The Y: We’re for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.


The YMCA swim lessons increase accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime. Our Aquatics staff members are available to answer any questions about the swim program and to help place your child in the appropriate swim level.

This program is offered through our Pittsfield, Northern Berkshire, and Bennington Recreation Center branches. While we continue to support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have updated our class structure and added COVID-19 guidelines.

New COVID-19 Guidelines for Swim Lessons

  • No one should attend a lesson if not feeling well, has a fever, currently under quarantine, or has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Personal health and safety are the responsibility of all parents/participants.
  • Please do not arrive on deck more than 5 minutes before lesson start time.
  • No parent/spectators allowed on the pool deck during lessons. At the Pittsfield branch, parents/spectators may view from the observation deck. At the Northern Berkshire and Bennington branches, parents/spectators may view from the pool deck benches.
  • We suggest coming to lesson with swimsuit already on, but locker rooms will be available to change.
  • Please minimize personal items brought in as lockers are not currently available. All items will need to be hung in pool area or placed on pool deck near your assigned lane if not kept with parent/guardian.

Updates to Class Structure

The following lessons will require a family member age 16 years or older to be in the water with the child while instructor is on deck. Class size is limited to 4 kids (+4 adults).: (1) Water Acclimation (2) Water Movement (3) Water Stamina

The following lessons will be taught by an instructor from the pool deck (not in the water), so the skills of Water Stamina must be mastered by each participant prior to registering for these lessons. Class size is limited to 5 kids.: (4) Stroke Introduction (5) Stroke Development (6) Stroke Mechanics

Who can register?

  • 6 months to 12 years old
  • Pittsfield & Northern Berkshire require Active Y Members. Bennington Recreation Center offered to Y Members, BRC Members, and non-members.

Additional Information:

  • At least 2 children must be enrolled in a class for it to run. Class dates/times may change to accommodate enrollment.

We offer Swim Lessons year-round.

Aquatics Department Contacts:

  • Program Director, Pittsfield & Northern Berkshire - Brandon Rousseau: 413-499-7650 ext. 233 or Use the webform to submit a question to the Aquatics department now.
  • Branch Director, Bennington Rec Center - Kayla Becker: 802-442-1053 or


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How do I choose the level that is right for my child?

  • New to our swim lesson program? The swim lesson selector below is a helpful guide. Still not sure, speak to a swim instructor or Program Director.
  • Already taken Y swim lessons? Discuss the appropriate next level with your swim instructor.














The Parent/Child and Preschool Aquatic Program is special because it reaches children and parents early in their relationship. Parents and guardians are given guidance on how to develop their children’s abilities and will participate in age-appropriate activities. Together, you and your child will explore a new environment and build skills that add to their growth and development.

A / Water Discovery, Ages 6 - 36 months

  • Parents accompany children in stage A, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water. Children require a swim diaper.

B / Water Exploration, Ages 6 - 36 months

  • In stage B, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, fundamental safety and aquatic skills. Children require a swim diaper.

Berkshire Family YMCA swim lessons increase the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. There are two categories of for children ages 3 and up, Swim Basics and Swim Strokes.

  • Swim Basics (Stage 1, 2 and 3) develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.
  • Swim Strokes (Stage 4, 5, 6) introduces and refines stroke technique. Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

Swim Basics, Stage 1 / Water Acclimation

  • In stage 1, students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in swimming.

Swim Basics Stage 2 / Water Movement

  • In stage 2, students focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.

Swim Basics Stage 3 / Water Stamina

  • In stage 3, students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. 

Swim Strokes, Stage 4 / Stroke Introduction

  • Students in stage 4 develop stroke technique in front crawl, and back crawl, and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.

Youth Swim Strokes, Stage 5 / Stroke Development

  • In stage 5, students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.​

Youth Swim Strokes, Stage 6 / Stroke Mechanic

  • In stage 6, students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.


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Use the space provided to submit your question to the Aquatics Department.