Thank you everyone for your patience. The interest in this program from middle and high-school students across the area has been impressive!

Here are key details:

Who: The learn-to-row program will be geared towards current 8th grade and high school students who have had minimal to no rowing experience. If your athlete participated in a learn-to-row camp this summer, through their high-school or independent camp, this will be a continuation of that experience.

Novice Coxswains are also encouraged to join!

When: The program will start Saturday, September 18th, and run for 8 weeks through Sunday, November 14th.

  • The athletes will be broken into groups by gender. The girls group will row M,W,F,Sun the first week, and T,Th,Sat the following week. The boys group will row T,Th,Sat the first week, and M,W,F,Sun the second week. Groups will alternate in this pattern for the season. This schedule essentially results in every athlete rowing every other day.
  • Practices during the week will run 4:30-6:30. Weekends will be approximately 10am-12:30pm. Weekend times will likely shift slightly week to week based on other program schedules and will likely not last 3 hours, but that is the general window for Learn-to-Row.

Where: Practice takes place at Thompson’s Boat Center, 2900 Virginia Avenue (across Rock Creek Parkway from the Kennedy Center). Use google/waze to decide your route as the roads shift for rush hour during practice hours.

Fees: The program will cost $600 for the season. This covers all coaching salaries, equipment, launch gas, and a team t-shirt.

Coaching Staff: We have an experienced group of coaches from high schools throughout the area. Your athlete will rotate amongst coaches so that they can experience a variety of styles and feedback. Each coach will be assigned one to two boats each day, meaning a ratio of 1:9-18 athletes.

How do you teach kids to row: Rowing is multi-faceted, before rowers get on the water there are basic skills you might not be aware of. They will need to learn vocabulary, how to carry a boat, how to put oars in the boat, the basic rowing stroke, and safety rules. They will also be exposed to the basic fitness training that is required for rowing. Once out on the water, they will learn the basic rowing stroke. In the traditional racing shell, they will begin by rowing in subsets of the boat (ie: 4 rowers “set the boat” by stabilizing with their oars, while the other 4 take strokes). Before they know it they will be off and rowing!

Communications: An attendance spreadsheet will be circulated to athletes by the coaches. It is critical that the athletes fill out their availability for any given practice the night before practice (at the latest). Last minute changes to this impacts a boat’s ability to get out on the water in a timely fashion or sometimes at all.

We will have a parent “Welcome to the Boathouse” (virtual) night in the coming weeks where Q&A will be available. If you have burning questions, please email