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Sets 2 & 3 at Lake Koocanusa - Beginners to Advanced

Our *NEW* Lake Koocanusa swimming location this year will be at Koocanusa Campsite and Marina (Baynes Lake), about 30 minutes drive from Fernie, and 15 minutes from Jaffray. This is an excellent location for older, intermediate/advanced swimmers due to there being more space (than Tie Lake), greater depths, a fixed dock to swim out to and lots of space on the sand to enjoy. The area is well maintained, with ample parking and facilities. 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.

This Summer we will continue to offer small group swim classes 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 Bronze (pre-Lifeguard) Courses, and can offer great open water exposure and skills for Swim Club swimmers too. We will also run the Lifesaving Society Junior Lifeguard Club to more advanced swimmers, according to demand. ​Now that we have a second Swim Instructor on board to join the team this year, we will also be offering more private and semi-private lessons from beginners to advanced swimmers. 

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!

Beginner lessons will also be offered in Set 1 at Tie Lake. All on the same pre-registration form.

You may learn with Swim Instructor Sarah, or our new Swim Instructor Ellie.

The Details


Private/Semi-private lessons are available for any ability and are recommended for swimmers 4 years+ as previous years have shown it’s not warm enough or calm enough to provide a comfortable learning environment for those under 4 years. Privates lessons are by request only, for swimmers with disabilities or diverse learning needs. 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.

Small group classes are available for intermediate to advanced swimmers, with 4 similar ability swimmers matched together. Recommended for swimmers 7-15 years who can swim at least 25 meters front crawl and back crawl, can tread water for at least 1 minute and are competent in deep water (Swimmer 4+ if comparing to Lifesaving Society program). You are welcome to sign up with a sibling, cousin or friend(s) of similar ability, or you can sign up your single swimmer by describing their ability on the pre-registration form.


Private/Semi-private lessons include 6 x 30 minute or 45 minute lessons at the same time on each day of the set. 30 minute lessons are recommended for beginner swimmers, younger swimmers and/or those who get cold quickly. 45 minute lessons are recommended for intermediate to advanced swimmers, or older beginners. 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. We focus first and foremost on survival skills, water safety, and developing their swimming skills. Intermediate and advanced swimmers will also practice lifesaving skills, such as learning survival strokes and skills, what to do in a an emergency, how to recognize a distressed swimmer and what to do (and not do), and how to make safe decisions in and around the water.

Small group classes include 6 x 45 minute classes at the same time on each day of the set. Four swimmers will be grouped together according to age and ability as best as possible. Along with swimming, survival and lifesaving skills described above, more advanced swimmers have the option to participate in the Lifesaving Society Junior Lifeguard Club program (details shown at the bottom), according to demand. Please note if there is not enough similar swimmers available at the same time/set to make up a small group class, you may be offered a semi-private lesson instead,


Lesson times will vary depending on the number of 30 minute and 45 minute lessons requested, which may include 10.00am, 10.30am, 10.45am, 11.00am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 12.45pm and 1pm.

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

Set 3: August 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15

Makeup lesson dates have been scheduled at the end of each week (Set 2: July 20 and 27 / Set 3: August 9 and 16) just in case lesson days need to be rescheduled due to thunderstorms, wildfire smoke, Instructor illness or similar. Please also keep these in dates available in your calendars, and your Instructors will too. Hopefully we won't need them!


Koocanusa Campsite & Marina - 2354 Kikomun Road, Baynes Lake, BC.

Directions: From Fernie (approximately 30 minutes):

- Drive West on Hwy#3 towards Cranbrook. Turn Left at Kikomun Creek Rd. (Right after the 3 and 93 Intersection/Dairy). 

- Follow the road straight down (past the provincial park) to the bridge across the lake. Koocanusa Campsite and Marina is on the far side of the bridge at the left hand side.


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, secure location agreements, website and administration, professional development - on top of high expenses to cover insurance, operating costs and more.

  • Semi-private lessons (30 mins) include 2 swimmers of similar age and ability (beginners to advanced) - book with a sibling or friend, or request a match. The cost is $36 per swimmer/per lesson plus tax and registration fee (i.e. $36 x 6 lessons + 5% tax + $20 registration = $246.80 each total).

  • Semi-private lessons (45 mins) include 2 swimmers of similar age and ability (intermediate to advanced) - book with a sibling or friend, or request a match. The cost is $54 per swimmer/per lesson plus tax and registration fee (i.e. $54 x 6 lessons + 5% tax + $20 registration = $360.20 each total).

  • Small group classes (45 mins) include 4 swimmers of similar ability (intermediate to advanced) - book with a sibling or friend, or sign up as a single. The cost is $40 per swimmer/per class (i.e. $40 x 6 classes + 5% tax + $20 registration = $272 each total). 

  • Private one-on-one lessons (30 mins) are only available by request, for swimmers with diverse learning needs and/or disabilities (beginners to advanced). The cost is $72 per lesson plus tax and registration fee (i.e. $72 x 6 lessons + 5% tax + $20 registration = $473.60 total). 

Please note: lesson costs have had to be increased a little 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.


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 (add $8 each for materials): 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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