As soon as you walk in, you can tell Bear Paddle Swim School was designed to welcome children. The walls are painted with cartoon bears dressed in flippers and swim trunks, and the club interior's splashes of neon blue and green evoke a technicolor ocean. Then, of course, there's the indoor, saltwater pool, perhaps the most welcoming fixture of all. A pleasant 90 degrees year-round, it ensconces children in warmth as they improve their swim skills in the school's small classes. Available at eight levels, lessons accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities, covering skills from paddling and floating through competitive breaststroke and gold medal-wearing.
Most importantly, each lesson is taught by a trained teacher who is CPR-certified and 18 years of age or older. Teachers employ story based lessons and use small class sizes to help keep youngsters engaged. And while children are encouraged to learn at their own individual pace, skill patch rewards are given to honor swimming achievements, so that children stay motivated to learn.