Learn To Swim



Join us at a Saturday mornings at Cinnamon Bay Beach!  Meet the Instructors, Get Your Skills Assessed, Lessons, and Water Safety!  These sessions will start up again in late Fall!

Imagine growing up on an island with the beautiful warm Caribbean Sea sparkling all around you. Each day new discoveries await as you dive into the crystal blue sea! You are confident that you have the skills you need to navigate the water safely. You take opportunities to go out on boats, snorkel, and scuba dive. You set your sights on a career in the maritime industry as you develop a deep appreciation for marine preservation and more.

Virgin Islands National Park and the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park have offered free swim lessons to St. John youth during the summer months in the park for more than a decade! Our ‘Learn to Swim’ program is designed after the American Red Cross Water Safety Course and includes beginner to advance instruction levels.  The Friends sponsors the training and employment of instructors and life guards.

Learn To Swim BGCA

Life Guard Training

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and St John Rescue are hosting an American Red Cross Blended Learning Lifeguarding course Friday, December 9th, from 3 pm until 6 pm, Saturday, December 10th, from 8 am until 6 pm, and Sunday, December 11th, from 8 am until 6 pm at the St. John Rescue Building with Barbara Bertram of the St. Thomas Swim Club as the instructor.

The American Red Cross Lifeguarding course provides entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize, and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries, and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. Students will receive training in lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR, and AED.

Candidates must be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course. They must be able to swim 300 yards, continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. To do this, they may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used. Candidates must also be able to tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs with their hands under the armpits. Candidates must complete the following within 1 minute and 40 seconds: starting in the water, swim 20 yards without swim goggles.

Space is limited to the first nine people to sign up. The Friends will cover the cost of $300 per participant. All participants should be willing to sign a letter of intent to be involved with the Friends Learn to Swim Program in some capacity, whether as a lifeguard, water safety instructor, or beachside presenter.  Contact Mark Gestwicki at mgestwicki@friendsvinp.org to sign up.

Learn To Swim

Now Hiring Life Guards & Swim Instructors

Friends is hiring life guards and swim instructors.   Positions include paid training / certification.