Aquatics

With Lap Swimming, Swim Lessons, Water Aerobics, and Family Swims the BAC pool is one of the hottest places to be in Whatcom County! Contact aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com if you have questions.

Lap Swim

If you swim laps, you can keep track of your mileage and earn T-shirts. T-shirts are awarded at 25 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles, and every 100 miles thereafter up to 1000 miles. Want to make sure there's space in the pool for your workout? Members are welcome to reserve the lane on the far right side of the pool during select times. Reserve online with our web portal or give us a call!

Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons are available for anyone ages 6 months to adult. Lessons are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 3:30-5:30 p.m., and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Please see the Current Swim Lessons for our current swim session and prices.

We also offer private semi-private lessons. Call the Aquatics Director or Cordata Front Desk at (360) 676-1800 for prices or to sign up.

Swim Team

The goal of our swim team is to transition students into swimming as a competitive sport. This is a learning based program intended to prep students for swimming in high school or a similar club team (tryouts available).

Aqua Aerobics

Get a great cardio low-impact workout in the water! Great for all abilities and fitness levels.

Aqua Zumba

Looking for a water aerobics class with a twist? Try out Aqua Zumba! It is a fast-paced, body-toning water workout that combines the rhythm of a traditional Zumba class with the increased resistance in the pool.

Swim Lessons are available for anyone ages 6 months to adult. Prices vary per session.  We also offer private and semi private lessons. Contact aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com or Cordata Front Desk at (360) 676-1800 for prices or to sign up.  

If your student is currently enrolled in our program, please place them according to their previous level. We will be assessing and adjusting on the first day of lessons, but if you would prefer to have an independent assessment, please contact Brittany at aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com to set up a placement test. Note: These are the required skills to pass each level, not entrance skills.

Angelfish: For those age 6 mo-3 years

  • This is a Parent-Child aquatics class, focused on water adjustment and enjoyment!
  • You will learn how to hold your child in the water, practice survival skills and play games aimed at providing a positive first experience in the pool

Beluga: For those age 3 years +

  • For students who have never had lessons before
  • Focus on head & face submersion, bubbles through mouth & nose 5 seconds
  • Introduction to crawl stroke, front and back floats, & elementary backstroke (w/assistance)
  • Introduction to jumps & water safety

Starfish: For those age 7+ and just starting out

  • Meant for beginners - this is our youth beginner class! This class is for those who are a little older and just starting out - they may have some fears of the water, may or may not be comfortable putting their face under, and may or may not have had swim lessons before. For this level, the focus is on getting students adjusted for more advanced levels and becoming comfortable with the curriculum.
  • Students will learn:
    • Water adjustment and comfort (how to relax in the water)
    • Swimming 10-20 ft on own
    • Kicking with board
    • Ice Cream Scoops with rollover breathing
    • Elementary backstroke
    • Floating
    • Treading water
    • Essential Safety Skills

Clownfish: For those who have passed Beluga

  • Focus on transitioning from swimming with assistance to unassisted skills – by the end of the level they will be swimming 15-20 feet on their own
  • Effective crawl stroke and kicks
  • Front and back glide
  • Front & back floats w/ recovery (10-15 seconds)
  • Introduction to dolphin kick

Dolphin: For those who have passed Clownfish

  • Focus on increased distance and endurance – They will be swimming full lengths on a regular basis
  • Development of freestyle (crawl stroke) technique & side breathing
  • Introduction to backstroke
  • Effective glide w/kick – on stomach, back, and dolphin
  • Introduction to treading water
  • Introduction to side stroke

Flounder: For those who have passed Dolphin

  • Distance: They will be swimming 3-5 lengths on a regular basis
  • Refine freestyle and backstroke
  • Introduction to breaststroke
  • Underwater glide w/ dolphin kick
  • Tread water (40-60 seconds)

Jellyfish: For those who have passed Flounder

  • Distance: 6-8 lengths
  • Refine freestyle, backstroke & breaststroke
  • Introduction to butterfly
  • Introduction to flip turns
  • Side stroke
  • Introduction to yardage & competitive swimming skills

Manatee: For those who have passed Jellyfish

  • Distance: 12 lengths
  • Refine freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly
  • 100 yards freestyle w/flip turns
  • Introduction to backstroke flipturns
  • Introduction to IM order
  • Competitive swimming skills including time clock, starts, turns, & finishes

Swim Team: For those who have passed Manatee (tryouts available)

  • Refine all 4 strokes
  • Competitive swimming skills
  • Introduction to race starts, turns & finishes
  • Refine flipturns & streamlines
  • Drills to develop technique, endurance and speed
  • The goal of our swim team is to transition students into swimming as a competitive sport. This is a learning based program intended to prep students for swimming in high school or a similar club team.

Swim Lessons

Q. Do I need to pay when I sign up or can I pay on the first day of class?
A. In order to reserve your spot, payment is due at the time of sign up. If payment is not made during registration, you will be placed on the waiting list. If the class fills up before you make a payment for your lessons, you may need to find a class with open slots at a different time.

Q. Do I need to get in the water with my child?
A. If your child is under the age of three and has never done swim lessons before, we offer a parent child swim class in which the parent does get in the water with the child. If the child is over the age of three, they are placed in a class with an instructor and other children who have the same skills, and the parent does not need to be in the water.

Q. My child can swim, but I don’t know which level to put him or her in?
A. The swim levels are posted on our website with the corresponding skills taught in that level. If your child can do the skills listed in a particular level, then they should be placed in the next level up. If you’re unsure, give us a call! Any of our instructing staff can place students in the appropriate level.

Q. How do I know my child is in the correct swim class level?
A. The first day of class is designed to assess the skills of the children in the class. If we think your child would benefit more from a different class, the Aquatics Director will notify you after the first day and your child will be placed in the class they will be most successful in.

Q. How big are your classes?
A. The maximum number of students to one instructor is 5. For Angelfish and Swim Team, the maximum number of students to one instructor is 12.

Q. This session has already started; can I still sign my child up?
A. Yes, if there is a class with open space, we will gladly accept sign-ups after the session has started.

Q. Can I request that a class be offered at a specific time?
A. Yes, you may request a class if you have a specific time that you would like a class to be offered. The Aquatics Director does his or her best to schedule the class at the times requested, but if due to availability, the class cannot be scheduled when requested, it will be offered within 30 minutes of the requested time (either 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after the time requested).

Q. When are your swim lessons?
A. Our swim lessons are Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually run in 4-week sessions of 8 lessons. We have morning (10-12), afternoon (3:30-5:30), and evening (6:00-8:00) times so you can come when it’s most convenient for you. Classes are 30 minutes long and begin every half hour.

Q. Do you have swim lessons on other days of the week besides Tuesdays and Thursdays?
A. We do not. Our swim lessons are only on Tuesdays and Thursdays as of right now. However, private swim lessons can be scheduled at any time throughout the week (as long as the pool is not in use for another program or class)."

Q. Can I just sign up for one day a week (Tuesday OR Thursday)?
A. Yes. If we have spots available in a class, you may sign up for just one day a week and pay a per class rate. The price per class for non-members is $9, for children of members is $8, and for members is $7.

Q. Do you prorate the price if I miss a class?
A. We are able to pro-rate lessons if you know about the absence at the time of registration! The pro-rated cost is $9/lesson for non-members, $8/lesson for children of members, and $7/lesson for members. However, if you do not tell us about the absence at the time of registration, or if your student gets sick and is not able to make it to their lesson, we are not able to provide a refund.

Q. Where can I find a schedule of the classes offered?
A. We post schedules for swim lessons on our website on a monthly basis! Want to keep updated without having to check the website? Just email the Aquatics Director at aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com and ask to be put on our email list! We send out an email blast once a month with the new schedule.

Q. When will the Aquatics Director be in the club so I can talk to him or her?
A. The Aquatics Director’s hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm, and 3pm-8pm. You can reach him or her during these times or leave a voicemail message if he or she is not available. The aquatics voicemail is checked multiple times a week and your call will be returned promptly. You can also feel free to email at aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com at any time.

Q. Do you offer private swim lessons?
A. Yes, we offer private swim lessons at a rate of $25 per half hour for non-members and $20 per half hour for members. We can also offer semi-private or group private lessons! Just give us a call at (360) 676-1800 to submit a private lesson request.

Q. When are the times I can schedule a private swim lesson?
A. Private swim lesson times are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 3-5 and 7-8:30; Saturday from 10:30-12, 3-5, and 6-8:30; and Sunday from 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8:30. However, private lessons can be scheduled at any time that the instructor is available and there are no other conflicting activities in the pool.

Q. I need to cancel or reschedule my private lesson, how do I get a hold of the instructor?
A. Instructors will schedule private lessons with you individually, so they will give you their contact information when they call you to schedule. If you do not have the instructor’s contact information, please email (aquatics@bellinghamathelticclub.com) or call the front desk and they will notify the instructor for you. NOTE: The front desk CANNOT give out instructor’s contact information for any reason.

Q. The class I want to sign up for is full, will another class be opened?
A. If we are able to staff an additional class and there are two or more people on the waiting list, we will open up another class for that time.

Q. I put in a private swim lesson request and I have not heard back yet.
A. Private swim lessons are scheduled based on the instructor’s availabilities. The Aquatics Director has to find an instructor who is available during the requested time, which may take a week or two. If it has been more than two weeks, the Aquatics Director will call you with an update.

Q. How big is your pool?
A. Our pool is 50 feet long and 30 feet wide. The shallowest point is 3 feet and the deepest point is 4 feet.

Q. What is the temperature of your pool?
A. We keep our pool between 84 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Swim Team

Q. Who can join swim team?
A. BAC accepts any swimmer who passes the tryout test, or swimmers who have successfully completed manatee skills. This is an introductory swim team where students will learn to view swimming as a sport, rather than fun activity. They will learn the official USA swimming rules & standards, stroke improvement, flip turns, starts, time clock and many other necessary swimming skills.

Q. What are the pre-requisites?
A. Tryout Test: Swimmers must complete at least 3 lengths of each stroke (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), complete at least 1 flip turn on stomach & back, swimmers must be able to complete 12 lengths of freestyle or backstroke, and demonstrate basic knowledge of swimming skills (ex floats, glides, side breathing, treading water, etc). All ages are welcome, as this is a skill based program aimed at education and fun! OR Swimmers who have completed the “Manatee” level of our learn-to-swim program and can demonstrate those skills.

Q. When can my student take the tryout test?
A. Tryout testing will take place during regular swim team time, from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or make arrangements with the aquatics director via email (aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com).

Q. How much does swim team cost?
A. Swim team will cost $65/month for non-members, $60/month for child of member, $55/month for members.

Q. How many times per week will swim team run?
A. Since our program is young, we will be running on Tuesday and Thursday nights only. However, as we pick up momentum, we will be looking to expand our program. Stay tuned!

Q. What time is swim team practice?
A. Swim team will run from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Q. Is it competitive?
A. Our program is currently aimed at an introduction to swimming as a sport. In this respect, we will be training our swimmers to compete. At this point, the focus will be on learning competitive swimming skills. Additional questions, contact aquatics@bellinghamathleticclub.com.

Swim Lessons

by BAC Staff on August 9, 2019

Our final round of summer lessons is coming up next week already!

With the change in season, there will also be a few other changes around the pool. Some of you may know that I am leaving BAC in September to pursue a degree in Film at Eastern Washington University! However, with Eastern located all the way across the state, it means I must say goodbye to all of my friends and students at BAC. I have enjoyed every minute of the 5 years (my, how the time flies!) that I have been teaching at BAC. You all have changed my life for the better and I’ve learned just as many things as I’ve taught over the years. We’ve all had a lot of fun in the pool, and I want to charge each of my students with a new challenge: Take the patience, joy and skills that you’ve learned here and bring them with you into the future! You may find yourselves swimming in places you could never imagine, so remember all of the important things you learned to get you there! And when you do, send us a photo of all the cool places you’ve swum. I will miss each and every one of you, and I want to thank you for making the last 5 years an absolute blast! I know you will all excel in the months and years to come. I’ll still be around for another few weeks, so feel free to tap me on the shoulder and say goodbye – I might even get the chance to teach some of you again before I go!

And now, on a less sentimental note, check out the schedule for the next round of swim lessons! As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. I’ll see everyone around the pool, have a great end of summer! Brittany

Next Lessons are August 8-29 (3 weeks/6 Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Categories: Aquatics

Parents Supporting Swimmers

by BAC Staff on August 5, 2019

Summer is the season for swimming lessons, and the pool is busy! As a parent, it can be tough to know how to best support your student in their learning. Here are some tips for helping your child focus during class, and for supporting them outside of lessons!

During the lesson

If your student is anxious, it can be tempting to approach them during their lesson and provide verbal support. However, this can be distracting to your student as well as others in the class, since it pulls their attention away from their teacher, who may be trying to demonstrate or explain a key skill. We encourage parents to support silently from the benches during lessons. Your child may very well want to show you their skills during class! If this happens, a thumbs up and a smile can communicate your support without pulling attention from the class.

For young children, the basic separation from parents can also be unnerving. Sometimes having the parent in the pool area can cause a conflict for the child – the reminder that you are present but not participating in class with them can make this separation harder. We may encourage parents in this situation to take some space from the class by heading into the lobby for the duration of the lesson. We have found that this both decreases anxiety for the child, as they are able to concentrate completely on their lesson, and helps them to learn that they are able to participate even when mom is not in the room.

Come prepared for class! Many families who are new to lessons simply do not know what their child needs to succeed! Here’s a shortlist of things that most students need for their lessons:
Swim Suit
Goggles (Dolphin +)
Hair tie or swim cap for hair longer than shoulder length
Swim Diaper – if not potty trained yet

Ask them questions about their lessons! Did they learn anything new today? Have them explain a skill they worked on during their lesson! When your student is able to recall details about their classes, it will be easier for them to remember those skills the next time they have class!

Outside of Class

The best thing you can do to support your student outside of class is just to swim with them! Help them practice some of the skills they have been learning in class. Swimming can be a fun family activity and seeing their parents embrace the skills they have been learning can be incredibly validating for kids! Here are a few skills from each level to practice with your little fish:

Beluga: Mouth and nose bubbles, Listen for the fishies (Snap your fingers underwater and ask them to put their whole face in to listen), big jumps to you, ice cream scoops

Clownfish: Underwater bobs, ice cream scoops out to you, chicken/airplane/soldier, kicks on tummy and back

Dolphin: Scoops to you, practice rolling over to breathe, backstroke to you, kick w/ board (you could even do a kickboard race!)

Flounder: freestyle or backstroke races, underwater dolphin kick challenge (see how far they can go swimming underwater from the wall)

Jellyfish: Freestyle, backstroke, or breaststroke races, somersaults in the water, dive for rings

Manatee: 200-yard challenge! Have them swim 12 lengths without stopping, using any stroke. practice flip turns, treading water

Categories: Aquatics

Swim Lessons

by BAC Staff on July 17, 2019

The summer has been absolutely idyllic, I hope you are all outdoors taking advantage of the weather! The next round of lessons is 3 weeks long, with no breaks or missed days, so if your kids could use a quick mid-summer touch up on their skills, check out our lesson schedule!

 A couple of quick clarifications for those who may be new or out of the loop on lessons:

Hot Tub Tips:

  • Try to save hot tub time as a treat for after lessons! When students hop in the hot tub before class, the water in the pool can be difficult to adjust to, and waiting for after lessons give them something to look forward to!
  • Please do not bring toys into the hot tub. Save those for class!
  • It is unsafe for students to spend more than 5 minutes in the hot tub, or to swim with their face underwater in the hot tub. Kids do not have fully developed temperature regulation systems, so they can overheat easily.
  • When your student is using the hot tub, please stand close enough to see them. We do not have a lifeguard assigned to the hot tub, so while all of our instructors are lifeguard certified, keeping an eye on the hot tub is up to the parents. This is why students can use the hot tub during lessons, so let’s preserve this perk!

While it is important for your student to learn to adapt to having water in their eyes, feel free to bring goggles with you for lessons! It can be helpful to have a tool to keep water out of their eyes during lessons.

Please do not allow your student to swim in the pool before their lesson starts. It’s not safe for students to swim without a lifeguard on duty, and we want to keep everyone safe.

We do not provide bath towels for non-members who come in for lessons, so please remember to bring a towel with you if you’re not a member of the gym.

Sometimes swimming lessons can be scary! This can lead to distraction when Mom or Dad is in the room. With younger students, we may ask parents to wait in the lobby to allow their child to concentrate on the lesson. Please know that this will help your student become comfortable in a class environment, and help them to focus on the skills they are learning, plus they will be so excited to tell you about their lesson! We will work individually with families to provide the best learning experience possible for your student.

Next Lessons are July 23 – August 8 (43 weeks/6 Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Categories: Aquatics

Life Jacket Safety

by BAC Staff on July 3, 2019

How to properly fit and use a life jacket

by Brittany McIntosh, Aquatics Director

Did you know that in Whatcom County alone, there are 26 lakes, 21 rivers, and 2 bays? That adds up to quite a few opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. Since we are so active around water this time of year, it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge on boating safety. Check out our tips below and enjoy all the beauty the Northwest has to offer this July!

Always wear a life jacket

In Washington State, all children under the age of 12 are required by law to wear a life jacket while on board a vessel. However, it’s recommended by the US Coast Guard that everyone on board wear a life jacket – even if you’re a great swimmer! For tips on fitting a life jacket, take a look at our handy infographic.

Know or learn how to swim

Everyone on board should know some basic survival skills. The more comfortable you are in the water, the better your chance of survival should an accident occur. We offer group and private lessons for both adults and children on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Ask at the front desk for scheduling or visit our website at www.bellinghamathleticclub.com for more details.

Let someone know where you’re going

If you don’t have a Float Plan, let someone who’s staying ashore know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Write out all relevant location information including phone numbers, a description of the boat and all communication equipment on board, and an accurate location of the destination and home ports.

Assign at least one adult to supervise all children

As we always tell parents in our Angelfish classes, once you teach your child to love the water it acts as a magnet, drawing them close. You won’t be able to keep them away, so make sure they’re supervised in their play!

Carry extra supplies and safety equipment

This could include extra food and water supplies, life jackets, a cell phone, blankets, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Additionally, make sure passengers know where these supplies are located and how to use them.

Avoid alcohol

While we all want to have fun in the sun, boats are not the place for alcohol. It can affect balance, judgment and reaction speed – three things you will definitely need out on the water. More than half of all boating accidents in the US involve alcohol – don’t be a statistic! Leave the party on the shore and stay safe on your vessel.

Be wary of heat exhaustion

Wear lots of sunscreen, and bring extra water bottles. It’s also important to remember that sunscreen does wash off, so always reapply after a dip. Hats and sunglasses are always a big help, especially if you’ve got kids on board.

Categories: Aquatics, News

Pool Rental

by BAC Staff on June 28, 2019

The pool will be rented out from 2:00 – 3:30 pm on July 3rd. Sorry, no lanes will be available during that time.

Categories: Aquatics

View More Posts

Lindsay Williams
Lindsay Williams
Aquatics Director

Lindsay was born and raised in Whatcom County. She is a graduate of Western Washington University where she earned a BA in Communication. She started working during the summers at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club as a lifeguard and swim instructor when she was in high school…and never left. She has over 20 years of aquatics experience and over 10 years of management experience. Her passion is to help kids learn to enjoy the water and become competent swimmers while having fun and being safe.

When she is not at the BAC, her life is spent with her husband, Brett, and their 3 kids: Jack, Maelle, and Carys. They love to do things together as a family, whether it be walking to Starbucks, playing games or watching movies. All 3 of her children have spent their whole lives in and around the water and have no idea water can be dangerous, much to the lifeguard’s chagrin—although Lindsay believes bringing her children to the pool is a great way to train her staff, especially her youngest, who is very good at pushing boundaries.

Dakota Bernsten
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite stroke: Backstroke
About me: I have been swimming for twelve years, competitively for six. I’m seeking a degree at Western Washington University, where I am studying communications and journalism. I love to write, read, and play music, I’ve played the French horn for eight years!

Shea Davis
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite Stroke: Butterfly
About me: I am studying pre-med at Western Washington University, with the goal of becoming a fetal surgeon. Before coming to BAC, I taught swim lessons for several years in my hometown, and found that I enjoy it a lot! Here’s a fun fact for you: I am the middle child of seven.