Columbia Rowing Camp

Summer Rowing Camp 2017 Columbia Overview

Columbia Rowing Camp on a Sparks Platform

Built in coordination with the Columbia University lightweight men’s coaching staff, Sparks Rowing Camp at Columbia is designed to provide students with a concretely greater awareness of their rowing and themselves while experiencing New York and Columbia University over four days.

Head lightweight men’s coach Nich Parker writes, “For a long time now, I’ve wanted to engage juniors with some of the lessons we’ve learned as we brought the Columbia lightweight men into a national title for the first time in two decades. These ideas may seem abstract or complicated to some, but ultimately they are the simple foundation we have built a collegiate program on – and my life’s work. I am excited to share those lessons with more people, and hope they serve in some small way to create change for campers as they have created for us.

The Columbia Experience

New York, New York. Actually: Morningside Heights and Upper Manhattan. The energy of NYC combined with the campus and rowing facilities at Columbia is an experience that can’t help but catalyze growth in campers given the pure energy of the environment (though they may need to wait a week or so after camp to distill it all).

The intensity of experience is amplified by the camp environment, where we seek to provide students a sampling of life as a Columbia student athlete. Campers will listen to Columbia coaches speak about their beliefs on the sport and campers’ ability from that point of view. Coaching will occur within the more bio-mechanically and physiologically based model the lightweights at Columbia utilized to win the 2016 national championship for the first time in a number of decades.

The Sparks Rowing Camp Experience

Successful participants desire to learn more about rowing, understand their own potential for long-term growth and according possibilities, and have fun. They arrive at camp with intention, proactively seek new information (sometimes from specific coaches), and are open to the unexpected.

Regardless of whether campers are novices or seasoned veterans, our staff aim to provide an experience that delivers.

Pre-camp goal setting creates intention amongst campers, individual meetings with coaches at camp informs them, and they undergo a camp program meant to raise awareness of specific aspects of campers’ rowing and coxing while maintaining a positive, fun environment.

Finally, campers undergo a longer evaluation process than other short rowing camps. This is to help them recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses and derive a six week training program geared specifically for their level after camp. We believe longer evaluation enables the most benefit insofar as specific coaching available at any short-term rowing camp.

Athletes who want to get involved in rowing or coxing are invited to join our Learn to Row program. LTR campers enjoy the same benefits listed above, as well as a coach dedicated to teaching them the basics of our sport.

Rowing Camp that Produces Fun and Results

There is a disconnect in the number of American junior athletes who are able to push collegiate recruiting standards higher given disparities in access, training, and available knowledge. We aim to address this need at camp.

This camp is ideal for students who want to obtain a better idea of what being a student-athlete at Columbia entails – particularly if they’re years away from actually making the college decision and need an idea of what they’re looking for. The ideal is for camp to further empower athletes to recognize their love for the sport and belief in their ability to achieve great things as a result of their commitment to rowing.

Each of our staff has made rowing the focus of their lives, and each has enjoyed and been successful at it. They all also understand how important it is to pass the torch. We see our rowing camp as a place where campers can find their place in rowing and be challenged to grow as athletes and as individuals.

Summer Rowing Camp Columbia Coaching Staff

Nich Parker

Head Coach, Columbia Lightweight Men

Beyond working on his Ph.D. in group biomechanics, Nich Parker holds an MA in Sports Administration and Pedagogy. Nich started coaching as a women’s coach at Ohio State before serving as the varsity assistant with the Yale heavyweight men for three years. After that, Nich worked with heavyweights at Columbia before assuming the freshman and now head position with their lightweight squad. He speaks fluent German and holds a fascination for how different (personality, nationality, or level) athletes approach workouts and the end affect of that approach. He acted as editor for rowing legend Jim Joy’s book, The Mind’s Eye.

Andrew Hess

Assistant Coach Men's LWT Rowing, Columbia University

Coach Hess is in his first year as the assistant lightweight men’s coach for the 2016 national lightweight champions and handles recruiting for the Lions. Prior to Columbia, Hess worked at Community Rowing, Inc in Boston as an assistant boy’s coach with former Sparks counselor and current head boys’ coach Wayne Berger. Andrew also acted as communications manager for one of the largest rowing clubs in the country. He holds an MBA in values-based leadership from Xavier.

Sam Warren

Assistant Coach Women's Rowing, Columbia University

A former Junior and U23 National team member, Sam serves as assistant coach and coordinates women’s recruiting for the Lions. Prior to Columbia, she trained with the senior national team and coached at the Hun School of Princeton. When asked about her preference on stuffed animals, she indicates that she has none but thinks of Harambe when she sees gorillas.

Vera Terlouw

Coxswain, Dutch Development Program

Vera Terlouw is a Dutch native and national team hopeful. She hails from one of the most successful countries in our sport. Her coxing experience includes Henley and much of the European circuit with Dutch development and elite level crews. She was attracted to Sparks given her interest in coxing education whereby she has coached coxswains and developed coxswain selection procedures for multiple clubs in Holland. She is an engineer by training and is interested in fluid dynamics. We’re excited to bring an international perspective into a game that can suffer from local bias.

Emerson Curry

Asst. Coach HWT Men’s Rowing, Columbia University

Emerson Curry conducts recruiting and acts as the assistant coach for the Columbia heavyweight men. He arrives at Columbia after recruiting and coaching for the lightweight men’s team at Dartmouth. Prior to Dartmouth, Emerson served as an assistant coach with the lightweight men at Harvard. After serving as an educator at these three institutions, one may wonder about Emerson’s level of intelligence. Hopefully campers can keep up!

Leigh Carroll

US National Team
Sparks Coxswain Associate

Leigh Carroll is a former Division 1 and National Team coxswain who has coached on both the junior and collegiate levels. After a successful career coxing the Brown Men’s varsity 8+, she held coaching positions with Wayland-Weston Rowing Association and the Harvard-Radcliffe lightweight women’s team. An experienced international racer, Leigh also coxed the US women’s 8+ to a second-place finish in Australia at the Samsung World Cup after helping the U23 national team to a bronze finish at the World Championships and Brown to a second-place finish in the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Education from Stanford University with a concentration in Secondary School Teaching.

Mark Davis

Head Coach Men’s Rowing, George Washington University

Prior to being head coach at George Washington University, Coach Davis was the heavyweight freshman coach at Yale University. Before that, head coach at University of California — San Diego, recruiting coordinator for the University of Texas, head men’s and women’s coach at Colby College and novice coach at Hobart and William Smith College. Davis’ 16 years of experience transforming club programs into elite Division I, II and II varsity programs has given him a greatly unique appreciation and respect for building teams through effective coaching and recruiting.

Anderson Bourell

Rowing Specific Yoga and Holistic Health Instructor

The subject of a NYTimes piece on Mike Piazza, Anderson’s title is a little crazy, but it’s true. After prep school in Boston, baseball, and acting (he appeared in Fight Club) in his youth he choose to concentrate in holistic health – i.e. stretching, breathing, yoga, and nutrition – for rowing athletes. He is a known member of the community, attended Harvard training camps with Harry Parker for 10 years and has also been party to multiple New England prep schools’ efforts of the same nature. He has worked in the UK with junior athletes and with a variety of national teams. Anderson is not a typical rowing person in his concentration on holistic health or his approach, but he maintains a following that only lucky coaches enjoy.

Summer Rowing Camp Columbia Details

  • Who:  Designed for juniors, 14-18; open to all.
  • Duration:  4 Days
  • When:  August 6-9, 2017
  • Cost:  $1,249 for overnight campers
  • Where:  Columbia University in the City of New York; Campers will be housed on campus and use Columbia rowing facilities.
  • Air Travel:  Those flying to camp are advised to use LaGuardia (LGA) and arrive three hours prior to camp staff. Campers are expected to take a taxi or Uber to Columbia.
  • Payment/Refunds:  Payments may be made in full at by using the table on the registration tab. Refunds minus a $500 deposit are available until a month before camp.
  • Camp Forms:  Legally binding agreements are signed via e-mail at time of registration. All other camp documents are be made available 6 weeks prior to camp on the camp forms tab.
  • Supervision:  The staff lives amongst the student athletes, and has oversight 24 hours a day. Unhealthy substances and/or behaviors are strictly prohibited.
  • Staffing:  Coaches are not guaranteed; some are active national team athletes or coaches and must prioritize that schedule. To find out about a particular coach, shoot us an e-mail.
  • Learn To Row:  A very small number of LTR slots are designed for pure novice crossover athletes who are in 10th grade or later, possess athletic backgrounds, focus, and the comport to engage intensively with their own staff and schedule.
  • Swim Test:  Per Columbia regulations, all campers must complete a swim test before going on the water. The tests consists of swimming 2 laps (50 yards total) and treading water for 5 minutes.

Summer Rowing Camp Columbia Registration

August 6-9, 2017

Day campers, looking for a discount code?


Coxswains Men Women LTR
Open Open Open Open

Campers who would like a follow-up athlete profile and training program may sign up for our metrics follow-up program for up to a week after departure from camp.

Summer Rowing Camp Columbia Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
10AM - 1PM
Travel to Camp
7:30AM - 10AM
Breakfast and Assessment
7:30AM - 10AM
Breakfast and Assessment
7:30AM - 10AM
Breakfast and Final Row
10 AM - 11:30 AM
Warm Down Session
10 AM - 11:30 AM
Warm Down Session
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Coach/Student Meetings
12:00PM - 1:00PM
12:00PM - 1:00PM
11:00AM - 11:30AM
Concluding Presentation
1:00PM - 2:00PM
1:00PM - 2:15PM
Private Coaching
1:00PM - 2:15PM
Private Coaching
Depart Camp
2:00PM - 6:00PM
Orientation, Swim Test, & Assessment
3:00PM - 5:00PM
On Water Assessment
3:00PM - 5:00PM
On Water Assessment
6:45PM - 7:30PM
5:45PM - 6:30PM
5:45PM - 6:30PM
8:00PM - 8:45PM
Evening Seminar
7:00PM - 8:00PM
Evening Seminar
7:00PM - 8:00PM
Evening Seminar
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Camp Forms

The Information Packet is yours to keep while the Health History must be printed out, signed and filled out completely by your doctor, and brought to camp to be submitted at registration. Campers cannot participate without it.

You should have been emailed the Waiver, Code of Conduct, Residency Agreement, and Communication Agreement (all in one document) after registering via DocuSign. Please email us if you did not receive this or have any issues signing.

The travel and goals forms are to be filled out and submitted online.

  • Physical -- To be printed out, signed by your physician, and turned in at camp.