Swim, Sports & Play
The Casco Bay Branch offers family-friendly group exercise classes, encouraging a healthy lifestyle from an early age.
At the Y our goal is to reach out to all members of our community to provide lessons to as many people as possible. With large and small pool options, we provide a safe, comfortable place for children to experience the water, from the first time out of the tub through eight progressive levels. Our well trained instructors teach personal safety tips, swim strokes, and enrich lessons with character-building activities and values. We offer lessons in both the large and small pools at the Casco Bay, Greater Portland and Northern York branches, and the warm water instruction pool at the Pineland Branch specializes in beginner to intermediate swims (through the Guppy level). Please review level requirements prior to registering. Swim lessons are subject to change based on enrollment levels.
PRESCHOOL AND YOUTH LEVEL REQUIREMENTS:
Ages 6 Months – 3
Shrimp/Kipper: Ages 6 months to 2 years with Parent. This class is an introductory class for those children just starting out, with parents in the pool with them. It introduces children to the water through songs and games.
Inia/Perch: Ages 2 to 3 years with Parent. This class is an introductory class for those children who are just starting out and need a parent in the water with them. This class helps get children comfortable and more independent in the water. Buoyancy belts are used along with skills and songs. Must be ready to be independent from parent before moving to Pike.
Ages 3 - 5
Pike: This is a non-swimmer or a child who does not like to get their face wet. Buoyancy belts are used. Must be able to swim half the width of the small pool without floatation to pass to Eel level.
Eel: This child must be able to get their face wet and paddle halfway across the pool without floatation. We are working off floatation devices and the child should show confidence without the belt. Beginner stroke skills are being taught at this level. Must be able to swim the length of the small pool without floatation before moving into Eel.
Rays: For children who are swimming without buoyancy belts. They can put their whole face under and are ready to learn more skills; like diving, front crawl arms, back crawl, elementary back stroke, etc. This class takes place primarily in the big pool, so they must be able to swim the length of the small pool to be in this level, or swim the length of the big pool to advance to Starfish.
Starfish: For children who can swim 25yds on their front and back. They will continue learning the breathing with the front crawl and the whip kick for the elementary back stroke. In addition, they will also be able to tread water, do the survival float, and learn kneel and stand up dives.
Ages 6 and Up
Polliwogs: For the older child who has never had lessons; may be hesitant to get their face wet or who is still doggy paddling. Focus on water adjustment, beginner’s strokes and floating. Must be able to swim width of small pool to move up to Guppy level.
Guppy: This child has gone through Pike-Starfish and/or Polliwogs. They are ready to go into the deeper water and work on the front crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breast stroke, and endurance at a much higher level. Basic sidestroke will be introduced. They will be introduced to the big pool towards the end of the session. Must be able to do front crawl with rudimentary rotary breathing and be able to swim 25 yards before moving up to Minnow.
Minnow: This child is ready to start doing laps and really working on perfecting their strokes with the front crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breast stroke, and sidestroke. All of these will go for a longer distance than the previous class. They will also learn safety skills like, jumping in the water with a life jacket on, the H.E.L.P. position and the Huddle position. Diving will be introduced in this class. Must be able to do front and back stroke proficiently and be working towards breast stroke before moving to the Fish level or join Developmental Swim Team (fee based program).
Fish: This child will start learning Sculling, feet first surface dives, and open turns on front and back. They will be able to tread water and float more. Stroke skills will continue to be developed, including breast stroke. The butterfly stroke will be introduced. Must be able to do all strokes, and working to perfect breast stroke to move to Flying Fish/Shark level or Developmental Swim Team.
Flying Fish: This child is starting to work on numerous yards for all the strokes; front crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breast stroke, and sidestroke. Flip turns, open speed turns with glides, pullouts for breaststroke turns, along with the approach stroke and more on the butterfly. Students will learn Pike and Tuck surface dives along with safety issues like the throwing rescue tubes or buoys. Must know all stroke skills, and working towards perfecting butterfly and distance swimming to move to Shark level.
Sharks: This class is for those students who have successfully passed Flying Fish and are ready to increase their skill level by learning about swimming in open water, learn how to take your pulse and swim within that range. Work on crawl strokes with flip turns, breaststrokes w/pull out, trudgen crawl, swim an IM 200 yards, and learn how to use pace clocks. You will also learn more about lifeguarding skills and about ice safety and ice rescue.
Our Winter I Session runs from January 5 - February 22 and our Winter II Session runs from March 2 - April 19.
offered. Visit our website or check with
any branch for a complete list of times.
Pre-Registration and Membership Required
These lessons are for individuals who prefer one on one instruction or whose schedule varies week to week. Call the Y with any questions. Time and days are tailored to meet the needs of participants.
These lessons are for individuals who prefer smaller group instruction or whose schedule varies week to week. Call the Y with any questions. Time and days are tailored to meet the needs of participants. Minimum of two participants are required for Semi-Private lessons. Please note, individuals need to have similar swimming abilities.
Swim Team is a great way to develop a life-long activity, create lasting relationships and have fun while learning good sportsmanship as well as the YMCA core values: honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. Swimmers compete against their own age and gender, but participate with boys and girls of a variety of ages. Throughout the season the team works on stroke technique, endurance, starts and turns. Practice times and group assignments will be based on age, skill, and self-discipline. Please contact each branch for more details such as meet requirements, practice groups, and other specifics. For those interested in joining please visit our website or call your local branch!
Formerly Developmental Swim Team - same great program, new name! Do you like to swim but are a little unsure about competition? Would you like to improve your stroke skills and learn more about the competitive rules without competing? Try out Porpoise Club. Must be able to swim the length of the big pool with an efficient front and back stroke or have passed the Minnow level. Porpoise Club is not a prerequisite for joining the Stripers Swim Team. Its is primarily designed for those children who wish not to compete in meets. Please note, if participating at Casco Bay Branch, members must have already participated in the Intermediate class before moving into the Advanced group.
During these 1 hour group workshops, we will concentrate on one of the following skills. Stroke Development: will focus on one stroke per clinic; Flip Turn: will focus on turns for front and back and open turns for fly and breast; Starts & Finishes: will focus on grab, track, relay and back starts. Workshops are located in the lap pool and taught by our seasoned Stripers Swim Coaches. Feel free to register for more than one workshop to sharpen your skills. These workshops will be separated for youth and adult age groups.
Martial Arts training can help your child in many aspects of their life including fitness, discipline, and team work. Each child is given the opportunity to seek their full potential and to improve awareness of their surroundings. Instructor Bill’s connection with each child is built on respect, hard work, and dedication.
Martial Arts training can help your child in many aspects of their life including fitness, discipline, and team work. Each child is given the opportunity to seek their full potential and to improve awareness of their surroundings. Instructor Bill’s connection with each child is built on respect, hard work, and dedication. Pre-requisite: must have had experience with instructor Bill for a minimum of 6 months or prior arrangements with instructor.
This class will concentrate on the importance of reducing stress that is often connected to a child’s school day responsibilities. Children will be exposed to a series of yoga poses, breath work, reflective thought through journaling, and array of arts and crafts and interactive games.
Say OM! Young students will gain the benefits of regular yoga practice in this fun 45-minute class, tailored to their abilities and attentions. We will learn many poses and explore yoga exercises through games, songs and play! Children will develop skills in balance, strength, focus and listening. At the Casco Bay branch, each class will include an interactive time where children use yoga and their imagination to become part of the story!
The focus of this class will be on creative expression through play and movement; strength and flexibility; and focus and relaxation. Each class will present a unique theme in which the children will have the opportunity to engage in a hands-on learning environment.
This is a yoga class designed specifically for young athletes. It will help young athletes learn body control, core strengthening, flexibility, visualization, proper breathing and more.
Exploring dance in many forms, this class teaches fundamentals of movement valuable in all dance! Through traditional exercises and creative play, our little dancers will discover the joys of movement and acquire new skills with their peers. Each session explores different themes, keeping students engaged and supporting ongoing dance training.
3:00pm - 3:45pm (5-6 years)
Introducing ballet, tap and jazz dance to our little ones. We’ll be teaching dance vocabulary, coordination skills, collective movement and more! Learn the fundamentals of this trio of dance genres from our qualified and experienced instructor.