Helena YMCA
For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility
Every day is full of potential
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Lessons for Life


Whether it's learning how to swim or splashing about with your family, the YMCA has been involved in Aquatics since the late 1800's. The YMCA created formalized swim lessons and gave birth to what we now call Swim Teams. The Y was instrumental in developing the first lifeguard certification training and remains today the largest provider of certifications in the country.


Various times are set aside for recreational swim. Children under the age of 7 and those who cannot stand in the shallow end or pass the deep water test must have supervision by an "in-water" adult at least 18 years of age.

Exercise Programs

Lap swim times are available throughout the day for those whose favorite form of exercise happens in the pool.  Anybody with the ability to swim the length of the pool is welcome to utilize the lap swim times.  We also offer aqua aerobics exercise classes at various levels of intensity along with aqua sculpt and water jog (check fitness and pool schedules for current times).


The New Year's Eve Ed Kellner Mile Swim will be held Saturday, December 31, 2016.


This year's event will be a combined event with the entire Helena swimming community!  Please join us New Year's Eve for a day of camaraderie, epic swimming, and fun.  The first heats on New Year's Eve will begin at 5:30 AM and the last heats will finish at 12:15 PM.

Swimmers Finished 2015 by Swimming a Mile

Twenty-four swimmers finished 2015 in style by swimming in the Ed Kellner New Year’s Eve Mile Swim (1800 yard swim) at the Helena YMCA on December 31, 2015 & January 3, 2016.  The YMCA Mile Swim is held in honor of Ed Kellner who inspired others to swim by mapping his miles swam along several U.S. waterways, including all 2341 miles of the Missouri river.

2015 top finisher was Even Eck with a time of 23:26, finishing second was Jason Fowler 24:17, and Amanda McGowan rounding out the top three with a time of 25:56.  Jason Fowler (30:50) and Bill Allen (40:24) swam the fly for entire 1800 yards which is not an easy accomplishment.  Both swimmers are recognized as elite members of the Helena YMCA Mile Fly Club. Five swimmers bettered their swim times over 2014: Evan Eck, Peggy Stringer, Russ Noonan, Karen Simpson, Anna O’Donnell. Kathleen McElwain and Paul Reynolds finished their longest continuous swim. Congratulations to all participants.

All proceeds from the event are donated to the Helena Family YMCA Aquatics Department.

Full results:

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IMG_2533At the Y, we know kids need lots of practice in the water to become proficient swimmers.  That’s why we offer swim lessons year-round.  



Call 442-9622 or click here for exact times.  You can also click the "register online" button to view detailed information on days and times of lessons available.

Helpful Information...

1.  Please bring your child to class on the first day with a suit, goggles, a towel and any supplies to shower with before and after pool use. Long hair needs to be put up or tied back. No lifejackets are needed. Parents will not be in the water unless you have signed up for the Aquatot level.

2. Class ratios of kids to instructors will be kept relatively low at 4:1 for ages 3-5, 5:1 for ages 6-8 and 6:1 for ages 9+. This enables proper amount of one on one work versus group activity.

3.  Remember, it is perfectly normal for a child to repeat a level 2 or 3 or even up to 4+ times.  The YMCA recognizes that children learn at their own rate and we keep this in mind for all levels. If specialty training is needed, private swim lessons are available.

4.  On the last day of class the instructor will give a progress report with their child’s progress and which level to sign them up for in the future. If you have any specific questions please ask the instructor during their free time, or contact Dawn Edgar at dawn.edgar@helenaymca.org

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Ages:  7-16 years, must be able to swim the entire length of the pool without assistance

Cost:  $60 members/$120 non-members

Winter 2017 Sessions:                       Session I: November 15, 2016 - January 19, 2017: Tuesday & Thursday: 3:30-4:30 PM

Session II: February 14, 2017 - April 13, 2017: Tuesday & Thursday: 3:30-4:30PM OR 7:00-8:00PM

Two inter-squad meets and two inter-squad practices are scheduled during Session II (2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th Fridays of the session from 5:30-7:30pm) to allow kids an opportunity to practice their skills against each other in a friendly, yet competitive environment.

For Additional information contact Dawn Edgar at dawn.edgar@helenaymca.org


Aquaerobics - Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM -10:00 AM and Mon/Wed/Fri 1:00-2:00 PM

Water Sculpt - Tuesday & Thursday 1:00-2:00 PM

Master's Swim - Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 PM –1:00 PM

Water Polo - Fridays 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

See pool schedule for lap swim and recreational swim times


Participants must be at least 15 years old and able to pass a 300 Yard swim test.  (Participants must be able to demonstrate rotary breathing during the swim.  The distance may be swam any combination of freestyle or breast stroke.)



Next Classes:

Re-certification course:  (dates TBA)

Standard course:  Spring 2017 (dates TBA)

Fee:  $150 per person


Courses are limited to 10 participants.  A non-refundable deposit 0f $50 plus the class fee of $100 is required at time of registration.  Spots are given on a first come first serve basis.

This course is a blended learning course.  Participants will be expected to complete coursework online before coming to the onsite review and skill sessions.  Participants must attend all class sessions.  No exceptions.


Operating Hours

Mon-Fri: 5:30 AM-10 PM
Saturday: 8 AM-5 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM

Holiday Schedule

Drop-In Day Care Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM-1:15 PM & 5-7 PM
Ages 3 months to 8 years

Helena Family YMCA

1200 North Last Chance Gulch
Helena MT 59601
Phone: (406) 442-9622
Fax: (406) 442-2577