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April is Adult Learn to Swim Month

April is Adult Learn to Swim Month

Free Swim Lessons from the Simon’s Rock PaceMakers and Pittsfield YMCA Polar Bears

April is Adult Learn to Swim Month, a volunteer-based program administered by the U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS), offers free swim lessons to adults in 30 states around the country. 

This year, the two Berkshire County USMS teams—the Simon’s Rock PaceMakers and the Pittsfield YMCA Polar Bears—are coordinating their efforts to serve a larger population in a more efficient and convenient way. Designed by Bill Meier, coach of the PaceMakers, April is Adult Learn to Swim Month helps adults gain the swimming skills that can save their lives. These skills not only prevent drowning, they encourage adults to make swimming part of a long-term healthy lifestyle.

Together, Simon’s Rock and the YMCA are bringing swimming skills to a broader range of the community. 

Lessons at both facilities are FREE during these classes!

Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock:

Register at the Front Desk. For more information, contact 413-528-7777 or

Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 3 to April 19, 7:15-8:30 p.m.

Berkshire Family YMCA Pittsfield Branch:

Register at the Welcome Center. For more information, contact or 413-499-7560 x146

Thursdays, April 5 to April 26, 2018. Two time slots are available: 5:30-6:15 p.m. and 6:15-7:00 p.m.

This unique partnership will not only facilitate better service to the community, but also show that the combined strength of two organizations with different missions can have a greater impact overall to everyone’s benefit.

In mid-March, the teams will get together to review the instructor training. To celebrate the collaboration between the two teams and to foster a sense of shared mission, the teams will meet at the Kilpatrick Athletic Center for a fun dual swim meet and post-meet brunch at the end of March. Swim classes will be offered at both facilities throughout the month of April.


The April program was started by the Simon’s Rock PaceMakers Masters Swim Team in 2012 with 12 volunteers from the team teaching over 20 residents of the Southern Berkshires how to swim. In 2013, 15 additional teams throughout New England joined the PaceMakers in offering adult swim lessons. With recognition and promotion by USMS, 2014 saw April is Adult Learn to Swim Month become the main outreach program for the organization. To date, adult swim lessons taught by volunteer Masters Swimmers are offered in over 30 states in the United States.

Spurred by the success of the volunteer lessons, USMS created an Adult Learn to Swim certification program that after three years, has over 1,000 instructors in its ranks. The Kilpatrick Athletic Center's Bill Meier, coach of the PaceMakers, designed and wrote the program and manual for this new offering.