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Update (May 8): Summer Camp SAFETY is a top priority for The DSC. We are developing new Camp Guidance and will post soon. Thank you for choosing The DSC for your child. The DSC recognizes it is a challenging time for parents and kids alike. FAQ will look very different for 2020.

Camp faq

The girls of summer enjoying time on the rail in Canton Turning Basin on a J22

What type of Sailing Camp is the DSC Juniors Camp?

The DSC Juniors Camp is FUN camp, often referred to as ADVENTURE CAMP! We are committed to Safety, Fun, and developing a lifelong love of sailing for your child. Our staff are focused on creating lifetime memories first, and we believe your child should be a kid! There are other camps in the area that focus on racing and racing techniques: that is not our camp. We are not a "merit badge" style camp.

We do teach sailing in a professional way, but our camp is most concerned with providing your child with a lifelong love of sailing and fond memories of sailing camp. For more information about our style of camp, read further and then contact us via email at info@downtownsailing.org or call Rena, our Sailing Education Manager, if you have further questions.

When and Where is Camp?

Sessions start at 9 AM each morning. Camp sessions are 1-week per session and run for 10 weeks from the middle of June through the middle of August. 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. Please drive slowly once you enter the parking lot! The day ends at 4 PM. We also offer extended care options. Contact info, map and directions

What forms are required? 

Before starting camp, all campers are required to bring completed Liability WaiverCamper Health History Form, and the last page of our Camp Rules, Policies, and Procedures document on the morning of the first day of EACH camp week. Please print and complete the forms before the start of camp. The forms should be turned in to the Head Instructor on Monday morning when signing your camper in for the day. Campers cannot sail until these forms have been completed and received by the DSC staff.

What if I need to drop my child off before 9 or pick them up after 4 PM?

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 session costs $10 and must be paid in full on the first day of your child’s session. Camp staff will do their best to keep your child engaged with card games, books, blocks, and board games but we recommend supplying your child with a book, magazine, or other activity for this time.

What is an average day at camp like?

After wrapping up "early-stay" games (chess, checkers, UNO, and Jenga to name a few), the day starts with an overview of the day followed by an on-land lesson. 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, no later than 3:45 and no earlier than 3:30 (wind provided and campers excited), the boats come back to the dock and students help tidy up their boats for the next day’s sailing.

On rare occasion, extreme heat or lack of wind may keep us from going sailing. In these instances, we work creatively and actively to keep your child engaged and focused on fun and sailing development. Knot tying races; sailing Jeopardy; clay boats and gutter boat racing -- we keep the activities age and energy appropriate. When thunder and lightning are present, we head into the Museum of Industry for a sailing related movie.

Novice, Beginner, and Intermediate level campers will have coaches aboard the keelboats and will be coached from powerboats on "Dinghy Daze." Advanced Keelboat campers will have coaches stepping on and off the boats as their skills develop. 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 reusable water bottle
  • A bag/box lunch with washable placemat
  • A hat or visor (highly recommended)
  • Sunglasses (optional) with a safety strap 
  • High SPF sunscreen to self-apply
  • A jacket in case it gets chilly or drizzly
  • A change of clothes (just in case!)
  • A backpack/bookbag to put the above items in

The DSC will provide lifejackets and plenty of fluids each day. Please make sure your child has a water container that is adequate for their thirst! Campers should bring a lunch every day except when participating in BOP Day!. Lunches will be stored in coolers daily.

Please make sure your child can self-apply their own sunscreen and self-administer any medications they may need to take at camp. Our councilors are trained to encourage positive behavior and prevent dangers such as sunburn, heat-related illness, and injuries; however, campers must self-apply their own sunscreen and self-administer their own medications. 

What should my child NOT bring?

  • Knives or sharp tools of any kind
  • Electronics (including games, iPods, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, and mobile phones)
  • Valuables that could be damaged by water or lost
  • Flip-flops or sandals that do not have heel straps
  • Water guns 

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

All of our head instructors are certified by US SAILING in Level 1 Small boat or higher. 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 useful sailor skills like knot-tying.

We like to have fun and our instructors know it is easier to keep everyone together when everyone is engaged and active. Relay races, team activities, board games, card games, painting and drawing, songs and sing-a-longs... The DSC actively strives to provide your child with a memorable camp experience at All Times!

Will my child go swimming 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 (time out and/or office time) and documents the situation in the camp’s logbook. The parent/guardian is notified either at the end of the day or by phone at the time of the incident, depending on the severity of the situation.
    • Strike Two– The instructor disciplines the student (time out and/or office time), 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 at the time of the incident.
    • 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.”  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 speak to our head instructor and our Executive Director, Stuart Proctor, directly or you can call us at 410.727.0722 to 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 15-years-old or older who have shown a very high level of personal responsibility and maturity as well as an interest in the position.

    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 info@downtownsailing.org. Submissions must come from the camper themselves — submissions from parents on behalf of their children will not be considered!

    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 info@downtownsailing.org and call the DSC office at 410.727.0722 as soon as possible.

    If you need to cancel, you must let us know at by Wednesday of the week prior to camp in order to receive a refund or credit toward another session. We are happy to work with you, but we need you to work with us.

    Does The DSC offer camp scholarship?

    We do offer scholarships to children that have an interest in sailing, but do not have the means to participate in our summer camp program. We believe that sailing is for everyone, so we welcome people with a financial need to fill out a scholarship form along with some proof of income (W2, SNAP benefit form or scholarship letter from a private school) and a $25 processing fee. This fee will be refunded to those that do not receive the scholarship.

    For more information or questions about this scholarship, feel free to email our Sailing Education Manager, Rena, via email to:rena@downtownsailing.org


    If you have any additional questions about juniors day camp, please call 410-727-0722 or send an email to info@downtownsailing.org.


    The Downtown Sailing Center at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
    1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
    (410) 727-0722 • info@downtownsailing.org