Challenge for any ability Swimming Progression

Gate Hill is committed to providing challenge and development for even the most skilled swimmers. Our swim program is built around the skill progression and levels of the American Red Cross “learn to swim” program. We issue detailed achievement cards that subdivide the levels into more attainable short term goals, and reward steady growth. The cards detail the skills that the camper has accomplished, and what is still remaining to complete the level. We issue progress cards in weeks 2,4,6 and at the end of a camper's session.

Red Cross Preschool Orientation Levels

(Click images for cards)

Preschool 1 – Orientation to environment

Awarded a ducky keytag on completion

Preschool 2 – Gain independence

Awarded a froggy keytag on completion

Preschool 3 – Propulsive skills

Awarded a baby dolphin keytag on completion

Red Cross Swim Levels 1-5

(Click images for cards)
Level 1 – Introduction

Campers progress through Green Minnow and Goldfish tags

Level 2 – Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Campers progress through Blue Minnow and Goldfish tags

Level 3 – Stroke Development

Campers progress through Yellow Barracuda, Dolphin then Shark tags

Level 4 – Stroke Improvement

Campers progress through Red Barracuda, Dolphin then Shark tags

Level 5 – Stroke Refinement

Campers progress through Black Barracuda, Dolphin then Shark tags

Red Cross Swim Levels 6+

Level 6 – Swimming and skill proficiency

3 separate certificates:

  • Fitness swimmer
  • Personal water safety
  • Fundamentals of diving

Campers progress through White Barracuda, Dolphin then Shark tags and are awarded a GHDC "Silver Surfer" Swim cap upon completion to mark finishing the entire Red Cross Learn to Swim program.

Red Cross Jr. Lifeguard

A lifeguarding orientation program, aquatic accidents, leadership, emergency response

Campers are awarded their own Lifeguard whistle upon completion

Beyond Red Cross: GHDC Programs


Campers must show technique in a diverse range of aquatics skills like rescue techniques, snorkeling and boating

Master Swimmer

Campers must show both outstanding technique and endurance in the full range of swimming strokes.

Aquatics Associate

Campers are introduced to swim instruction, observing and eventually participating in teaching.



Campers may be adopted into the aquatics program as part of the entering 10th grade L.I.T. program (Leaders In Training) for work experience with the aquatics team.

Working at Gate Hill

The starting age for employment as an Aquatics Assistant is 15, and 16 is the starting age for employment as a Swim Instructor. Please see our jobs page for more details.