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Intermediates at Waldo Cove

August will look a little different this year as we start offering small group swim classes to intermediate swimmers.​ To bridge the gap between learn to swim lessons, and Junior Lifeguard Club or other Bronze Courses, we will be offering small group classes with 4 swimmers in each. They will run for 1 hour each day, for 4 days in the same week. Along with working on their swimming skills, they will also be introduced to ability and age appropriate survival skills, lifesaving skills and water safety scenarios. Time in the water will be broken up with activities on the sand too if they need a warm up.

Waldo Cove is an excellent location for older, intermediate/advanced swimmers due to there being more space, greater depths, a fixed dock to swim out to and lots of space on the sand to enjoy. The area is well maintained, with lots of parking, picnic tables, toilets, a boat launch and grassy spots too. The public swimming area is enclosed by a log line approximately 50-55 meters wide by 20-25 meters from the shore out to the line. It has a shallow strip along the shoreline of a few meters, before a sharp drop off to about 2 meters depth, that gets deeper towards the dock. There's plenty of smooth sand, beautiful shells, driftwood and cool rocks to find! The water temperature varies depending on when the ice went out that year, when the reservoir opens up and how much water fills it, if there are heatwaves or thunderstorms - every day, week and year is different, but it is usually the warmest in August. That's the nature of learning outdoors in the elements, and why there is a makeup week at the end of August this year.

We live in such a beautiful region surrounded by open water lakes and rivers. As kids and teenagers get older, it's important we equip them with skills to keep themselves, and their friends, safe around the water. Not only does this include the ability to swim competently, but also to make safe judgements and decisions, learn how to increase their chances of survival if something goes wrong, how to call for help and get emergency assistance, and understand and practice appropriate lifesaving skills.

The Details


Recommended for swimmers 7-12 years, and must be able to tread water for at least 1 minute and comfortably swim AT LEAST 25 meters front crawl and back crawl without assistance. This equates to Lifesaving Society - Swimmer 4/5/6 (or Red Cross - Swim Kids 5/6/7 or Dolphins - Pups and higher). Strong Swimmer 4 preferred.

Advanced - Junior Lifeguard Club is recommended for Lifesaving Society - Swimmer 6+ (or Red Cross - Swim Kids 7-10 or Dolphins - Stronger Pups or Green/Red/Blue Pods) who are 8-15 years and can comfortably swim 50m front/back crawl unassisted and tread water for minimum 1 minute. Swimmer 6 kids can choose which option suits them best.


1 hour classes will include 4 swimmers each, running for 4 days in the same week. Each weekly group will be divided according to age and ability as best as possible. 

Along with swimming skills, suitable lifesaving skills and water safety activities (on dry land if they need a warm up) will be included in line with the group's age, ability and interests. Classes take a child led approach, working at the group's own pace, using a variety of equipment, games and activities to build comfort, confidence and competence in the water. Classes are fun, calm, encouraging, and swimmers progress on to new skills as soon as they are ready.

Wetsuits and an extra towel are recommended.

*An additional private/semi-private lesson will run at 2pm (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*


1pm - 2pm each day of the set

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, and could possibly run in the late afternoon too.


The closest address for Waldo Cove is: 1005 Sharpe Rd, East Kootenay B, BC V0B 1T4. Google maps may direct you to the wrong access point, as the last section is a gravel road along the water that doesn't display as a driving route.

Heading South down Jaffray Baynes Lake Road through Baynes Lake, turn right onto Baynes Lake Loop Road. Follow it most of the way until you can turn right onto Sharpe Road. Follow this around to the left, then you'll see the 'Waldo Cove' sign which you follow onto the gravel road to your left. Follow all the way to the end, where you will drive through a small RV park, then the public swimming area is just before the boat launch.


Please note: these are private swim lessons on a public beach – there is no affiliation with Waldo Cove 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.


Cost is $38 per swimmer/per class (i.e. $38 x 4 days + $20 registration + 5% GST = $180.60 total each). 

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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