The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday that its Junior Lake Lifeguard program — which was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic — will re-open this summer.

The program will have COVID-19 safety protocols, including face coverings required for instructors and students at all times except during swimming or when eating and drinking, along with physical distancing, daily health and temperature screenings and smaller class sizes to ensure the health and safety of staff and participants, officials said.

“The Junior Lake Lifeguard program provides an opportunity like no other for youth to get outside again, partake in water activities and learn crucial life-saving skills,” said Norma E. García-González, director of Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation. “Our incredible trained staff will ensure youth participants gain unique experiences and essential water safety knowledge that can be used throughout their lives, whether in situations helping others or in their careers as lifeguards.”

The summer program teaches life-saving skills and water safety to youth between 9 and 17 years old and is offered at Castaic Lake Recreation Area, Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park and Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

Trained, certified lifeguard staff oversee the program, in which children perform activities including first-aid, CPR and rescue skills with paddleboards in a calm freshwater environment without waves or strong current, officials said.

Youth participants are required to try out for the program, with pre-registrations required at reservations.lacounty.gov.

Three two-week sessions — June 21 to July 1, July 12 to July 22, and July 26 to Aug. 5 — are being offered this summer to accommodate public health protocols for smaller classes, officials said.

Morning sessions from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. cost $241, while full-day sessions from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. cost $482.

The program, established in 1990, has grown into one of the most successful water safety training programs in Los Angeles, officials said.

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