Get certified and become an American Red Cross Lifeguard, Water Safety Instructor, Jr. Lifeguarding, and more.

Girls learning how to do CPR on a dummy.
Lifeguard at a pool.
jcc lifeguard at outdoor pool
Lifeguard watching kids play in the pool.

The Kaplen JCC Aquatics Program, led by our Aquatics Director Kathleen Constantini, received the Northeast First Responder Team Recognition Award from the American Red Cross for the 2023 season! The award recognized the program for training over 200 individuals in lifesaving techniques. We applaud you all and are very grateful to have you keeping us safe!


Lifeguard Training Course

Ages 15+
Become a lifeguard and learn the skills you need to work in water safety as a lifeguard this summer. This course combines online training with on-site skill sessions. Course completion provides a 2-year American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguard Training/First Aid/CPR/AED.

June Course Dates:
Sunday June 2, 2-3:30 pm (Pre-Test)
Sunday June 9, 2-7pm 
Monday June 10, 5-9pm
Sunday June 16, 2-7pm
Monday June 17, 5-9pm

July Course Dates:
Tuesday July 2, 6-8pm (Pre-Test)
Monday July 8, 3-8pm
Tuesday July 9, 3-8pm
Wednesday July 10, 3-8pm
Thursday July 11, 3-8pm

August Course Dates:
Tuesday July 30, 6-8pm (Pre-Test)
Monday August 5, 3-8pm
Tuesday August 6, 3-8pm
Wednesday August 7, 3-8pm
Thursday August 8, 3-8pm

$10 Pre-Test
Full Course $370 Members, $440 Public

Please register for the Pre-Test first. Registration for the full course opens upon passing the Pre-test.

See FAQs below for Lifeguard Training Course Prerequisites

Lifeguard Recertification Course

An abbreviated Lifeguarding course that briefly reviews course information and allows the practice of skills and knowledge before testing. Current certification in Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED is required to participate in the recertification course. Students who successfully complete this course will receive a certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED which is valid for 2 years. Participants must have their own CPR pocket mask.

Sunday June 9, 9am-7pm
Sunday July 7, 9am-7pm
Sunday August 4, 9am-7pm

Cost: $150 member, $185 public

Lifeguard Instructor Training Course

The purpose of this American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Course is to train current lifeguards to be Certified Lifeguard instructors. Candidate must successfully complete the online portion of the Lifeguard Instructor course prior to the in-person skill session. Candidate must possess a valid certification in Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED, be at least 17 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course and successfully complete the online portion of the Lifeguarding Instructor course prior to the in-person skill session.

Tuesday June 25, 2:30-7pm
Monday July 1, 4-8pm
Friday July 5, 7am-4pm

Cost: $400 member, $450 public

Lifeguard Instructor Review Course

This course is for those who want to be re-certified as a Lifeguard Instructor. Candidates must possess a current certification as a Lifeguard Instructor/FIRST AID/CPR/AED in order to register. Candidate must successfully complete the online portion of the Lifeguard Instructor course prior to the in-person skill session. Participants must bring their own whistle, CPR pocket mask and hip pack to the in-person skills session.

Date: Tuesday December 26, 8am-4pm
Cost: $175 members, $190 public

Water Safety Instructor Course

Ages 16+
Become an American Red Cross Swimming Instructor. The purpose of the WSI course is to equip candidates with the skills and knowledge needed to teach swim lessons for infants through adults. Candidates must attend all sessions, successfully complete all skills and practice teaching assignments and attain a minimum grade of 80% on the written exam to pass the class. Upon completion participants will receive an American Red Cross certificate for Water Safety Instructor valid for 2 years. This is a Blended Learning course combining online training with in-person skill sessions.

Course Dates:
Tuesday May 28, 6-9pm (Pre-Test)
Thursday May 30, 6-9pm
Sunday June 2, 10am-7pm
Tuesday June 4, 6-9pm
Thursday June 6, 6-9pm
Sunday June 9, 10am-7pm

Cost: $399 members, $499 public

See FAQs below for WSI Prerequisites

Rowing Swim Assessment

All rowing programs require participants to pass a swim test in order to participate in their programs. Swim tests can be scheduled at the JCC on the Palisades. Rowers should bring items required as per their swim test assessment form and the form itself. Admin fee for test applies. Please contact the Aquatics Department by email to schedule an appointment for the swim test.

Junior Lifeguard Program

This program will help your child, ages 11-14, build a foundation of knowledge, attitudes and skills to become a future lifeguard. Participants will receive instruction in prevention, fitness, response, leadership, professionalism, and swimming skill development. Program will include an introduction to first aid, CPR and AED knowledge and skills. This is not a certification course to be a trained lifeguard. Participants will have to pass a pre-test in order to participate in the program.

December 26-December 29, 9 am-1 pm

$250 if you register by December 1
$275 after December 1

See FAQS below for Junior Lifeguard Program Prerequisites

Certified Pool Operator® Course

This course provides individuals with the basic knowledge, techniques, and skills of pool and spa operations. Course completion provides a five-year CPO® certification. 

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Pass the written exam administered at the end of the course
  • Book and certification are included in the course cost 

Dates: April 21 & 28, 8am-5pm
Cost: $400 JCC Members / $425 Public


Prerequisites for Water Safety Instructor

Participants must be 16 years old by the end of training (proof of age will be required).

In addition, participants must demonstrate the ability to perform the following swimming skills:

  1. Swim the following strokes consistent with the Stroke Performance Charts, Level 4:
    – Front Crawl – 25 yards
    – Back Crawl – 25 yards
    – Breaststroke – 25 yards
    – Elementary Backstroke – 25 yards
    – Sidestroke – 25 yards
    – Butterfly – 15 yards
  2. Maintain position on back for 1 minute in deep
    water (floating or sculling)
  3. Tread water for 1 minute

Prerequisites for Lifeguard Training Course

How it Works:

  • Approximately 6 hours online course each student can do at their own convenience before in-person sessions.

Please note:
To successfully pass the American Red Cross Lifeguard Course, participants must pass the pre-test, demonstrate all required skills and pass the final exams with a score of 80% or higher. There is a $100 nonrefundable administrative fee if you withdraw prior to the end of the course. There is no refund if you do not pass the course.

Pre-test Requirements 

Prerequisite 1: Swim-Tread-Swim

  1. Jump into the water and totally submerge, resurface then swim 150 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both. (Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed)
  2. Maintain position at the surface of the water for 2 minutes by treading water using only the legs
  3. Swim 50 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both

Prerequisite 2: Complete a timed event 1 minute, 40 seconds

  1. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. (The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed).
  2. Submerge to a depth of 7 – 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
  3. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point, holding the object at the surface with both hands and keeping the face out at or near the surface.
  4. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Prerequisites for Junior Lifeguard Program

Before entering Junior Lifeguarding, participants must demonstrate the following skills:

  • Swim the front crawl for 25 meters continuously while breathing to the front or side
  • Swim the breaststroke for 25 meters using a pull, breathe, kick, and glide sequence
  • Complete the Water Competency Sequence

Water Competency Sequence:

  • Complete the water competency sequence without stopping
    1. Step into the water from the side and totally submerge
    2. Maintain position for one minute by treading water or floating (or a combination of the two)
    3. Rotate one full turn and orient to the exit
    4. Level off and swim on the front or back 25 years
    5. Exit without using a ladder or steps
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