FAQ for Kids Swim

WHAT IS THE KIDS SWIM FOR GRAND TRAVERSE BAY?

Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is a fun half-mile point-to-point open water swim aimed at swimmers ages 12-17. The inaugural Kids Swim was launched in response to community interest in a fun, yet challenging, youth-oriented swimming event. The Kids Swim will take place on Friday, August 10 at 6pm and will go from West End Beach to Volleyball Beach in downtown Traverse City.     

I'M YOUNGER THAT 12 OR OLDER THAN 17 - CAN I PARTICIPATE? 

No. The Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is 0.5 miles long and would not be suitable for swimmers 11 years old and younger, even with parent and coach permission. For those interested in swimming and are 18 or older, we encourage you to train for and participate in the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay, which is a 2-mile open water event.

WHO RUNS THE KIDS SWIM?

The Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is organized by The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and protects and preserves the bay’s 1,000-square-mile watershed.

WHEN IS PACKET PICK-UP?

Packet pick-up will be held on Friday, August 10 from 3-5:30pm at West End Beach in downtown Traverse City. 

WHERE DOES THE KIDS SWIM START?

The Kids Swim start is at West End Beach along M-22 in downtown Traverse City.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A WETSUIT?

Wet suits or technical suits are encouraged, but not required.

CAN I WEAR FINS?

Flotation devices and equipment such as snorkels or fins are allowed.  

IS THE SWIM COMPETITIVE?

No; the Kids Swim will not be timed.

I WANT TO PADDLE THE EVENT; HOW DO I DO THAT?

The Kids Swim for GT Bay is not a paddling event. Swimmers are encouraged to have a support paddler accompany them, and we will have a safety squad of volunteers who provide and extra layer of safety during the race. Paddlers need to provide their own equipment or rent it locally. If you’re interested in joining the safety squad, please contact us.

If you need to rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, we recommend these local companies:

We recommend renting an open top/sit-in kayak. As a support paddler, your swimmer will be allowed to swim to you, get food/water (that you bring onboard your kayak or SUP), or take a rest during the race. As the kayaker, you just need to NOT paddle/move forward if your swimmer is hanging onto your kayak/SUP. 

I’M NOT A SWIMMER OR A PADDLER, BUT I WANT TO GET INVOLVED – WHAT DO I DO?

Contact us! We need a lot of volunteers to make this event run smoothly and would love to have you on board!

WHERE IS THE FINISH LINE?

The Kids Swim ends at Volleyball Beach in downtown Traverse City.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FINISH?

We’ll celebrate the Kids Swim with snacks such as granola bars and whole fruit. The Kids Swim will coincide with packet pick-up for the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay, so our Kids Swimmers should

I HAVE STUFF WITH ME – WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?

You’re welcome to drop your belonging at the finish line before walking or driving back to West End Beach. Make sure your name and contact information is clearly marked.

I’M TRAVELING TO TRAVERSE CITY – WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

There are lots of options in Traverse City and the surrounding areas, including hotels, motels, Airbnb, campgrounds and more.