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Swim & Water Safety

Swim, Sports & Play


For more than 100 years, the Y has been the nation’s leading provider of swim lessons and has helped children and adults of all ages improve their swimming skills, learn water safety and build relationships with others – all while having fun!

Whether you or your child are taking your first dip in the water, or hoping to perfect your stroke, we’re confident we have the right program for you. We offer swim lessons for every age and skill level, so that everyone can learn this lifesaving skill. We are turning beginners into advanced swimmers and helping those interested in learning how to swim properly improve upon skills and technique. Choose from our wide selection of parent-and-child, preschool, kids, adult or private or semi-private swim lessons.

All of our instructors have been trained according to national YMCA swim lesson standards and are certified in CPR, AED and First Aid. In addition to helping swimmers learn all four strokes, our instructors also embrace the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and model behaviors that help youth and adults be caring and responsible individuals in our community.

Swim Lessons

Introducing the Swim Lesson Upgrade

As “America’s favorite swim instructor,” the Y has been teaching kids how to be safe around water for more than 100 years. Our evidence-based swim lessons offer a user-friendly curriculum where the skills that are taught in one class are built upon in the next as you move up in levels.

Swim lesson curriculum focuses on standard skills and goals in each stage. The curriculum is organized into three general categories: swim starters, swim basics and swim strokes. Students progress from basics to stroke technique over 6 distinct stages: Water Acclimation, Water Movement, Water Stamina, Stroke Introduction, Stroke Development, and Stroke Mechanics.

Swim lessons are essential for kids to become safe around water, and learn to set and achieve goals. This updated swim lesson structure will help build strong swimmers and confident kids.

Water Safety

71% of the World is Water
Children Are 100% Curious

Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA offers two programs that are designed to help you make sure they learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely.


This program offers the opportunity to each 4th grade class in the Port Huron Area Schools and parochial schools to come to the Y for a 45 minute classroom presentation and an hour water safety lesson in the pool. This program runs during the school year and is sponsored by the Port Huron Noon Optimist Club. Check with your school to learn when your 4th grader's class will be participating. 


Through learning how to perform a sequenced set of skills over eight lessons of 40 minutes each, the risk of drowning is reduced, giving your child confidence in and around water.

A typical session includes:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
  • Specific safety topics, like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help
  • Fun activities that reinforce skills

Help Keep Your Children Safe

Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined. You need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills.

Enroll in a YMCA Safety Around Water Program Today!

Lifeguard Certification

Lifeguards have serious responsibilities, and quality training can help save lives. The YMCA is a national leader in water safety, and we provide lifeguard training and CPR certification courses.

Our Y offers an intensive lifeguard certification course that is typically 3 days long and scheduled over one weekend. Our program is led by certified lifeguard instructors. Students get hands-on training (in the pool), with practical experience in essential lifeguard skills.

A hands on and proactive approach to lifeguard training, the International Lifeguard Training Program™ (ILTP™) is a single, integrated curriculum that successfully trains lifeguards through proven training methods and state-of-the-art lifeguard rescue skills. Course includes lifeguard rescue skills, First Aid, CPR for Professional Rescuers, Emergency Oxygen Support and Automated External Defibrillation.

Participants’ Lifeguard certificate is valid at any aquatic facility in the U.S. where water depth is 9 feet or less (excluding open water and wave environments). Students must attend all days and times of course for certification as well as complete an assigned resource document, 80% on written exam and demonstrate mastery of all practical skills.