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Intermediates & Advanced

This Summer we will continue to offer small group swim classes and semi-private lessons to intermediate and advanced swimmers. 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. These classes also aim to help bridge the gap between learn to swim lessons and Junior Lifeguard Club or other Bronze (pre-Lifeguard) Courses, and can offer great open water exposure and skills for Swim Club swimmers too. 

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. That's the nature of learning outdoors in the open water and the elements. Location to be confirmed - see below.

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. Let's encourage more leadership and community service opportunities for young people, to help instill more confidence and kindness. Who knows, some might decide to become lifeguards and instructors when they get older too, so even more kids can learn how to swim!

The Details


Recommended for swimmers 7-15 years of Swimmer 3+ or equivalent ability. Swimmers will either be grouped with 4 swimmers according to ability from intermediates to advanced, or paired as semi-privates (2 swimmers), with the option of adding Junior Lifeguard Club and/or lifesaving skills.

As a guide, intermediate ability starts at Swimmer 3/4 or Junior Pups (if competent in deep water), who can swim at least 10 meters independently (front and back crawl). Strong intermediate starts at Swimmer 5/6 or Pups, who can swim 25-50 meters independently (front and back crawl) and can tread water for at least 1 minute. Advanced starts at strong Swimmer 6+ or Green/Red/Blue Pods, who can swim over 100m continuously, can tread water for at least 2 minutes and are interesting in learning lifesaving skills and challenges (Junior Lifeguard Club is an option for this group).

Not sure of their swimming ability? These options will be provided on the pre-registration form - You will be able to select a maximum of 2 options if you're not quite sure or they're between (please note Lifesaving Society levels are shown as a guide only; program participation or completion is not necessary). Note: skills performed without a lifejacket or assistance.

  • Swimmer 3 - can swim over 10m front and back crawl, learning whip kick

  • Swimmer 4 - can swim over 15m front and back crawl, starting breaststroke

  • Swimmer 5 - can swim over 25m front and back crawl, learning breaststroke

  • Swimmer 6+ - can swim over 50m front and back crawl, over 25m breaststroke

  • Advanced - can swim over 100m front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke and more


Includes 6 x 45 minute classes or lessons at the same time on each day of the set.

Each group of four swimmers 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. Junior Lifeguard Club program (details shown below) or skills can be included to start learning lifesaving skills, and we may run the Swim to Survive Challenge at the end too. We hope to add another Instructor to our team for this Summer, otherwise a parent volunteer or two may be requested to stick around to provide a supervised rest spot on the sand, to hand out band aids, or to escort a swimmer up to the toilets.

Alternatively, swimmers can be paired up in semi-private lessons with 2 swimmers instead. 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. If you are asking family or friends to find a match for your swimmers, please keep in mind that anything more than a 2 year age gap will usually result in a different ability. 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. 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.

Wetsuits and an extra towel are recommended.


Lesson times include 1pm, 1.45pm, 3pm or 3.45pm.

Set 2: July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26

Set 3: August 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15


Location at Lake Koocanusa is still to be confirmed, hence the delay in opening registration. Further paperwork and permits are now needed this year from the RDEK to operate at Waldo Cove (but not for Tie Lake - RDEK too). We are inquiring about a second great swimming location on Lake Koocanusa 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.

Directions: 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 for 45 minute small group classes is $40 per swimmer/per class (i.e. $40 x 6 classes + 5% tax + $20 registration = $272 each total). 

Cost for 45 minute semi-private lessons is $44 per swimmer/per lesson (i.e. $44 x 6 classes + 5% tax + $20 registration = $297.20 each total). 

Please note: lesson costs have had to be increased (by $2) 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, as well as taking out late August lessons, which have historically been cancelled anyway due to thunderstorms and wildfire air pollution.


Funding and Cost. If your swimmer has funding for homeschooling physical education, e-Streams, SelfDesign, disability funding (such as BC Autism funding) or similar, please let me know and we can arrange direct invoicing and billing (paid upfront for new swimmers if you're able, then refunded upon approval/receipt). Please allow an additional $20 for invoicing time. If your family is struggling to make ends meet at this time, please see our Upcoming Lessons​ page for information about kids' sports grants that you can apply for. We hope to offer more subsidized options in the near future too.


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.

For Junior Lifeguard Club: Swimmers will receive a Lifesaving Society passport for recording the Junior Lifeguard Club member's progress and achievement; space is provided to record personal bests with waterlog seals.



Lifesaving Society - Junior Lifeguard Club

Program Information

The Junior Lifeguard Club (JLC) offers a unique aquatic alternative to traditional test-sheet-based aquatic programs and is independent of traditional award progressions. JLC is for quick learners and those between levels or programs who thrive in an energetic learning environment. Members can be any age between 8 and 15 years, who can meet the Society's Swim to Survive® standard, i.e., roll into deep water, tread water for 1 minute and swim at least 50 meters. 

More action, more options, more fun. The Junior Lifeguard Club offers a unique aquatic alternative for those kids who love the water and who want more than "lessons." The Junior Lifeguard Club keeps kids interested and active in aquatics - especially quick
learners and those caught between levels. The Junior Lifeguard Club is perfect for youth who thrive in an energetic learning environment.

The Club stresses fun and aquatic skill development based on personal-best achievement. Building on skills they already have, Junior Lifeguard Club members work to develop and improve swimming and other aquatic skills with emphasis on: Swimming skills, Lifesaving skills, Lifesaving knowledge, Leadership & teamwork, Community education, Competition, Personal fitness.

Leadership development - including teamwork and decision-making skills - is an important aspect of the Junior Lifeguard Club. As part of the Junior Lifeguard Club's service to the community, Club members will create and execute their own Water Smart® community education projects. The Junior Lifeguard Club is water-based - most of the activities happen in the water. These activities may be supplemented with dry-land fun or community education projects, displays and demonstrations.

The Junior Lifeguard Club is designed for members with differing abilities. Friends (and siblings) can join the Junior Lifeguard Club together even if they are of different ages and different abilities.


There is no ‘failure’ in the Junior Lifeguard Club. Members enjoy high activity challenges in a learning environment where personal effort and success are recognized. WaterLog: Club members - and their parents - can track individual progress in aquatic skills, lifesaving knowledge and activities that promote both leadership and teamwork in their personal Waterlog using recognition seals.

Members can earn 7 different kinds of Recognition Seals for:
• Community Education
• Leadership/Teamwork
• Lifesaving Knowledge
• Lifesaving Skills
• Swimming Skills
• Fitness
• Competition

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