Youth Camp

Introducing Youth Sailing Camp!

The Youth Sailing Camp is a 20 hour week-long camp throughout June and July. The camp welcomes new sailors and allows more experienced young sailors to  progress in their sailing capabilities. It includes age-appropriate activities designed to teach basic to intermediate sailing skills. 

Campers will have the opportunity to progress through four levels of sailing expectations. They will learn sailing terminology, rigging and de-rigging a variety of boats, knot tying and line handling, stopping and starting a boat, leaving and returning to the beach or dock, tacking and jibing, capsize and overboard recovery. They will take a short field trip at the conclusion of each week. 

Small boat sailing is often called "wet sailing" as participants in small dinghies are often at the mercy of the wind shifts and gusts as they learn to propel the boat at the maximum speed. As such they should always be prepared with proper clothing, personal safety equipment to get wet. Campers frequently beg instructors to allow them to capsize their boats as an act of "fun." Our beginning sailors will continue to use the universal training boat, the International Opti. 

With the introduction of new sailboats this year larger campers and intermediate level sailors will find their success rate improve with bigger boats designed for easier rigging and sailing.

Who should attend this camp?

Anyone between the age 8 of 15. If you have a camper younger than eight, consider enrolling them in our Pollywog Camp or contact us at or 515-599-SAIL (7245). Shellbacks (Pollywog graduates) are welcome.


Swim check--the ability to swim 50 yards using any stroke and tread water for 2 minutes. 

Youth Camp is the entry level for new sailors. Advancements to higher levels will depend on the successful completion of expectations for the previous level as measured by the staff. 

Upon completion of youth camp, campers will be able to confidently sail a small boat and meet the expectations of US SAILING's entry level small boat sailor. All classes are taught by certified US Sailing instructors, assisted by school counselors and adult volunteers. More experienced sailors will be coached in the intricacies of highly technical boat handling skills and introduced to competitive sailing. 


The course is developed according to US Sailing's Small Boat Sailor Certification. We will cover the beginner general skills and beginner boat handling skills. Successful completion of the youth camp will result in certification with US Sailing and a US Sailing Certification of completion will be awarded at the end of the camp. The camper's log book may then be submitted to US SAILING for a formal certificate and a wallet i.d. card. 

How will I spend my time?

This is a 5 day camp, taught at Saylorville Marina Monday through Friday. Youth Camp runs from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The new camp format will allow for more time to be spent on the water, shores and dock and less time in the classroom and preparing lessons. 

What should I bring?

Clothes appropriate for sailing (expect to get wet), towel and change of clothes, proper fitting type III life jacket, closed toe shoes, a snack, sunscreen, and water bottle.


Click on the appropriate date for information on pricing. 


This level is perfect for the new sailing camper. It is intended to introduce sailors to small boat sailing, teach safety, and some basic knots, rigging a sailboat, capsize recovery, finding the wind, rigging, steering a course, avoiding collision, how to safely stop and hold a boat still in the water, overboard recovery, handling shifty winds, and the universal distress signal. 


To register online for this camp, select the desired date from the schedule on this page or to to the Calendar to view all camp options. If you have any questions regarding at what level your camper should be enrolled at please contact either or 515-599-SAIL (7245). 

Youth Camp Schedule - Select one of the dates below to register online.

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