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Turtle’s Teens
Sherryl Parks | Kalamath Drive

Del Mar Junior Lifeguard instructors, from left, Mark Feighan, Coram Bryant, Lauren Humann, Director Turtle Rudolph, and instructors Patty Wimer, Claire O’Leary and Russ Schutz gather after appearing before the City Council on June 3. During her presentation, Turtle told the council that since 2004, the junior lifeguard program has instilled values of safety, teamwork and appreciation for the ocean into thousands of children. Council members praised the program. “By us having you do this, it makes the program a whole lot more successful, easier to run,” Councilman Dave Druker said. “Really appreciate you doing this for us.” Learn more at https://secure.delmarjg.com/
Photo courtesy Turtleguard Inc.
Click to enlarge.

Del Mar’s Junior Lifeguard Program enters its fifteenth year under the leadership of Turtle Rudolf. This program serves youth from 7-15 and is so popular it sells out many months ahead. Junior Lifeguards are dropped off at 29th street met by former lifeguards and interns, ages 15-18 years old. These teachers’ enthusiasm for the water and beach safety encourages kids to feel safe at the beach and have fun too.

The curriculum for the junior lifeguard program includes knowledge of the marine life, beach safety, sportsmanship, surfing, bodysurfing, water etiquette, as well as sun-protection awareness. An important part of the program is the exposure to Del Mar Lifeguards who tell the kids what they do, their responsibilities and the training they need to become qualified as lifeguards.

The Little Turtles are ages 7-8. Director Turtle, whose aim is to get kids comfortable in the water, developed this program. Additionally they, too, learn beginning bodysurfing skills, enjoy competition and games and are introduced to many of Del Mar Lifeguards who inspire them and motivate them to consider the junior lifeguard program.

Jr. Lifeguards Isla Allred and Leah Lynch with
Turtle Rudolf in the middle.
Photo Brandy Sebastian.
Click to enlarge.

Junior Lifeguards are ages 9-15 and they have a more vigorous physical training including beach runs, swimming distances and team competition. Of course there are hours of instruction on surfing and kids show marked improvement after their two weeks with these instructors.

Del Mar can be proud of the success of our Junior Lifeguard Program. Turtle Rudolf, Director of the program, can be credited with much of this success. She has a rich background in child development having received her BA at SDSU. Additionally she many certificates including the City of San Diego Lifeguard Academy, Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard Vehicle Operations, Cliff Rescue, The Department of Boating and Waterways Rescue Boat Operations and even Coast Guard Helicopter Training. Best of all she has the energy and enthusiasm to bring her love of the ocean to the kids who attend the camp.

As Director, Turtle recruits only the best instructors including many former lifeguards who return to work with her year after year. Interns, ages 15-18, are eager to join the team and they offer the kids who are attending camp a big-sister or big-brother feel that enhances a feeling of safety and fun.
The City Council heard a report from Director Rudolf at their June 3 meeting and it was received with appreciation from Mayor Dwight Worden who said, “It’s a really positive attribute of our city.”




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