Instruction in basic boating & sailing skills is offered as a part of the waterfront program. Sailing instruction begins at the Junior level. The “Buddy System” is employed while campers are on-the-water. All children are required to wear life jackets while in the Camp boats. There is no exception to this rule. Campers are allowed to bring their own life jackets.


Sailing fundamentals are taught to the Junior through Senior groups in accordance with American Sailing Association (ASA) standards. All boating counselors are ASA certified instructors and are augmented by adult member volunteers. Fundamentals taught include: (1) Wind detection and visual “true wind / apparent wind” indicators, (2) sail telltales & luff flutter, (3) relationships of wind to sail (Why does a boat sail?, the sail as an airfoil, the sail as a constant angle to the wind), (4) basic skills (starting and stopping, body and feet positions, tacking, jibing, sail trim, centerboard/daggerboard positions, points of sail, sailing on a run, sailing on a reach, sailing a course, helpful stuff for ditty bags),(5) rules of the road, (6) dock lines, and (7) anchoring.

The camp use a one-design Laser fleet as the primary sailing instruction platform. Campers, however, are given the opportunity to handle large boats, primarily the Pungee Class Skipjack.

These fundamental sailing skills are applied and honed through practical exercises, set courses, competitions, and a new Sherwood favorite, Combat Sailing . These competitions use historic 18th Century sailing engagement scenarios in Roman v. Spartan team matches.


In addition to sailing, all campers learn how to kayak and canoe. All campers take numerous boat trips, excursions, and expeditions throughout the Severn River. By season’s end all campers become well acquainted with small boat handling and operation.