As "America's swim instructor," the YMCA teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, if you know how to stay safe in and around water.

Plymouth water safety families: About water safety at the Y | Welcome Letter (English) | Welcome Letter (Portuguese) 

Get the Stats

parents see swimming as a key life skill just like first aid...
parents have low confidence with bodies of water and activit...
of kids who drown, do so under adult supervision


  • All members using the pool should exemplify the YMCA’s 4 Core Values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

  • Follow all lifeguard directions. They are responsible for the safety of all swimmers.

  • Showers are required before entering the pool. This is Massachusetts State Law

  • Help us keep it clean! Bare feet, water shoes, and/or sneakers/sandals that are for indoor use only are allowed. No street shoes are allowed on the pool deck.

  • Keep it fun. Horseplay or other unsafe behavior is prohibited.

  • Prolonged submersion and breath holding are prohibited.

  • No Diving.

  • Only YMCA bubbles and Coast Guard approved flotation devices are allowed. No inflatable devices, such as water wings, inner tubes, rafts, etc. Swim bubbles are available in the pool. They are also available for sale at the Welcome Center.

  • Bathing suits must be worn.  No cut-offs or t-shirts are allowed for health & safety reasons. A cotton white T- shirt may be worn with bathing suit underneath.

  • People with open wounds, rashes or sores are not allowed to swim until they have healed.

  • Food, gum, and glass are not allowed on the pool deck.

  • Flippers are for instructional and lap swimmers ONLY 


The safety of our members and guests is important to us.  That is why we have partnered with Jeff Ellis & Associates, utilizing their Aquatic Risk Management Program that provides proactive standards, policies, and procedures grounded in risk-management principles. Designed to build on and augment the new International Lifeguard Training Program (ILTP), the Comprehensive Aquatic Risk Management Program provides in-house Lifeguard training, CPR, First Aid, Emergency Oxygen, and AED training.

The YMCA instructors are trained at the highest level of instruction planning, stroke development, and personal safety. All swim instructors are certified lifeguards as well as WSI or YSL certified. 

All Old Colony YMCA lifeguards are held to a higher standard and commitment as a lifeguard. 

An additional lifeguard certification is required, monthly in-service training and frequent unannounced audits are conducted.  We believe that this proactive program keeps our guards rescue ready and prepared to deal with an aquatic emergency.  Do not be surprised if you are using our swimming pool and we conduct an emergency rescue scenario.  We feel that it is important to make all training scenarios as realistic as possible.  We even use a child mannequin, known as Timmy, in some of these rescue scenarios.

This investment in safety by Old Colony YMCA is incomparable in our region.

Get in the Water


Tell the child that you know that they are scared but can do the things that the instructor is asking them to try.  Try to come to swim at the pool at a time other than swimming lessons, and even prior to the first day of class, so that the environment will be familiar.  

Be persistent and don't give up!  Crying is usually toughest on the parent.  After the first few lessons children usually become comfortable in the class.  Be sure to share with the instructor if the child has had any negative experiences in an aquatic environment, so these issues can be addressed at the beginning of the session.  It is usually best for parents to stay somewhere where the child cannot see the parent, but the parent can still be observing the lesson.  Allow the instructor to have a few minutes alone with the child to try to change the direction of the child's thinking.  If a child cries for more than half the class, it is best to remove them and try again another day. 

Frequently with the higher levels, instructors need to be on deck to properly observe the students' strokes and to safely be able to watch the class as a whole.  If a student needs demonstration, the instructor will enter the water.  For mid-level classes, the instructor may start the session in the water, and as the session progresses, the class may be able to be independent enough that the instructor can approach the class more from the deck.  For all pre-school levels and beginner levels, the instructors will be in the water for the duration of the session. 

If your child is a preschooler, you must remain in the viewing area during class to be available for bathroom breaks, etc. If your child is in 1st grade or above and if you have a family membership, please inform your instructor where you will be in case of an emergency or pool closure.  Please make sure you arrive on the pool deck before the end of class to pick up your child.  Upper level youth classes are released to the locker rooms, but beginner youth and preschool classes will not be released until the parent has arrived on the deck.  Parents are not allowed to leave the facility and leave the child in the class. 



Trainings & Certifications

We offer not only our staff but also the community, opportunities to grow and learn new skills.