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Beginners at Tie Lake

​Tie Lake offers an excellent public swimming area for beginner to beginner/intermediate swimmers. It is well maintained with change rooms, picnic tables, toilets, ample parking and lots of grassy space. The public swimming area is enclosed by a buoy line approximately 35-40 meters wide by 10-15 meters from the shore out to the line. It is a gradually sloping beach at a consistent angle (no sharp drop offs), with the deepest few meters before the buoy line being about 2 meters deep. There's plenty of smooth sand, beautiful shells, cool rocks and dragonflies to find!


The temperature varies depending on when the ice went out that year, how much water fills it, if there is an early heatwave (which turns it into a bath), or whether there's thunderstorms - every day, week and year is different. That's the nature of learning outdoors in the elements, and why there is a makeup week at the end of July this year. If the week doesn't fill up with makeup lessons, then whoever misses out will be contacted first to book a last minute lesson set the week beforehand.

The Details


Beginner to beginner/intermediates are any Preschool level and Lifesaving Society - Swimmer 1-4 (or Red Cross - Swim Kids 1-5, or Dolphins - Junior Pups).


Recommended for swimmers 4 years and over. Previous years have shown it’s not warm enough or calm enough to provide a comfortable learning environment for most 3 year olds, and there isn’t enough space or depth to challenge those over the age of about 10-12 years old. Swimmers participating in their first ever set of lessons may benefit more from starting in a pool where they can see the bottom and the environment is predictable, but if they are comfortable in the water and play in the pool/lake often, you're still welcome to join. If you have a 3 year old who is comfortable in the water and with other adults, and you feel they would do well in the cooler temperatures and changing environment of the lake, you are still welcome to pre-register. If your child can confidently swim more than 25-50 meters on their front and back, Tie Lake may not be suitable to advance their skills - please see Intermediate/Advanced options at Waldo Cove instead.

If you are asking family or friends to find a match for your swimmers, please keep in mind that usually anything more than a 2 year age gap will result in a different ability. Questions you will be asked on your pre-registration form will include - can they float independently, how far can they swim unassisted, can they swim on their front and back, etc. If you don't know their swim level, this is a good guide to see if they have a similar ability, especially if they haven't participated in formal lessons yet or it's been a while.

Similar ability means they will learn well together. Example 1: If one swimmer can barely swim 2M, but the other swimmer can confidently swim 10M, then the more proficient swimmer may not be challenged as much, as we will need to stay shallow and close. Example 2: If one swimmer can swim 5M, and the other can swim 10M (or 10M versus 20M), this may work fine as they can complete different distances as they progress.


Lessons take a child led approach, working at each swimmers' own pace, using a variety of equipment, games and activities to build comfort, confidence and competence in the water. Lessons are fun, calm, encouraging, and swimmers progress on to new skills as soon as they are ready.

Preferably, you will organize your own swimmer’s match (sibling, cousin, friend) in advance of pre-registration, or you can request a match for your single swimmer by describing their ability on the pre-registration form. Experience has shown that having a good match makes all the difference in boosting confidence, encouraging swimmers to challenge themselves and progress faster, and providing a more fun experience. A lot of time and consideration is taken when selecting a match for your swimmer.


Each set will include 4 half hour lessons at the same time each day of the set, running at 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 3.30pm or 4pm.

Set 1:   July 3, 4, 6 and 7

Set 2:   July 10, 11, 13 and 14

Set 3:   July 17, 18, 20 and 21

(Set 4:  July 24, 25, 27 and 28   -   Makeup Lessons or Bonus Set)



*An additional private/semi-private lesson will run at 2pm during Sets 5-8 at Waldo Cove (or more times if available) - siblings of intermediate/advanced swimmers, or Baynes Lake residents will be prioritized first. Please complete Beginners form on pre-registration night*

Set 5:   August 7, 8, 10 and 11

Set 6:   August 14, 15, 17 and 18

Set 7:   August 21, 22, 24 and 25

(Set 8:  August 28, 29, 31 and Sept 1 - Makeup Lessons or Bonus Set)

The number of options running will depend on participant demand and availability.


The closest address for Google maps is: 6399 Tie Lake Rd, Jaffray, BC V0B 1T0.

​Heading West, turn right off the highway opposite the Shell gas station onto Tie Lake Road. Follow the main road until you reach the picnic area (marked Tie Lake Regional Park on Google maps). Do not turn right to the camping/recreation site. The road is paved right to the end, where you will find a large looped parking area and several scattered toilets, changing rooms and picnic tables available to use.

Please note: these are private swim lessons on a public beach – there is no affiliation with Tie Lake Regional Park or RDEK.


There is a non-refundable registration fee of $20, which is put towards the immense time it takes for this solo human to complete registration, match swimmers, develop schedules, plan lessons, courses and sets, daily set up/set down, website and administration, professional development - on top of high expenses to cover insurance, operating costs and more.

Semi-private lessons include 2 swimmers of similar age and ability - book with a sibling or friend, or request a match. The cost is $32 per swimmer/per lesson plus registration fee and tax (i.e. $32 x 4 lessons + $20 registration + 5% tax = $155.40 total each).

Private one-on-one lessons are only available by request, such as for swimmers with diverse learning needs, high risk behaviors, or disabilities - at a reduced rate. The cost is $55 per lesson plus registration fee and tax (i.e. $55 x 4 lessons + $20 registration + 5% tax = $252 total). All abilities are welcome and can be tailored to suit each swimmers' needs and learning preferences.

Lesson costs have had to be increased this set to try to keep up with high costs of living, increased special risk insurance costs, drive time and fuel, and reducing pre-registered sets to allow for wet weather make up days (rather than providing refunds and kids getting less than 4 lessons). If your family is struggling financially too, please see the Community page for kids sports grants, or contact me now for further options.


We will not be offering the Lifesaving Society (previously Red Cross) swim program at the lake, as many skills cannot be completed in the open water, distances are a challenge to measure and the lesson sets are shorter during the Summer season. If you plan to join group swim classes at your local aquatic center in the future, you can request a swim assessment from them so they are placed in the appropriate level. We would like to offer a stronger focus on survival swimming, open water safety skills and endurance. Verbal feedback will be provided on your final lesson day.

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