One week, full-day lessons from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. are offered to sailors ages 8-18 throughout the summer. Sailors receive both on-the-water and off-the-water instruction primarily in Optimists and Lasers, and may also be instructed on Flying Scots as conditions allow. Sailors are taught as a group, or two groups, but each sailor also receives some individualized coaching to help him or her progress through a sequence of levels (certificates accompanied by pins) at his or her own pace. Each junior week will be held at DCSS's facility located at Deep Creek Yacht Club at Turkey Neck. All sailors must wear life jackets at all times on or near the water.
Junior Week Curriculum The week begins with a mandatory swim test followed by an in-the-water capsize drill. Sailors then receive basic sailing and safety instruction, on-the-land and boat rigging instruction. Regardless of experience, and weather permitting, each sailor will sail on the first day. Each of the following days includes a chalk talk and on-the-water instruction. Usually the week includes a long-distance sail to Deep Creek Yacht Club at Deerhaven and back, and each week concludes with an awards ceremony.
Sailors must be…
At least eight years old by the first day of camp for junior weeks and at least 13 years old for teen week
Able to pass the swim test (jump off the dock into the lake, swim approximately 50 yards along the dock and tread water)
Comfortable in and around the water
Able to follow school rules
Able to participate in a group without being disruptive
Able to be respectful of instructors, fellow campers and demonstrate good sportsmanship
Have a great attitude and wiliness to learn
DCSS reserves the right to dismiss a student from sailing school with a pro-rated refund.
Teen Week One week each summer is dedicated to helping students age 13 and older improve their sailing and racing skills on both Lasers and Flying Scots.
Pin System DCSS’s curriculum allows sailors to progress through a series of levels at his or her own pace. Each level includes a list of criteria and is accompanied by a certificate and pin. The levels for each boat, Optimist and Laser, include yellow (beginner), green (intermediate), red (intermediate-advanced), blue (advanced), silver (racing) and gold (advanced racing). Sailors begin learning basic boat rigging and de-rigging, identification of parts, safety, knot tying and basic boat handling, then move to more advanced drills and racing rules. Seamanship, sportsmanship and willingness to try are highly valued and encouraged.
Mandatory Swim Test All sailors must pass a swim test that includes swimming 50 yards alongside of the dock and staying afloat, in place, for up to a few minutes.
What to Bring The weather on Deep Creek Lake can change in quickly, and as long as the conditions are safe, sailors should plan to sail, even if it’s cold or raining. All gear should be in a duffle bag and every item should be labeled with the sailor’s name. Any clothing or gear left in the sailing school room will be placed in the lost and found. Sailors should plan to wear a bathing suit, shorts and T-shirt and bring the following:
Closed-toe tennis shoes, boat shoes or water shoes that stay on your feet under water
Note: No flip-flops or similar type of shoes can be worn out sailing.
Rain jacket or spray top
Sweatshirt, fleece top or hoodie
Change of clothes
Filled water bottle
Lunch that does not require refrigeration
Boats DCSS has a fleet of Optimists and Lasers with full, radial and 4.7 rig options. New and smaller (under 90 lb) sailors usually sail Optimists. Heavier, older, or more experienced sailors usually sail Lasers with the appropriate size rig and sail. Wind conditions may also dictate which boat is most appropriate for each sailor, and the type of boat may vary during a given week. Sailors are welcome and encouraged to bring their own Optimist or Laser and parents receive a discount of $50 per week for providing their own boat.