Swim, Sports & Play

The Y is the starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.

Casco Bay Branch
14 Old S Freeport Rd
Freeport, ME 04032



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.


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.

**Swim Lesson FAQ's**

For program information, please view our Spring & Summer Newsletter.  Our Summer Session runs from June 21 - August 8. Registration for all Summer Session classes opens Monday, June 1st, at 5am.