Swim Lessons

Swimming can be a glorious activity whether you are casual or competitive, but it can be a scary experience  - and even a life-threatening one - for those who don’t know what they’re doing. Swimming safety for everyone is of paramount importance in our community. Swim lessons are made available to children of all ages (members only, of course), and those lessons are taught by a select group of Highland Lakes’ lifeguards who are certified as Water Safety Instructors.


Registration for Swim Lessons begins on Memorial Day weekend

and due before June 15th.

How to Register:

  1. Confirm your child's level category below.
  2. Decide your preferred Beach Locations & Times Slots.
  4. Swim lesson schedules will be posted in TOPS and at the Activity Center.

CONTACT watersafety@hlcc.org with any questions.

Swim Level Categories

Parents will be required to be in the water with their younger children who need assistance.

Lifeguards will perform a skills test on each swimmer on their first day of lessons to place them at the appropriate level.  Parents should review the swim level categories below to become familiar with what their child should know in order to choose the appropriate level on the registration form. During the child's skills test, if a Lifeguard feels that the child needs to be placed in a different swim-level category it will be discussed with the parent and explained accordingly. Safety is first and foremost. 

Swimmers will perform the Cooper 12-minute swim test and compare with pre-assessment results, perform a front approach and hurdle feet-first and head-first entry from a 1 meter springboard (if applicable), for lifeguard readiness in addition to above skills that are applicable:  Swim 20 yards using a front crawl or breaststroke to a depth of 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10 lb. object, return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back or side to the starting point with the object (students must hold object with both hands and keep his or her face out of the water) with additional skills for Personal Water Safety in addition to the above skills before completion of the American Red Cross swim program.

  • Lessons are conducted at Beach 1, Beach 3 (TBD) and the Swim Lanes on the Main Lake
  • Lessons are 30 minutes long
  • Lessons start at 10:00 AM
  • Last lesson is at 3:00 PM
  • Level 5 is at 2:00 PM 
  • Level 6 is at 3:00 PM

Lifeguard training

Swimmers who are 16 years of age or older by the start of the season are eligible to take a Lifeguard Training course. The training consists of an online course and in-person classes beginning with a pre-test for those interested in becoming certified by the American Red Cross.


  • Attend all classes scheduled.
  • Pass the American Red Cross swim test.
  • Be age 16 by the start of the season [proof of age required].
  • $100 Course Registration Fee - $50 non-refundable fee due at registration and $50 due at completion.

How to Register:

  1. Complete THIS FORM BEFORE June 1.
  2. Send the initial $50 non-refundable registration fee, check/money order, payable to:
    PO Box 578
    Highland Lakes, NJ 07422.
  3. CONTACT the Water Safety Director with any questions.

Lifeguard Olympics

Each August lifeguards from the different beaches are paired into teams that compete against each other in various athletic/fun events. Held in the early evening at Beach One, this is one of the most popular spectator sports in Highland Lakes as families and friends gather to cheer on their beach. Some of the events include Rescue Board Races, Beach Volleyball, capture the flags, tugs of war, sand soccer, wacky relay race, and on and on. Lifeguards bring baked goods for sale and all proceeds are donated to the American Red Cross.

Swimming Safety

  • Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.
  • Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Children or inexperienced swimmers should take extra precautions, such as wearing U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when around water.
  • Watch out for the “dangerous too’s”- too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
  • Set water safety rules for your family based on swimming abilities (for example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep).
  • Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located. The more informed you are, the more aware you will be of hazards and safe practices.
  • Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies.
  • Use a feet first entry when entering the water.
  • Enter head first only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
  • Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving, or boating. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
  • Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies.