Swim Programs


General Information

Registration closes the Friday before the first day of the session. Every family has a hectic full schedule, so to insure you get a spot in the class that fits your family’s schedule, sign up as early as possible. Registration is done in person at the front desk, online, or by phone.

Locker Rooms

We have three individual private family locker rooms in addition to two adult and two youth locker rooms. Parents changing small children of the opposite gender are encouraged to use the family locker rooms. If the family locker rooms are too busy, please use the youth locker rooms. Children are not allowed in our adult locker rooms for any reason.


Parents are welcome to stay and watch the activity in the pool area. However, we must ask parents to watch from the spectator area or the bleachers. We realize this isn’t the best way to watch swim lessons, but we are required to keep spectators off the deck.


We require children to shower before they swim. After class, every child should take a nice soapy shower to avoid the chlorine-itchies.


Throughout the session, we track each child’s progress, so there is never any need to test. At the end of each session, you will receive a progress report.

We do not use the terms "pass" or "fail". Every child learns at his/her own pace. Even if your child has not mastered the skills at a particular level, he/she is gaining strength, endurance, confidence, and comfort with every class. Swimming is more like piano or dance lessons than it is like soccer.


An occasional absence because of an illness or a party invitation will not affect a child’s progress. However, missed classes cannot be made up

Snow Days/Cancellations

If school for RSU 1 is cancelled, our morning classes are automatically cancelled.  A decision on afternoon classes will be made by noon. If your child attends afternoon or Saturday lessons, you can call the Y (443-4112) or check out website for closures. When we have to cancel a class, we will offer a make-up.

Supporting Your Child’s Swimming: How You Can Help

Your encouragement and interest in your child’s swimming will show him or her that learning to swim is important and that you are proud of his/her accomplishments. There are several concrete things you can do to help make your child’s experience successful and positive.

Hair and Eyes

Long hair can get in the way when swimming. It must be in either a ponytail or a cap. If your child's eyes bother him/her when swimming, maybe goggles will help.

Be patient with your child’s progress

 Each child will move through the different levels at a different pace. Learning to swim is a complicated set of skills to master. It takes time to develop the coordination and endurance required, even when a child is trying his/her hardest.

Family Swim

We offer several times each week in the pool schedule for families to swim together. These times give your child a chance to practice and show you what he/she is learning. It will also help your child to see swimming as a fun family activity, not just something he or she has to do.


Please talk to us. If you have a question or a concern, or your child has expressed a worry to you, share those things with us. It is amazing how little issues can suddenly crop up and really upset a young swimmer. We have strategies for dealing with many problems.

The “D” Word: We never use the term “drowning” unless we are talking about credit card debt. Children don’t understand it very well; they just know it means death. If a child has learned to equate water with death, learning to swim will be that much more difficult. If you have used this word in the past, (everyone has, it slides out of our mouths as easily as “you’re going to poke your eye out”) just try turning it into a positive, like “staying safe” or “needing help”. Children who have respect for the water are much safer than those who are afraid. Be as positive as you can be about the whole swimming experience.

Children use their parents’ attitudes and behaviors as a model. They will follow your lead. Praise every small accomplishment and even the unsuccessful attempts at things. Give positive feedback, like: ”I love the way you tried that!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If my child cries should I withdraw him from the lesson program?

A: Many children cry for the first few weeks. It always seems like it will never stop, but it does. Kids cry for many reasons, fear, anxiety, a new environment. Very often small children can not express themselves any other way. Crying, because they know it will stop, does not upset the instructors.
The other parents watching the class aren’t bothered by it either; their happy, laughing child probably did the same thing when he/she started.

Q: Do you offer private lessons?

A: The short answer is, “no”. The more complete answer is that we do not believe a private lesson has as many advantages for children as the group lesson, Playing together, taking turns, helping each other, making new friends are all lost in a private lesson. Our mission, goals and philosophy dictate our approach to programming.

Q: Why do you all take groups of children who can’t swim to the deep-end of the big pool? It makes me nervous.

A: If we kept the children in the shallow-end until they could swim, they would have a lot of time to develop a fear of deeper water. Young children do not generalize learning, so if we teach them to swim in the Therapy pool, we will have to teach them over again in the Main pool. We want kids to develop strength and endurance, so we swim all over both pools.

 Q: Why can’t I sit on the deck during my child’s lesson?

A: It is easier for our instructors to keep your child’s attention when mom and dad are not at the child’s eye level. Also, our staff is trained to react to any sudden movement or calling out by parents on deck. It detracts from the lesson and the safety of all participants if the Lifeguards are also watching the deck. We welcome everyone to watch from the spectator area or the bleachers.  

Q: Can I make up lessons?

A: Swim lessons can only be made up when the Y cancels the class. An occasional absence will not affect your child’s’ progress. Solutions can be found for other situations on an individual basis.

Q: Sometimes my child won’t pay attention, would it help if I went down and spoke to my child?

A: The instructors and swimmers only have a short time together to develop a relationship. The instructor can handle just about any behavior. Sometimes, an instructor will let some kids play around a little because they already have a skill another child is struggling with. If you don’t think your child is being challenged, or if there is a technique that works well with your child, please speak to the instructor after class.

Q: My child has participated in another swim program and was a level 3; does that mean they are at  the third level of Y’s program?

A: All swim programs are different, with different expectations and philosophies.
The levels of different programs are not equivalent. We always try to place children where they will be challenged, but not overwhelmed.

Q: How will I know if my child is ready to pass?

A:  We try not to use the terms “pass” or “fail” and we do not test kids at any time during their participation. As children accomplish required skills at each level, it is recorded. At the end of the session, you will receive a progress report.

Special Olympics Swim Team

Youth Special Olympics Swim Team, Ages 8-18

The Y's Special Olympics Swim Team is for kids 8 and up. Swimmers compete in a variety of events and distances. Competitive events range in distance from 25 yards to 100 yards. Relay teams are also formed. Other fun and basic water events are held for athletes who don’t swim independently but still want to train and compete. As with all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age, and gender.
Athletes must compete in swimming at the area competition in April to qualify for the State Meet held in May. Swimming is appropriate for athletes of all ages and swimming abilities. Long Reach Swimmers who qualify are welcome to participate. Swimmers and non-swimmers are both welcome.

Mon 5:15-6 pm
Y Members: $55
Community: $85

Adult Special Olympics Swim Team

This is a competitive swim program for adults with special needs. The team will practice lap swimming, with instruction in a variety of strokes and techniques. Swimming skills are not required. Participants should be able to swim the length of the pool with or without a flotation device. The Special Olympics team trains once a week. Swimmers will compete in the regional and state championship meets in the spring.

Thu 10:30-11:15 am
Ages: 18 and up
Fee: $1 per week for Members and Community





parent&childDesigned for children 6 months to 2 years old.

This 30 minute class is for infants and toddlers with a parent. Classes are designed to allow the child to have fun in the water while the parent guides him or her through developmentally appropriate water adjustment skills. Our instructor provides assistance and leadership to each parent.

Tues or Thurs 10am - 10:30am
Y Members: $45.00 / Community: $60.00


Parents and 2s

Designed for toddlers 24 to 36 months old.2s

Children swim with their parent, learning the beginning swimming skills and preparing for the next level of instruction. Games and fun are built into this early learning experience.

Tues or Thurs 10am - 10:30am
Y Members: $45.00 / Community: $60.00


Swimming for 3s

parent&2sEspecially for three-year-olds

This program offers children their first experience in the pool without parental assistance. Young swimmers are introduced to skills in small groups with an instructor. Children adjust to the water and develop independent movement. This class teaches basic stroke and kicking skills, floating, and pool safety. Children learn water skills through exploration and play.

Tues or Thurs 10:30am - 11am

Y Members: $55.00
Community: $85.00


Preschool Swim Lesson Program

Lessons for children ages 4 through Kindergarten (4, 5, and 6-year-olds).preschool

Planned to meet the needs of busy families during summer vacation, our week long Preschool Learn to Swim Program will be offered morning and afternoon during the summer. Children, ages 4 through 6, will swim in small groups with an instructor. Class meets Monday through Thursday, morning or afternoon sessions.

Session 1 - June 23 - 26; 9:30am and 4pm
Session 2 - July 7 - 10; 9:30am and 3:30pm
Session 3 - July 14 - 17; 9:30am and 4pm
Session 4 - July 21 - 24; 9:30am and 3:30pm
Session 5 - August 11 - 14; 9:30 am

Y Members: $30; Community: $40.00


Youth Swim Lessons

Youth lesson program is designed for participants 6 to 13 years old.

youthKids learn skills that are the basic building blocks of swimming. They also learn about pool safety, boating safety, and PFD usage. Participants are grouped together with other children at their swimming level, either Polliwog, Guppy, or Minnow. Class meets Monday through Thursday, morning or afternoon sessions.

Session 1 - June 23 - 26; 9am and 3:30pm
Session 2 - July 7 - 10; 9am and 4pm
Session 3 - July 14 - 17; 9am and 3:30pm
Session 4 - July 21 - 24; 9am and 4pm
Session 5 - August 11 - 14;9am

Y Members: $30; Community: $40

Click here for a description of swim levels/names (i.e., eel, fish).

Learn to Swim Campaigns

Community Learn To Swim Campaign

April Vacation - The Y’s Annual Community Learn To Swim Campaign is a week long intensive swim program for children ages 6-13.

Ages 6-13
Look for this program again in 2015

Fee: $35.00 for Members and Community    

Kids attend a daily swim lesson during the week of April school vacation. Registration is limited to Polliwog through Fish levels. Pool, Beach, and Boating Safety are taught in addition to Stroke Development. Classes are scheduled on the hour and last 45 minutes each day. Everyone is a swimmer by the end of the school vacation week. Typical improvement is one level or more.

Click here for a description of swim levels/names (i.e., eel, fish).


Adult Skill Development

adultAdult Individualized Instruction

Appointments are scheduled through the aquatics department. Online registration not allowed for this program.

½ hour class: $30
1 hour class: $60

Try working one on one to learn to swim or improve your strokes or fitness. Our Swim lessons are individualized to meet the goals and needs of the participant. Certified and experienced instructors are ready to help swimmers at any level of ability, from increasing comfort in the water to stroke tips for advanced swimmers. Participation begins with an initial assessment. Classes are 30 or 60 minutes long and are scheduled as time permits throughout the day and evening.

Masters Organized Group Workout

Join Pam Torrey, a Maine Masters swimmer, for a fun and challenging group workout on Saturday mornings. Improve your speed and endurance. Workouts are adapted for swimmers of different abilities and experience, but one should be able to swim 1,500 yards comfortably.

Sat morning 7:30-8:30 am
Y Members: *FREE
*membership required to participate.

Advanced Training

Lifeguard Training

• Minimum Age 15 - proof of age required at time of registration)
• Pass Prerequisite swim test

Look for this program again in 2015

Fee: $325.00 (includes Certification, Books, and all pre-requisites)







lifeguardOur Lifeguard training program provides a comprehensive education centered on preventing accidents in aquatic environments. It includes all of the skills and knowledge required for the lifeguard candidate to be effective and successful at swimming pools, lakefronts, beaches, and water parks. The course offers up-to-date information on how to guard, anticipate and prevent problems, and take action to help those in danger when necessary. Lifeguard training enables students to learn and apply safety principles in their own lives, develop leadership skills, and improve their decision making skills. YMCA certification is accepted at all state run facilities.

The Aquatics Director has additional information on employment at both our Y and other organizations for interested  lifeguard candidates. Please contact Diane at: diane@bathymca.org

Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Training

The American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Courseprovides instructor candidates the training needed to teach courses in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program.

lessonsWhether you want to splash around with kids and teach them to swim, help children or adults refine their strokes or teach diving safety techniques, you can do it as an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. Qualified instructors can also help prepare swim coaches to prevent and respond to emergency situations.

WSI Class Dates:  
There is not a class scheduled currently. Please contact Diane Hicks (443-4112 or diane@bathymca.org) for information about upcoming classes.

The YMCA Aquatics Director has additional information on employment at both our Y and other organizations for interested WSI candidates. Please contact Diane at: diane@bathymca.org

Long Reach Swim Club (swim team)

lrsc logoCompetitive strokes, endurance, related skills and fun are the focus of our very successful swim team. LRSC strives to offer a fun learning experience where swimmers will thrive. Link to Long Reach Swim Club website


Dates: May 12 - July 22

A & B Practice Groups
Members: $175
Community: $350

C &D Practice Groups
Members: $125
Community: $250

An informal tryout is mandatory for new or interested swimmers before acceptance onto the team. This ensures that each new participant has the fundamental skills required for a happy, successful experience. Summer team offers new swimmers an opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with the team before the competitive season begins in the Fall. Swimmers are assigned to a practice schedule based on their skill level and experience. LRSC strives to offer a fun, learning environment where the self motivated swimmer will thrive. The asset approach to healthy youth development is just one of the tools used in this program to help young people further their personal development. Practice groups A and B are scheduled to meet between 5 and 6 hours a week. Practice groups C and D are scheduled to meet between 1.5 and 2.5 hours a week.

Contact Jay Morissette at lrsc@bathymca.org or 443-4112 to make an appointment for an individual try-out, or for more info about competitive swimming at the Bath Area Family YMCA.

LRSC Policy Information

YMCA Membership - National YMCA rules of competitive swimming require that each member of every YMCA swim team have an annual (year long) membership in good standing. You may use a monthly EFT for the membership fee, but your membership must be maintained for 12 months.

Y Program Refund Policy - Department directors process all credits and refunds. These are done on an individual basis, minus the processing and administration fees. Refunds may take up to four weeks. Special consideration will be given for extenuating circumstances.

Weather Cancellations - Practice is cancelled only if the YMCA closes early. Use your own discretion and comfort level when deciding whether or not to come for practice during inclement weather. Cancellation announcements are made on WCSH TV channel 6 and WGME TV cannel 13. When in doubt, call the front desk at 443-4112.

Transportation - The team provides buses to all away dual meets. However, transportation is not provided to USA meets or any of the championship meets at the end of the season. If transportation is an issue, let the coach know as soon as possible.

Closed Pool Cancellations - In the event that the Y is open but the pool is unusable, we will make every reasonable attempt to contact you to let you know.

Swimmer Responsibilities - Being part of the team means you have accepted the responsibilities that come with membership. At the minimum, each swimmer is expected to:

  • Complete all paperwork and fees at the beginning of the season.
  • Attend as many practices as possible.
  • Attend at least three YMCA dual meets during the season.
  • Attend the YMCA State Championship Meet.
  • Participate in the team’s annual fundraiser, the Aquathon.
  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship and respect for others.
  • Follow all YMCA building rules and be a respectful guest at other facilities

Team Suits - Team swim suits are not required but are encouraged. Suits are sized and ordered in late October or early November. Cost estimates are $25.00 for male suits and $45.00 for female suits. Caps and goggles are also recommended and are for sale ($5, $7) in the pool area by the Aquatics Director or Swim Coach.

Preschool Levels (4-6 years old)

pikePike - This introductory level helps children develop safe pool behavior, adjust to the water, and develop independent movement in the water. It is designed for new swimmers, learning basic paddle stroke and kicking skills, pool safety, and comfort holding their faces in the water while blowing bubbles and swimming.

eelEel - This advanced beginner level reinforces Pike skills. It is for children who are comfortable in the water and can swim independently with the help of an IFD. Kids are taught to flutter kick, dive, float, and perform the progressive paddle stroke. Children can swim across the pool without assistance by the end of this level.

rayRay - At this level children review previous skills, improve stroke skills such as rotary breathing, over –arm backstroke, build endurance by swimming on their front and back, and learn to tread water. And perform more progressive diving skills. Children can swim across the pool on their front and back without assistance by the end of this level.

starfishStarfish - For the advanced pre-school swimmer. Skills include freestyle with rotary breathing, backstroke, elementary breast stroke, butterfly, and endurance swimming. Children can swim the length of the pool and back without assistance by the end of this level. Must have approval of Aquatic Director.

Youth levels (6-12 years old)

polliwogPolliwog  (Beginner) - This is the beginning level for school-age children. It gets children acquainted with the pool while learning front paddle stroke, back float, rhythmic breathing, water games and basic water safety. Children can swim across the pool without assistance by the end of this level.

guppyGuppy  (Advanced Beginner) - The children continue to practice and build upon basics. Paddle stroke becomes Freestyle with rotary breathing. They are introduced to sidestroke, back stroke, breast stroke and elementary backstroke. Additional synchronized swimming, and diving skills are taught. Children swim the length of the pool without assistance by the end of this level.

minnowMinnow  (Intermediate) - This is the initial intermediate level. freestyle, backstroke, and the other strokes already introduced will be refined.  Breast stroke will be introduced along with learning more synchronized swimming, wetball, diving skills, and first aid skills. Children can swim the length of the pool freestyle with rotary breathing and backstroke by the end of this level.

fishFish - Children continue to refine their freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke while increasing endurance swimming. Butterfly, sidestroke and turns will be introduced, along with the use of mask and snorkel, and additional first aid skills.

flying fishFlying Fish  - In this advanced level, students work on refining their breaststroke and butterfly stroke and increasing their endurance. They develop the ability to perform more complex skills.