Swim Instruction Offered by BRAINS

The Bay Ridge Aquatics Institute (BRAINS) offers various swim instruction programs throughout the year during its share of community time at the Thomas F. Greene Natatorium located within Fort Hamilton High School on 83rd street between Shore Road and Colonial Road in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Below you will find brief descriptions of BRAINS instructional swim programs offered during the Fall/Winter, Spring and Summer Permit periods.

Please Note:

  • These activities are not sponsored nor endorsed by the New York City Department of Education. The views and opinions expressed by the sponsoring organization or its participants do not necessarily state or reflect those of the New York City Department of Education.
  • The FHHS pool is a competition pool, not a bathing pool - water temperature is cool.
  • BRAINS does not offer refunds for variations in temperature or condition of the water or facility. Maintenance of the FHHS pool facility is performed by a private company under contract with the NYC Department of Education and is not, in any way, under the control of the Bay Ridge Aquatics Institute.

Fall/Winter Permit Period (mid-September to January)

Beginner Learn to Swim - BRAINS will be offering a limited number of Learn to Swim classes for children no younger than 5 years old who do not already know how to swim. Swimmers already enrolled in a BRAINS Spring beginner class will have an opportunity to register for the Fall classes before these classes are offered to others. Therefore, availability will be extremely limited.

Each 40- or 50-minute class meets once a week. Classes are conducted in the pool extension, which is approximately 3 - ½ feet deep. Children should be water comfortable and ready to learn in order to take the class. They must have a bathing suit, bathing cap and a towel to enter the pool and should wear swim goggles. Please note: The FHHS pool is a competition pool - water temperature is cool.

Adult Swim Training Groups - BRAINS offers supervised swimming  with available instruction on Thursday eveningsand Saturday mornings during the Fall and Spring permit periods.  Registration is available for either or both sessions as space allows.  Applicants will be registered according to training level (must be able to swim two lengths of the pool without stopping):

  • Slow/Beginner
  • Medium/Intermediate 
  • Fast/Advanced
  • Competitive/Masters

Lane assignments and use of fins will be at the discretion of the staff in charge.  If you wish to use fins or switch lanes you must obtain the approval of the staff member in charge of that lane.

Spring Permit Period (February to mid-June)

Beginner Learn to Swim -  See above description for Fall Beginner classes. Swimmers already enrolled in a Fall beginner class will have an opportunity to register for the Spring classes before these classes are offered to others. Therefore, availability will be extremely limited. It is suggested that those wishing to enroll call 347 267-9469 and ask to be placed on a call list to be notified in the event that a spot becomes available..

Intermediate Learn to Swim - Class prerequisites: Children must be able to swim freestyle, breaststroke kick, and backstroke for 25 yards.Participants must be comfortable enough and confident enough in the water that group instruction will be both beneficial to the student and the other students in the class. This class is taught in deep water.
Students are introduced to the butterfly stroke and advanced swimming drills on their way to becoming efficient swimmers. Swimmers must have a bathing suit, bathing cap and a towel to enter the pool and should wear swim goggles.

"Practice Makes Perfect" Stroke Clinic - Pre-requisite:This offering is for swimmers that are involved in competitive swimming and can swim two lengths of the pool demonstrating proper freestyle and backstroke technique. Participants must also be able to demonstrate breaststroke and butterfly for at least one length of the pool.
Offered from late April/early May to mid-June, this abbreviated course focuses on developing efficiency and endurance for all strokes.  At this level, surface dives and flip turns are introduced.

Adult Swim Training Groups - BRAINS offers supervised swimming  with available instruction on Thursday eveningsand Saturday mornings during the Fall and Spring permit periods.  Registration is available for either or both sessions as space allows.  Applicants will be registered according to training level (must be able to swim two lengths of the pool without stopping):

  • Slow/Beginner
  • Medium/Intermediate 
  • Fast/Advanced
  • Competitive/Masters

Lane assignments and use of fins will be at the discretion of the staff in charge.  If you wish to use fins or switch lanes you must obtain the approval of the staff member in charge of that lane. 

Summer Permit Period (July to mid-August)

"Early Bird" High School Level Training Program - A high school - level training program intended for competitive high school swimmers. Highly skilled competitive swimmers entering high school in September are also be eligible to participate if approved. Practice sessions take place on Mondays and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 7 to 9 AM for five weeks - 19 sessions total.  A typical 2-hour session would include a swimming workout of approximately 5,000 yards.

Harbor Seals Swim "Camps" - This class is taught in deep water; for swimmers already involved in competitive swimming.
Pre-requisite: Swim two lengths of the pool and have a basic knowledge of the four competitive strokes. Participants must be comfortable enough and confident enough in the water that group instruction will be both beneficial to the student and the other students in the class. Limited enrollment.
Ninety-minute daily swim sessions which provide refinement of the four competitive strokes front crawl (freestyle), back crawl (backstroke),  breaststroke and butterfly. Racing starts and flip turns are also refined in this eighteen session course which is offered in July.

Harbor Seals Mini - Swim "Camps" - A 9-day abbreviated version of the Harbor Seals Swim "Camp" described above.  This class is taught in deep water; for swimmers already involved in competitive swimming.
Pre-requisite: Swim two lengths of the pool and have a basic knowledge of the four competitive strokes. Participants must be comfortable enough and confident enough in the water that group instruction will be both beneficial to the student and the other students in the class.
Emphasis is on stroke mechanics. Limited enrollment.


American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim - These classes provide instruction to help swimmers of all ages and abilities (from beginner to intermediate) develop their swimming and water safety skills. BRAINS ARC Learn to Swim classes are multi-level with students grouped by skills displayed on the first day of classes. As students progress, they may be moved to groupings appropriate to the skills they have acquired. These nine-day courses meet once a day for seventy minutes and are available during July and August.

Adult Learn to Swim - Get in the swim and join the area’s fastest growing sport! This course of ten 90-minute classes, taking place every Monday and Wednesday from 6:15 to 7:45 PM beginning early July through mid-August, offers instruction for those afraid of the water to those who can swim and are looking to improve their strokes as well those "in between". Don’t just watch others having fun, be a part of it and join us!

Payment at Registration

In order to register for any of BRAINS' classes, payment in full must be made at the time of enrollment. We can not hold spots or accept registration forms without full payment.  (Completed registration form must be signed by a parent or guardian if the student is a minor.)

Looking for summer Learn to Swim classes?  click here.

Summer Registration

BRAINS 2014

  SUMMER  REGISTRATION 

 Began Tuesday, March 18th

NOTE: There will be no registration from April 14th through April 22nd as the school will be closed for Spring Break.

2014 Summer -  Details & Forms

Printable Flyer available here: 2014 Summer FLYER

Harbor Seal Camp registration  form - download here: HSCAMPReg form2014

American Red Cross and Intermediate form - download here: ARC LTS RegForm2014

CLASS STATUS as of 3/25):

 Adult LTS  Spots Available 

 High School Early Bird  -  Limited Availability
(BRAINS Approval Required)

 HS Camp A - CLASS FULL

 HS Camp B - Spots Available 

 HS Mini  C - Spots Available 

 HS Mini D -  Spots Available 

 LTS  Class 1 - CLASS FULL

 LTS  Class 2 -  Spots Available 

  LTS  Class 3 -  Spots Available 

 Inter/Nov 4 -  Spots Available 

 LTS Class 5  Spots Available

 LTS Class 6  -  Spots Available

 LTS Class 7  -  Spots Available

 Inter/Nov 8 -  Spots Available 

 LTS 9  -   Spots Available 

 LTS 10 Spots Available 

 LTS 11 -  Spots Available 

 Inter/Nov 12  Spots Available 

Adult Swim Training Registration

Please call to check current availability. Once sessions are full, any openings that should occur are first offered to those on our waiting lists.  If you wish to register or to be added to a wait list for either day please call Maria at 347 267-9469.   Applicants must be able to swim two lengths of the pool without stopping. See center box on home page for more details.

Adult Learn To Swim Registration

BRAINS 2013 Adult Learn to Swim course registration will available beginning March 19th. Course details may be viewed by clicking here

NOTE: There will be no registration from March 25th through April 2nd as the school will be closed for Spring Break.