First Day of Spinnaker Lessons!
All Skill Levels Welcome!
The Downtown Sailing Center (DSC) is a unique sailing school for youth ages 8-16 that teaches the joys of navigating open waters aboard our keelboats in the historic port of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. For every four campers on a boat there is one designated staff member to instruct them personally. We focus on making sure that every program participant gets as much direct instruction as possible from our US Sailing certified staff!
We tailor your child's sailing experience to their skill level!
The DSC offers three levels of programming: Beginner, Intermediate, and Racing. Our programming can accommodate any level of experience, from having never stepped onto a dock before to aspiring collegiate level competitors.
BEGINNER: (Ages 8-16), 1 Week Program
Beginner programming is perfect for anyone wanting to check out sailing for the first time, or for returning campers that want to make sure their fundamental techniques are perfected before moving on. A beginner boat has 4 campers and one instructor on each boat. Beginner programming focuses on wind awareness, parts of the boat, essential knot tying, points of sail, tacking, jibing, basic sail trim, basic skippering, and sailing a basic windward-leeward course. The goal of the beginner programming is to make everyone a comfortable crewmember on the boats, while beginning to showcase some of the skills required to be a skipper.
INTERMEDIATE: (Ages 10-16), 2 Week Program
Intermediate programming bridges the divide from crewmember to skipper in a two week course focused around getting campers prepared to sail a J22 unassisted. In the first week, all intermediate boats will sail with an instructor onboard. During the first week the focus is a closer look at sail trim and crew work, how to use a spinnaker, and skipper essentials such as departing/returning to the dock and Person-In-Water recovery drills. During the second week, campers will put together all of these skills to sail a boat without an instructor directly onboard. From a short distance off coaches will be instructing from a powerboat as they continue to focus on developing intermediate level skills such as spinnaker sets/douses, the basics of racing, sailing backwards, and steering without a rudder.
RACING: (Ages 12-16), 2 Week Program
Racing programming picks up where Intermediate left off, with campers starting day one sailing with their instructors coaching from chase boats. The focus of racing is not only how to sail, but how to sail fast! Over the two week racing program campers will be match-racing against each other America's Cup style to see who can push their boat the hardest. Programming will focus on fine sail-trim, teamwork, communication, reading the water, tactics of boat-to-boat positioning, the strategy of understanding a racecourse, and a deeper dive into the rules of racing. Racing can be daunting, but we will break everything down into manageable drills to make sure everyone gets comfortable fighting for positioning on a busy starting line.
Summer 2023 Dates and Rates:
Registration is Live!
A word about COVID-19 protocols:
DSC Camp 2022 COVID-19 policy:
Vaccine requirement for all paid DSC staff (includes camp instructors, CITs, etc.)
Vaccine strongly recommended for volunteers and campers, but no proof is required
This year, we have the opportunity to use the BMI during inclement weather. We will require campers to wear a mask indoors
No refunds to parents if campers are sent home because of infectious outbreak or illness, or if camp is closed due to infection
Children presenting with symptoms concerning for Covid-19 infections will be sent home. They may return following a negative PCR or rapid test result
Our camp is entirely outdoors which has a low risk of COVID-19 transmission. By this time, our campers have had the opportunity to get vaccinated and boosted. We follow CDC guidelines; at this point we have determined that it is unnecessary to require masking for camp this year.
These forms are required for each week of camp in which your child is registered before they can participate:
All documents must be submitted at the start of your child's camp week (Monday morning). You may also scan and email these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Summer Camp is focused on fun, safety, and experiential learning. As an institution the DSC strives to be a place where sailing is made available to all. We are dedicated community members to the Greater Baltimore area, and are proud stewards of our Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
For more information, please see our FAQ page.
Another perfect and windy day at Camp!
First Sail of the Session!
If financial assistance is needed, The DSC offers a scholarship. More information is in the Camp FAQ tab.