YMCA of Greater Erie

Kids Swimming Lessons RoundedThe Y has been teaching people to swim for more than a century. Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. We offer swim lessons for all ages, family swim, competitive swimming teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs, so we can all safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.

Contact & Schedules

Camp Sherwin

Tammy Crawford
(814) 774-9416

Downtown Y

Jeanne Moss
(814) 452-3261

Eastside Y

Emily Irwin
(814) 899-9622

Glenwood Y

Kelly Austin
(814) 868-0867

Swimming Programs

50 Mile Swim Club

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Swim 50 miles in 5 months – keep track of your mileage in the log book – the stroke is not important- just the distance.  Track your mileage January 1-May 31 – get to 50 miles and get a special t-shirt and swim cap for your accomplishment.

View Schedule for: Downtown Y

Adaptive Swim Lessons

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The Downtown Y is now offering Adaptive Swim Lessons for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired and any other Special Need.

Our class instructors offer background experience in ASD and ASL.  Background noise will be limited.

Parents will be able to get in the water with their child if needed for the child’s comfort.

The class is designed to teach water safety in a calm comfortable environment.

The Downtown Y has a family changing room available on the same level as the pool making transition easier.

Click Here For Current Session Information

View Schedule for: Downtown Y

Adult Conditioning Swim Class

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Whether you are preparing for an athletic event or simply want to work swimming into your workout routine, this 45-minute class can help you meet your goals.  Class  held by certified instructor with training experience.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y

Art, Gym and Swim

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30 minutes each of art, tumbling/gym and swim classes. Open to children ages 3-6.  Program cost varies by location.  Program held throughout the year at the Eastside Family and Glenwood Park Ys.  Program held during the summer at YMCA Camp Sherwin. Register Online>>

View Schedule for: Camp Sherwin, Glenwood Y

County Y Blue Dolphins Swim Team

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Participants have an opportunity to swim in a competitive environment.  The swim team competes locally with the opportunity to advance to district, state and national events.  Everybody swims, everybody wins.  Winter session runs October to March, summer session runs June-July.

To access the County Blue Dolphins web site, click here>>

View Schedule for: County Y

Deep Water Competency Test

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Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-14 years old. In addition to drownings, five times as many children are victims of near-drowning incidents.

The YMCA of Greater Erie is committed to aquatic safety! All youth ages 17 and under will require a deep water competency test and an identification wristband before entering the deep end of the small pool or large pool. The test will only need to be completed once as a record will be kept on file but a wristband will need to be obtained from the Membership Desk and worn every time you visit.

Please be sure to stop by the Membership Desk prior to entering the pool area to get your wrist band.

Click here to see what skills are required for the deep water test.

View Schedule for: Camp Sherwin, Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Functional Water Fitness

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Class is designed to teach fitness, improving participant’s efficiency of movement and ability to perform day to day activities more easily.  Keeps participant’s mind and body healthy through a series of exercises and games mimicking daily activities.  All exercises have modifications to accommodate varying degrees of fitness, complications from illness or chronic conditions.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y

Group Fitness Classes

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There is something for every “body” at the Y. From cardio to resistance training to mind/body classes are available to meet every interest and level: Water Fitness (summer only), Yoga, Pilates, Strength & Tone Classes, Kick Boxing, Step, Low Impact, Silver Sneakers & Silver & Fit, Zumba, Bosu and more.

View Schedule for: County Y, Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Healthy Back Aquatics Program

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Program is for individuals to learn how to exercise in the water to reduce back pain when it occurs and prevent painful back problems. this class is held in warm water pool.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Intro to Wet Ball/ Splash Ball

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This 30-minute program for youth will teach the basic skills of water polo. Youth must pass a deep water swim test to participate.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Lifeguard Course

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This certification course is designed to give participants basic skills and knowledge to be a lifeguard in the pool, lake, river, surf and waterparks. This comprehensive course offers up-to-date information on how to guard, anticipate and prevent problems and take action to help those in danger. Participants must be 16 years old before the completion of the course.  A prerequisite swim is required.   Register Online>>

View Schedule for: Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Master Swim Team

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Come and swim coached workouts with other adult swimmers. This Adult Masters Swim Team will be coached by one of our aquatics staff who is qualified and experienced in swimming. Each workout will be new and challenging. Each class we will work on various skills including: Stroke Technique, Endurance, Speed, and Strength. You must be 18 or older to participate.

The team will compete in The Allegheny Mountain YMCA/YWCA Masters Swimming Association.  Meets are held once or twice a month beginning in September and ending in April with a Championship meet.

This is a US Masters Swimming program so there is a nominal $10 yearly membership fee for
Y members and $90 yearly membership fee for non-members.  As a member of the team you can attend any or all of the meets. There is a $7.00 meet fee for the meet(s) you wish to attend. You must compete in 3 regular season meets to be eligible to attend the Championship Meet.

For more information contact Jeanne Moss at the Downtown YMCA at 452-3261 (Ext. 274)

View Schedule for: Downtown Y

Meals for Kids, Parks & Recreation & Learn to Swim Program

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The following programs are offered to City of Erie residents free of charge as part of the City of Erie’s Summer Parks & Recreation Program.  Additional funding is provided by the Housing Authority of the City of Erie and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

For additional free Meals for Kids locations, click here.

Parks & Recreation Program

Kids Bubbles GroupIn partnership with the City of Erie, the YMCA of Greater Erie offers free recreational programming at 8 City of Erie neighborhood parks throughout the summer. At the YMCA Kids Club Summer Parks & Recreation Program, kids spend their days taking part in a wide variety of summer play and learning activities while building a healthy spirit, mind and body. Each day, Y staff leads hands-on-activities such a group games, board games, group sports, group fitness and art and music. A hula hoop instructor will be visiting each park once a week to teach a “hoop” class. Gannon University’s Summer Fit stops by Bayview too!

Before they know it, the day is done and they’ve made a new friend. Free summer lunch is served daily. Ages 6-18. For more information, call Jen Sikora at 240-9928.

Download the City of Erie’s Parks & Recreation Guide here.

Program Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  June 14-August 11

Summer Lunch Hours: Monday-Friday, 11:30a.m.-12p.m.

Locations: Bayview Park, Burton Park, Columbus Park, Frontier Park, Gridley Park, McKinley Park, Nate Levy Park, and Pulaski Park

Port-a-Pool Program 

Youth 6-18 years old splash away the summer days at these neighborhood recreational swimming locations.  Bathing suits required; no cut-offs.  A certified lifeguard is on duty. For more information, call Jeanne Moss at 452-3261 ext. 274.

Program Hours: Monday-Friday, 12-4 p.m. July 5- August 11

Locations: Bayview & Columbus Parks

Rodger Young Pool Open Swim & Recreation Program

Summer Camp Group Boys PoolA summer of fun is in store for youth at the Rodger Young Pool Open Swim & Recreation Program. Kids 6-18 enjoy bouncing from recreational swimming to lawn games, board games and group sports – then back to the pool to cool off!  Youth must be registered by a parent or legal guardian before participating in activities.  Proof of age is required for 6 year olds and may be requested for others.  Bathing suits required.  Free summer lunch is served daily. Free Y Swimming Lessons will be offered in July and August.  Registration is required through the Eastside Family Y at 899-9622.  For more information, contact Jeanne Moss at 452-3261 ext. 274.

Registration Meet & Greet Event: June 12, 5-8p.m.

Pool Program Hours: Opens June 12, Monday-Saturday, 12-5p.m., Closes August 25

Recreation Program Hours: Monday-Friday, 12-4:30 p.m.

Summer Lunch Hours: Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Brian Lee Crosby Memorial Learn to Swim Program

Swim Instructor RoundedYMCA swimming lessons give kids summer fun – with a splash of confidence! No matter what the child’s skill level, certified YMCA swimming instructors will help develop your child’s swimming ability and boost their spirit.  Swim lessons are free to all youth ages 6 months-18 years of age living in the City of Erie.  Parents or guardians are responsible for registration, attendance and transportation needs. Bathing suits required. Lifeguard on duty. Swim lessons meet 3 times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 2 weeks for a total of 6, 40-minute classes per session at Erie High (Central), Strong Vincent and East School Swimming Pools.  Class sessions held between 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

At the conclusion of the session, a progress report will be given to each child with a recommended level for the next session.

A lifeguard skills class will be offered to teens ages 15 and up who have an interest in becoming a certified lifeguard.  This class will teach skills necessary to become a lifeguard in preparation for advancing to a Lifeguard Certification Class.  We will offer a Lifeguard Certification class to City of Erie residents who want to be a certified Lifeguard and gain employment.

Open Swim

Open swim is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for anyone interested in swimming lessons. Families of those registered are welcome to participate in open swim as well.  A parent or guardian must accompany children 5 and under in the water and remain within easing reaching distance of the child at all times.  Children 6-11 years must have a parent or guardian on deck.  All swimmers will be tested for swimming ability.  Bathing suits are required.  Lifeguard on duty. No open swim on Tuesday, July 4.

To register, call the Downtown Y, 452-3261 for the Brian Lee Crosby Memorial Learn to Swim Program.  Advance registration is encouraged to ensure your child’s participation. 

Registration Dates:

Session 1: Registration opens June 1
June 12-June 23

Session 2: Registration opens June 19
June 26-July 7 (no class July 4)

Session 3: Registration opens July 3
July 10-July 21

Session 4: Registration opens July 17
July 24-August 4

Meals for Kids

Kids fill-up on the good stuff while school is out because of the Y’s free Meals for Kids Program offered when school is out.  We serve nutritious meals for kids ages 2-18.  No application, income verification or registration is required.  After kids eat, Y staff offer activities including playground games, board games, arts/crafts and more.  Click here for 2017 locations.

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Recreational and Educational Activities for Cyber & Home School Students (REACH)

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Recreational and Educational Activities for Cyber & Home School Students (REACH) is an excellent way to meet your homeschool or cyber school Physical Education requirements. The 8-week session meets twice a week and will be divided into age groups to accommodate for physical development. For 4- weeks, the students will participate in gym classes that focus on physical fitness, skill development and sportsmanship. The other 4- weeks, students will participate in water safety
education and quality swim instruction that promotes swimming as a lifelong activity for
healthy living. Program designed for students 1-8 grade. Class meets for 45-minutes.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y

Safety Around Water

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It takes just 10 seconds and 1 ounce of water for a water-related accident to occur.  And, nearly 88% of all youth drownings happen under adult supervision.  The Y’s new program, Safety Around Water, is designed to teach kids and adults how to be safe in and around water.  The program does not focus on swimming technique, but focuses on important safety and survival skills to help reduce water-related accidents and drownings.  This program is for non-swimmers/beginners and is meant to complement the Y’s traditional swimming lesson program. Lifeguard on duty. Free and open to the public.  Other free programs you might be interested in : City of Erie Learn to Swim, City of Erie Parks & Recreation, and Meals for Kids.

Safety Around Water from J Saunders on Vimeo.

View Schedule for: Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Shallow Water Fitness

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The water fitness/aerobics program was developed for the YMCA by Mary E. Sanders, PhD. The exercises are performed primarily in a vertical position in shallow water.  Water resistance creates an environment that improves cardiovascular conditioning; strength and endurance; and flexibility and balance.  Classes will be in one of three formats: Regular Aerobics will work through all of the shallow water moves; Dance & Fun will incorporate elements of different dance forms and games designed to challenge dynamic balance; Cardio Intervals will challenge members’ strength and endurance.  Work at your own pace; instructor-led modifications.

View Schedule for: Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Shallow/Deep Water Class

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Class meets in shallow end of pool and uses floatation belts to maintain buoyancy and a vertical position in the water.  The belt also aids recovery from cardio sets.  You must be comfortable in deep water.

View Schedule for: Downtown Y, Glenwood Y

Sporties for Shorties

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Sporties for Shorties is a new spin on a classic program at the Eastside Family Y.  Formerly, Mighty Mites, Sporties for Shorties is a 10-week class which offers lessons in sports such as soccer, basketball, floor hockey and t-ball and includes a weekly swim lesson.  Cost is $25 for members and $75 for non-members.

View Schedule for: Camp Sherwin, Eastside Y

Swimming Lessons

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Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of accidental death for children 5 to 14. Accidental drownings can be prevented by teaching youth, teens and adults to swim, so they can be safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy.

Y swim instructors are nationally certified. Their training includes CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration.

Y Swim Lesson curriculum is based on a continuum that focuses on a skill-based progression that builds confidence and supports swimming skills. Lessons are broken into specific stages that are designed for that age group on a cognitive and social ability.

Program enhancements include: low swimmer/instructor ratio, longer class length for advanced progression, ease at time of registration, improved curriculum focusing on skills-based instruction with an emphasis on personal safety, tools and resources to support families at home. Class sessions are 8 weeks.

Register Online>>

View Schedule for: Camp Sherwin, County Y, Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Water Boot Camp

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This class meets in the shallow end of the large pool navel to nipple depth. This is the ultimate workout for total body fitness. A combination of cardio and muscle strength and endurance exercises are used. Work at your own pace; instructor-led modifications.

We combine a sequence of movements designed to get your heart pumping, build strength and endurance and improve your body composition from head to toe.  This class is choreographed to today’s popular music.


View Schedule for: Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

Wellness Series for Veterans

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YOGA –Thursdays at 10 a.m. @ BLOOM Collaborative – 138 East 26th Street:fitness_yogaEach class emphasizes emotional healing at a relaxed pace in a safe and nurturing environment.  This class offers simple and effective tools to heal those suffering from PTSD. Yoga delivers inner peace, vibrant health and relaxation.

TAI CHI – Wednesdays at 6:30pm @ Downtown Y
Tai Chi, referred to by the Harvard Medical School as “medication in motion”,  helps with stress relief, reduces anxiety and depression; and has been proven to improve arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, fibromyalgia , PTSD, and back and spinal problems, as well as increase strength, mobility, balance, and endurance.

WATER FITNESS -Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 9:00 a.m. @ Downtown Y
This low to high-impact aerobics class held in the shallow end of the pool will utilize the resistance and buoyancy of water to tone muscles while protecting joint.  Water Fitness has been proven to help as increase strength, mobility, balance, and endurance.

Please make sure to check out our Family Changing Room located next to the pool and to use our newly added Pool Steps to make entering and exiting the pool easier.

FREE Monthly Memberships are also available.  Veterans may apply for a membership at The Downtown YMCA on the 1st of every month.  They are on a first come first serve basis.

For more information or for questions, please contact Victoria Stilson at 452-3261 Ext 240 or vstilson@ymcaerie.org.

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Y Water Fitness For Older Adults

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Shallow water exercise class that focuses on strength/endurance activities, balance work and target ADLs (activities of daily living).  Class held year-round at the Downtown, Eastside and Glenwood Park Ys.  Class held outdoors in the summer at the Eastside Y and Camp Sherwin.

View Schedule for: Camp Sherwin, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

YMCA Aquatic Safety Assistance (YASA)

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This certification course is designed to prepare participants with the skills and knowledge needed to recognize aquatic risks and assist a lifeguard in the emergency response of an accident or injury. Minimum age: 14 years and must be able to swim 100 yards and tread water 2 minutes, legs only.

View Schedule for: Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y

YMCA Swim Lesson Instructor Course

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Become a swim instructor at the YMCA. Commit to 3 hours per week and receive a free adult membership, or pay the difference of $27.07/month for a family membership.  This introductory course is given to YMCA instructors teaching Swim Starters, Preschool, School Age, Teen and Adult classes.  This course will give new instructors the primary basics for teaching aquatic classes that are student centered, value oriented and safe and effective in teaching skills.

Prerequisites:  Ability to complete 4 of the 6 strokes in good form (front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke and butterfly), tread water 2 minutes with 2 different kicks.

Course Cost: Free for YMCA of Greater Erie staff, members $100, non-members $120 Cost includes Basic Life Support, Oxygen, First Aid and Instructor certifications along with two online trainings required for the course.


View Schedule for: Downtown Y, Eastside Y, Glenwood Y