Swim at the Y!

The Y is credited for being first to develop a group swim instruction program in 1906. We have come a long way since that first group lesson, and we’re excited to present the latest upgrades to you.

  • The YMCA offers a wide range of swimming options to improve swimming skills, build confidence in the water, and teach personal safety.
  • Students will learn 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.
  • All lessons are conducted under the supervision of certified lifeguards and taught by nationally certified swim instructors trained in CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration.
  • Our new swim curriculum is based on extensive research and is focused on the mastery of skills in a way that provides personalized attention and lets students set the pace.

SEARCH swim lesson options by location.


Swim Starters (Ages 6-36 months)
Accompanied by an adult, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision. Parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

Swim Basics (Ages 3-12 years)
Beginners will develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in swimming. Students learn personal water safety and essential skills in all classes.

Swim Strokes (Ages 5-12)
Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique. In addition, they develop skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

It’s never too late to learn to swim, or to refine swimming skills! Teens and adults will learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competencies.

* Private Swim Lessons also available for youth, teens, and adults!

S.W.A.M. (Swimming With Autism)

The YMCA of Delaware and Autism Delaware have come together to offer a water safety program to children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Called “S.W.A.M.,” the program is based on the “Swimming With Autism” curriculum developed by the Autism Society of San Diego, California. Currently, the program is underway at the Brandywine Y, and the downtown Wilmington and Sussex Ys will launch the program in the Summer of 2019.

Special Adapted Swim Instruction

This class is for those who have special needs. It builds strength, confidence, and improves coordination through swimming and creative play. For more information, contact Deric Clinton at dclinton@ymcade.org.

Lap Swim

Swimming laps provides a great aerobic workout that will strengthen, tone, and lengthen your muscles. We offer regular lap swimming opportunities at all of our locations, and all levels are welcome. Click here for a list of schedules by location. 

Lifeguard Certification

Lifeguard Certification through Ellis and Associates is a hands-on proactive approach to lifeguard training. The International Lifeguard Training Program is a single, integrated curriculum that provides certification valid for one year. Participants must complete an assigned resource document, achieve a minimum of 80% on written exam and demonstrate mastery of all practical skills. Search by Branch

Family Swim

Looking for quality time with the family? Take a dip and play in one of our many pools! We offer regular opportunities for recreational swim at all of our Y locations. Click here for a list of schedules by location. 

Swim Team

The YMCA of Delaware has swim teams throughout the state. This competitive program offers children and teens an opportunity to work with trained coaches to improve swimming skills, endurance, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Participants build character values through personal improvement, training, goal-setting, teamwork, and competition. Teams compete locally, regionally and nationally. Swimmers progress as participants, role models, and leaders. Search by Branch

Water Wise

Here at the Y, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn how to swim. Every year the YMCA of Delaware engages youth through local community partnerships to teach basic swimming skills and safety around water for youth between the ages 3 – 17. For more information, please contact your local branch.

Water Wise is in partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative.

USA Swimming Foundation Logo

Brandywine YMCA:
Deric Clinton, dclinton@ymcade.org; 302-478-3106

Bear Glasgow Family YMCA:
Kathy Lemasters, klemasters@ymcade.org; 302-392-2417

Central & Walnut YMCAs:
Chase Darden, cdarden@ymcade.org; 302-778-9020 x 170

Dover YMCA:
Courtney Ford, crford@ymcade.org; 302-346-2688

Western Family YMCA
Liz Bluis, ebluis@ymcade.org; 302-510-1268

Sussex Family YMCA
Anna Seiffert, anne.seiffert@ymcade.org; 302-510-1270


Our Mission

The YMCA is an association of people of all ages, ethnic groups and religious affiliations that strives to cultivate the human potential, self-esteem, and dignity of all people. Our organization exists to develop and practice the Christian principles of love, caring, inclusiveness, justice and peace…and to enrich the emotional, physical and social life of all individuals, families and our community.


Stronger Together

At the Y, we stand against all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred. We have a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and compassion for all.  We share the grief and outrage felt by the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.  As we watch and experience the unrest and violence that continues to erupt throughout our communities, we acknowledge that this reality is fueled by generations of injustice. Together through the Y, we can be a positive force for change in every community we serve. We must unite. We must be heard, and we must do better.


Due to scheduled protests, the Central and Walnut Street YMCA's will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

The Sussex Family Y will close at 12 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

The Bear-Family Y outdoor pools will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 7th.