Who We Are…
- Volunteers — We assume the care and mentorship of our assigned beach.
- Diplomats — We work to ensure the trust and mutual respect of visitors for the beach environment and its surroundings.
- Committed — We work within the law to establish behavior guideline standards so that no one person or group of people can ruin the beach experience for the others.
What Do We Do?
The volunteers wear special colored hat and make a point of welcoming all the beach visitors when they arrive, distributing behavior/etiquette guidelines and a complimentary trash bag all the while watching for any inappropriate behavior.
Our role is not to play sheriff but to observe, facilitate when possible, and report. We are citizen volunteers who have no legal authority to do anything else.
How Does It Work?
In practice far more time is spent on providing information and explaining the accepted standards of beach etiquette and courtesy.
We find one of our most effect tools to deter crime is simply walking around. People who want to break into cars, to sell drugs or paint graffiti on walls prefer to do it when nobody is around to watch it happen. Our very presence acts as a deterrent and sends a message to those on the beach that inappropriate behavior and crime will not be tolerated. When we see a problem, our job is to report it to a park ranger, sheriff deputy, or city/county park personnel to make sure that problem receives a prompt and effective response.
Beach Ambassadors also watch out for those occasional individuals who may spoil the beach experience for others. If someone is suspected of misbehaving, such as staring at another's child too much, or a woman complains that someone is taking closeup pictures of her without her permission, the Ambassadors make a point of talking to the person and reminding them of the Beach Ambassador program. These people usually are ashamed of being discovered and leave the beach immediately.
On those rare occasions when they refuse, the Ambassadors call the local sheriff. After a while, the word gets out this is not a safe beach for this kind of activity.
Remember, it is NOT our role to enforce the law, but simply encourage people to do the right thing, and if not, to report our concerns to those in authority for their consideration and possible action. By taking good notes on what we observe, Beach Ambassadors assist law enforcement in their investigation.
How Do I Volunteer?
Complete the application (see below) and attach it to an email to email@example.com.
All applicants then are required to undergo a background check and then to attend a 3-hour training session; we host these classes monthly in the city of Carpinteria. Once the required training course is completed, the Director of Friends of Bates Beach has final approval of all appointments.
Once approved, Beach Ambassadors carry a distinctive form of identification (a hat with logo and/or a name medallion) to make them easily visible on the beach should a beachgoer have a problem or need a question answered.
Clear recognition of the presence of Beach Ambassadors on the beach can, in itself, go a long way toward maintaining a friendly, family atmosphere at the beach.