions, swimming, surfing and all things ocean. A great way for kids to learn about and gain respect for the amazing ocean we have in our backyard. No one seems to care that there are great whites out there. Amazingly no Junior Guard has ever been bitten or injured by any sea life. The kids at the Cowell Beach Junior Guards have to swim around the Santa Cruz Wharf. There are some big Sea Lions out there. You wouldn’t catch me doing it.