5 things to look for in a rowing camp

1. Coaches: What is the experience level of the coaches? There are great coaches all over the place. It doesn’t always matter if they are college, high school or national team coaches, what’s important is that you’ll learn something, and most of the time you can find out what the coaches are like at a camp from others who have been to that camp, or by checking the camp website.

2. Program: Sculling? Sweep? Racing? Technique work? What kind of camp are you looking for? Is there something specific that you want to work on, like actual race experience, or learn to scull if you’ve been sweep rowing for a few years?  There are many different kinds of camps out there, some that are a week long or several weeks, some that offer coxswains very specific work, and some that do only technical work, just as examples. Find the right one for you, which requires some research

3. Location: How hard is it to get to camp? Summer schedules can be tight these days, with limited time to get in everything you and your family wants to do before school starts again. Does it make sense to travel for a day to get to a camp, or is there one close by that would be worthwhile? Or, is that camp so worth it to you that you can take the time to travel?

4. Price: We’re all concerned about cost these days, and camp is going to cost something, but its important to understand the value you’re getting for you money. Everything counts when it comes to a camp. Your dollars pay for the living arrangements, the food, the boats, the coaches, the gear you get, everything. Are you getting the coaching that you need (or want)? If you’re going to shell out a few hundred dollars for a week in the summer, then you should make sure you know what you’re getting for it.

5. Reputation: What’s the word of mouth? Rowing is a small world, and chances are someone has been to the camp you’re thinking about and can tell you something about it, what it was like for them, the good and the bad, etc. Sometimes, if a camp is new, there might not be a reputation there to base a decision on, and the best thing to do is look at all of the above and make your decision on the best info you can gather.

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