By Ryan Sparks · August, 2012
The camp woke up, went to breakfast, then proceeded to the boathouse for their morning row. The first row (and day!) of camp always takes a bit longer to organize — line-ups must be set, training protocols agreed upon between men’s and women’s coaching staffs, and the logistics of equipment must be dictated to rowers and coxswains alike.
The day was cool and cloudy without being rainy. It almost begged for a vest. The water was very, very flat and the whole environment very much reminded this writer of Maine. See the video below to take in the texture of the water.
We got everyone out for a 1.5-2 hour row with specific technical focuses to kick off the morning. The women’s coaching staff had already united as one, going so far as coaching boats side by side on the first outing in part oriented by Michiel Bartman, a three time Olympic medal winner (from three different Games) who coaches at Harvard and worked our camp last week. Similarly, the men’s staff was oriented by Kevin Macdermott, a former US Junior National Team head coach and Trinity Men’s coach who also worked our camp last week.
After the row, the kids headed up to the dining hall and for their first sessions of private coaching — which I believe could be incredibly valuable with this group. They are serious, potentially more so than last week, and seem thankful to be here — which delights our staff. Below, see a photo of a camper in a private coaching session with Dan Walsh, Bronze medal Olympian and the freshman coach at Northeastern. After private coaching, we had another water session.
Overall, the group seems focused, calm, and with an intensity of purpose. They’ve also bonded enough to be able to enjoy the Olympics together in our TV lounge at the dorm. We did have a ‘smoke incident’ this evening, smelling potential camper smoke in a stairwell — campers have been reminded that if they are found with any kind of unhealthy substance, they will be sent home immediately but also risk dire implications for their collegiate recruiting/rowing careers given the level of connection on our staff. That said, they all seem like good kids and the coaches agree the vibe is unusual in a larger, 5 day camp — and could be more common to longer, development type camps. We believe this may make for a very educational and inspiring week.