(Mission Rowing photo)

Noozhawk’s ParentNooz Camp Guide is officially here and we made sure to make things easy when planning your child’s summer!

In this interview, Noozhawk had the opportunity to sit down with Carol Nagy, Executive Director at Mission Rowing to learn more about their summer programs.

Mission Rowing

UPDATE: *Camps may be subject to change due to COVID-19. Check website for updates.

Question: How is your summer camp addressing the new guidelines for COVID-19 regulations? Has anything changed within your program due to the virus?

Answer: All Learn To Row athletes will be in 1X’s (one person boats) and/or 2X’s (2 person boats) if they are siblings or have been sheltering in place together.

Rowing a single or family double is inherently social distancing. That, coupled with the facilities being outdoors, substantially reduces risks. However, we do need to take a few other steps. When we meet and go through instructions or carry boats to the dock, masks are needed per CA and Santa Barbara health requirements. Our staff will verbally ask a health questionnaire. Our staff has taken the same survey and had their temperatures taken. Once you are on the dock and setting up and getting into your boat, no masks are required. Our coaches will continue to wear masks as they may have to interact with some of you getting the boats off the dock. Once they are on the coaching boat, they may remove theirs. We sanitize our boats and oars before and after each row. Coaches will demonstrate and monitor the process. We have sanitizer for your use and the equipment available, but please feel free to bring your own if you prefer. Lastly, we are not doctors, but we advise assessing your risk factors, in light of these conditions: (age, obesity, heart/lung disease). 

Q: What is the name of your Summer Camp or Program and what is its mission?

(Mission Rowing photo)

A: Mission Rowing Learn to Row and Racing Development Camp. Our mission to to bring the Amateur Olympic sport of Rowing to Santa Barbara County residents of all ages.

Q: Describe the activities involved in your camp or program.

A: For those with no prior experience our Learn to Row Camps will teach you the basic on the water skills and knowledge necessary to launch you into our sport. Suggested for Grades 5-12 and Collegiate athletes.

For those with prior experience we offer a Racing Development Camp focused on boat handling skills, mental training, racing specific skills, land training strategy, fitness assessment, goal setting, nutritional knowledge, and helping you learn how to challenge yourself to reach your maximum potential in sport and life.

Q: What is the age range for children in your camp or program?

A: Entering Grades 5-12 and Collegiate athletes.

Q: How many years has the camp been running? Do you get a lot of return campers?

A: This will be our first year operating in Santa Barbara County, however we have run similar camps in Seattle for the last 10 years. Our Seattle camps had a high percentage of athletes who returned to row with us during the school year and/or the following summer.

Q: What goals do you have for kids participating in your camp or program? 

A: The Learn To Row camps are intended to introduce youth to the basics of rowing so they can decide if they’d like to continue during the school year with either our Middle School Program (recreational) or Junior Racing Team.

The Racing Development Camp is intended to help athletes find the next level in our sport both on and off the water. As rowing is a sport that rewards a strong work ethic we hope these athletes will realize a passion and commitment to working toward excellence both in rowing and life.

Q: What makes your camp or program unique?

A: Mission Rowing is the only Community Rowing Program in Santa Barbara County (SBC), offering the only Learn To Row and Racing Development opportunities for all ages. While UCSB had offered the sport for almost forty years there has been no organization dedicated to bringing rowing to local residents. We intend to change that and build Mission Rowing into a crown jewel of amateur sports organizations in SBC.

Q: How do you hire staff for your camp and when hired, is there a training that they have to complete before the camp begins? 

A: Our coaching staff has traveled from Seattle with us to build upon our success at Seattle Rowing Center.

Our staff and hiring processes lean heavily on those with Olympic, National Team and Collegiate experience. Additionally we hire from within the ranks of our young adult athletes training to compete for seats in National Team boats, and successful athletes whom we have trained from middle school through collegiate careers.

All new coaches are required to be Safe Sport Certified (USRowing), CPR Certified and pass background checks. Upon hiring coaches are expected to study our vertically integrated training systems, and review with our Head Coach where in that system their athletes fit, thereby determining which skills they should be teaching.

As an organization we believe in lifetime learning and evolution. We expect our coaches to share our passion to continually development new strategies and techniques to help athletes learn how to excel.

Q: What is the best part, in your opinion, about your camp or program?

A: Rowing is a sport that rewards hard work and diligence like none other. It is the ultimate team sport, as in a boat there are no superstars…. the boat is only as fast and strong as it’s weakest link. For youth a successful rowing career offers huge benefits for college admissions from significant scholarships for girls to tagged applications for boys. Rowing is a physically demanding sport requiring successful athletes to develop time management skills, a refined sense of personal responsibility, a constant thirst for universal success, and a commitment to the community and the concept that the whole is far greater than the sum of it’s parts.

The best part of our camps? To introduce local youth to a lifelong sport we hope they love and becomes a pivotal force for good in their lives.

Q: In what ways is your camp or program educational? 

A: Our Learn to Row sessions are by definition an education in the basics of the sport of rowing. On the water skills, boat mechanics and maintenance, vocabulary, stretching /flexibility/strength building exercises, and the start of team building.

Our Racing Development Camp teaches all of the above at higher levels and delves into teaching time management, nutritional choices, social skills..how to be a good team mate, personal responsibility for choices you make- both good and bad, how to challenge yourself and those around you to believe in themselves and their teammates.

As an international sport we encourage development of geography, language and cultural knowledge in a variety of ways: during team/after practice meetings, visiting athletes, worldwide maps in multiple locations, knowledge challenges, and an organizational respect for a global perspective of cultural norms and differences.

Q: What is the price range of your camp and do you offer scholarships?

A:  Mission Rowing is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to offering our sport to all interested participants regardless of ability to pay.

Please consider joining us in our commitment by making a donation through our home page or directly by contacting our Executive Director , Carol Nagy at carol@missionrowing.org.

To request a scholarship please contact Carol at the above email address.

Summer Camps prices range from $295 for biweekly Learn To Row sessions to many thousands for Residential Development Camps with National racing opportunities.

Click here for more information about Mission Rowing summer camps!