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Day Camp FAQ

What forms are required? 

Before starting camp, all campers are required to submit completed Liability Waiver and Youth Sailing Medical Form. Please print and complete the forms before the start of camp. The forms should be turned in to the camp coordinator Monday morning when signing your camper in for the day. Campers cannot sail until these forms have been completed and received by the camp coordinator. 


When and where is the camp?

Sessions start at 9 AM each morning. Please bring your child to camp on time — you wouldn’t want him/her to miss the boat! Our facility is located on the grounds of the Baltimore Museum of Industry at 1425 Key Highway. Campers meet under the pavilion with the big green awning. The day ends at 4 PM. Contact info, map and directions >>

How does the extended day program work?

The DSC offers an extended day program for children who need to be dropped off early or picked up late. These extended day sessions run from 8:15 AM until 9 AM and 4 PM until 5 PM. Each extended day costs $10 and must be paid in full on the first day of your child’s session.

What is an average day at camp like?

The day starts with an on-land lesson on the day’s skills. Children then join their boat groups and their instructors to go out on the water. Everyone returns to the DSC’s shady pavilion at noon for lunch, sunscreen reapplication and water refills. Everyone gets back out on the water for more sailing after lunch. At the end of the day, the boats come back to the dock and students help tidy up their boats for the next day’s sailing.

 

On some days, extreme heat or lack of wind may keep us from going sailing, in which case we may run team building exercises, review sailing terminology and theory or take the campers inside the Museum of Industry for a sailing-related movie. When thunder and lightning force us to stay under the pavilion, campers normally play games and learn sailing skills like knot-tying or navigation.


Your child's safety is our number one priority. Participants will not be on the water if there is extreme weather in the area.

What should my child bring?

 

  • Non-marking, protective shoes (light-soled tennis shoes are recommended – do not bring flip-flops or other sandals that do not have heel straps)
  • A hat or visor
  • Sunglasses with a safety strap
  • High SPF sunscreen
  • A jacket in case it gets chilly or drizzly
  • Lunch
  • A change of clothes

The DSC will provide lifejackets and plenty of fluids each day, as well as a large water bottle, ice water and a T-shirt for each child. Feel free to send an extra water bottle to camp with your child – having multiple bottles can only be a good thing as sailors can build up quite a thirst!

Campers should bring a lunch every day. Lunches will be stored in coolers to prevent them from spoiling in the heat. 

What should my child NOT bring?

  • Knives or sharp tools of any kind
  • Electronics (including games, iPods and cell phones)
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Valuables that could be damaged by water or lost
  • Flip-flops or sandals that do not have heel straps
  • Water guns - Note: there may be a specific “water gun day” where participants are allowed to bring water guns if they wish. This event will be announced to the participants during their first day of class.

Who are the instructors for the camp, and what are their qualifications?

All of our instructors are certified by US SAILING, the national governing body of sailing. Head Instructors are at least 18 years old. Every instructor is fingerprinted and are subject to criminal background checks. They are also Red Cross certified in first aid and CPR. Feel free to meet the instructors when you drop off your child — they want to meet you!

What happens when it isn’t a good sailing day?

In case of rain or no wind, activities will take place in the large pavilion adjacent to the waterfront. Children will participate in sailing-related games and activities and will learn skills useful to sailors like knot-tying and navigation.

Will my child go swimming in the Inner Harbor?

There is a lot of boat activity in and around the Inner Harbor. For this reason, we do not allow the sailors to swim in the Inner Harbor. Unlike most sailing centers, we use non-capsizable boats. Barring an accident, your child should never go into the water.

What are the rules of the camp?


  • Follow the directions of the instructors and other DSC staff
  • Avoid horseplay
  • Walk, don’t run
  • Always wear lifejackets on and near the docks and boats
  • Respect everyone — instructors, campers and members of the community
  • Tell your instructor where you are going — even if it’s just to the bathroom

What is the discipline policy?

In order to ensure that everyone can learn and have fun in a safe environment, all sailors must follow the rules and policies of the juniors camp program. The DSC uses a “three-strike policy” for juniors campers:

 

Strike One – The instructor disciplines the student and documents the situation in the camp’s logbook.

 

Strike Two– The instructor disciplines the student, documents the situation in the camp logbook and notifies the program director. The program director discusses the situation with the parent/guardian either at the end of the day or by phone in the evening.

 

Strike Three– The instructor notifies the program director of the situation, the student is taken to the office, and the parent/guardian is notified immediately that the student has been dismissed from camp.

 

In addition, there are certain situations for which the DSC has a “zero-tolerance rule.” Based on the desire to operate the camps in such a way that all participants, instructors and members of the community are kept as safe as possible, there are certain behaviors which will not be tolerated. Specifically, this policy is designed to avoid any behaviors that jeopardize the safety of the participant, other campers, instructors or other members of the community. Some examples include: deliberately jumping off the boat, refusing to wear a life-jacket, bringing knives or other dangerous objects to camp, refusing to follow the directions of the instructors, and fighting. Refunds for dismissed students will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

My child is being upset by another child’s inappropriate behavior, what can I do?

We reserve the right to expel any child for inappropriate or dangerous behavior (dangerous to themselves or others) without a refund. If you have a complaint, please call us at 410.727.0722 and we can discuss ways to improve the situation.

Who (and what) are the instructor's assistants for the camp? 

Instructor's assistants, also known as assistants, help instructors with basic camp tasks, including setting up, cleaning up, teaching and organizing younger campers. Assistants are experienced campers 14-years-old or older who have shown a very high level of personal responsibility and maturity as well as an interest in the position.

Assistants are ultimately campers themselves, however, and must pay the same amount as any other camper to attend the camp.  In truth, the benefits of being an assistant are mostly indirect - valuable experience, special consideration when they reach an age where they can be hired by the DSC as staff, resume building and, potentially, volunteer credit for school requirements.

How does a camper become an instructor's assistant?

To apply to be an assistant, a camper must write a one-page application explaining what they believe the position entails, why they would like to be an instructor's assistant, and why they would be a good assistant. Additionally, they must give the name of the existing or past instructor who would be the best person to ask about their maturity, character and sailing skills. Such applications can be submitted in person at the camp, before or during the summer, or submitted via e-mail to stuart@downtownsailing. Submissions must come from the camper themselves — submissions from parents on behalf of their children will not be considered! It is not unusual for an assistant to spend a week or two as a regular camper (to "warm up") before being "promoted," so even if a camper is not ready to be an assistant on day one, opportunities still exist during the summer!

 

If you have any questions about the policy, please call us at 410.727.0722.

How do I reschedule or cancel?

If you need to reschedule, please send an email to jack@downtownsailing.org or call the DSC office at 410.727.0722 as soon as possible.

 

If you need to cancel, you must let us know 72 hours in advance to receive a refund or credit toward another session. Please be aware that the $100 deposit is non-refundable. Any additional amount paid past the deposit can be refunded or credited toward another session.

Questions?

If you have any additional questions about juniors day camp, please call Stuart Proctor at 410-727-0722 or email him at stuart@downtownsailing.org.

Downtown Sailing Center at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
410.727.0722 • jack@downtownsailing.org

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