Eights train at Sparks Rowing Development Camp on Lake Hayes in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Shot for camp film, “Get On With It.”) Seattle Summer Rowing Camp

Summer Rowing Camp 2016 Seattle Overview

Why Seattle?

Although we basically offer the same camp in Seattle and Middletown, we thought it was important to briefly differentiate between the two locations. We like Seattle given the weather in August, the accessibility to the Seattle Airport, and the growth of rowing in the midwest and on the west coast. Our setup is similar to Middletown in that campers will stay in a college dorms and walk to the boathouse, but it’s also different in that our Seattle camp is not entirely based on one university’s campus but instead spread between Seattle Rowing Center and Seattle Pacific University.

…And while we won’t require you to drink the coffee in Seattle, it may be better than Connecticut’s!

Finally, while camp is primarily sweep rowing, sculling is a possibility in Seattle. If you’re interested in learning more, please shoot us an e-mail.

The best coach to camper ratios in the country.

The camp’s mission is to inspire and raise athletic and personal awareness via access to a large array of top quality head and senior assistant coaches in a smaller camp setting to meet campers on their specific level.

Extending our guidance and college counseling mission, Sparks Rowing Camp was created for high school student-athletes who wanted an opportunity to grow and connect with our sport. Our rowing camp approach implements the largest number of hours of one-on-one coaching time with our campers in the US. Given the differing needs of young athletes coming to camp, and our short time together, we see this as the most effective path to excitement and results. This ratio gives young athletes access to a large selection of educators who typically work as head or top assistant coaches with large, top-ranked nationally and internationally competitive teams.

Campers are also asked to submit their goals prior to camp (coaches’ notes are OK, as well). Goal setting allows our staff to provide campers with feedback on how they set goals – and simultaneously seek to help campers with specific concerns. Along this line, more advanced campers also have the opportunity to sign-up to work through “goal tracks,” which are seminars and off-water activities that fall in line with popular goal sets (i.e. 2K improvement or nutrition) during the course of camp.

Our camps provide us with an ideal way to fulfill our mission of connecting young athletes with high-end exposure in terms of rowing development. The goal of this rowing camp is to ‘spark’ (forgive us) more passion for the sport and increase each student’s ability to pursue rowing with all-star coaching and education.

Be sure to see our summer rowing camp blog from past camps.

A Coxswain Development Camp

If you’re considering our coxswain camp at Seattle, which is integrated with the rowing camp — we urge you to watch the film we made about our curriculum, designed by US Olympic coxswain Marcus McElhenney and US Junior team coxswain coach Laura Simon amongst other elite coxswains.

We are beyond passionate about working with coxswains.

We see so many kids who are thirsty for guidance but are unsure about how to develop as coxswains or perhaps go through the recruiting cycle. There’s a real need in our community for coxswain education; therefore, we have created the first coxswain-specific development camp and have interlaced it with our rowing camp.

(The Seattle integrated coxswain camp differs from our coxswains only camps in that it does have many training components just for coxswains, but the water time is specifically geared toward intensive boat coaching first. The coxswains only camps on the other hand is all about coxing exclusively. )

In Seattle we work to give coxswains the standards and tools they need to consciously evaluate their skills and to improve dramatically. Coxswains will cox, spend time with a four-point system of one-on-one technical evaluations with our coxing staff, and will attend small group seminars to discuss tapes, calls, steering, drills, and recruiting as they relate to their specific level.

Rowing camp that produces fun and results

Coaches at our camp have an incentive to educate at the highest level possible, which makes a significant difference in terms of kindling an atmosphere where the focus is on our campers, first and foremost.

Each of our staff has made rowing the focus of their lives, and each has enjoyed and been successful at it. And each one also understands how important it is to pass the torch. Thanks to our structure, they are able to do exactly that on a very real level.

From mandatory fun time to private coaching and from work in teams to downtime in the dorms, 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 Seattle Coaching Staff

Marcus McElhenney

Marcus McElhenney
Men’s Olympic Coxswain, US National Team
Sparks Coxswain Director

Marcus is a Philadelphia coxswain who’s found victory on the Schuylkill and many places elsewhere. After a successful scholastic career in Philadelphia, he coxed the USA Men to three world championship titles and the Olympic Men’s 8+ to a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games. Marcus is an experienced junior coach and possesses a personal knowledge of many of the country’s former US team members coaching on the junior and collegiate levels. Marcus holds a JD and “moonlights” in corporate litigation.


Nancy LaRocque

Assistant Coach Women's Rowing, University of Wisconsin

LaRocque assists in coaching and recruiting at the University of Wisconsin. She brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Badgers, having served eight seasons as a coach at the NCAA Division I level, most recently as an assistant during the 2009-10 season at Tennessee. Prior to that, she was the head coach at West Virginia from 2000-07, where she helped direct the Mountaineers move from a club program to the NCAA Division I level and then brought it to nationally-ranked status in just three years. Before joining West Virginia, LaRocque was an assistant for two seasons at Division III Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Giuseppe Lanzone

Head Coach LWT Men's Rowing, Georgetown University

A former two time Olympian and Sparks Consulting associate, Giuseppe Lanzone serves as the lightweight men’s head coach at Georgetown University. Lanzone was the G150’s assistant prior to stepping into the head coaching role. Giuseppe and his brother Mario also founded a Peruvian food truck business (Peruvian Brothers) – which has been the subject of much recent publicity in DC given Lanzone’s background (and the food).


Jeff Collett

Asst. Coach Men’s Rowing, University of California San Diego

Jeff coordinates recruiting efforts and serves as an assistant coach for the men at UCSD. He arrives at UCSD after heading up the junior rowing program for around 150 athletes at Newport Aquatic Center. While at Newport, Jeff hosted both US junior national team ID camps and the US national team high-performance camp; Jeff’s NAC crews also won multiple medals at the US Rowing junior national championships.


Corrie McGrath

Assistant Coach, Junior National Team
Assistant Coach Women's Rowing, Washington State University

Corrie McGrath is currently an MA Candidate in Sports Management at Washington State University. This means that she’ll likely end up in a head coaching position in 2017, but in the meantime..she has spent the last seven years recruiting and coaching at Washington State. Prior to that, she recruited and coached at Clemson University and the University of Central Florida. Corrie also coached with the women’s junior national team during the summer of 2015.


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 Seattle Details

Summer Rowing Camp Seattle Registration

August 8-12, 2016

Day campers, send us an e-mail and we’ll happily send you a discount code.

Coxswains Men Women LTR
Week 1 Wait List Open Open Open

Summer Rowing Camp Seattle Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
10AM - 1 PM Travel to Camp 7AM - 11:15AM Breakfast / Row 7AM - 11:15AM Breakfast / Row 7AM - 11:15AM Breakfast / Row 7AM - 11:30AM Breakfast / Regatta
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Coach / Student Meetings 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Coach / Student Meetings 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Coach / Student Meetings
12:00 - 1:00PM Lunch 12:00 - 1:00PM Lunch 12:00 - 1:00PM Lunch 11:30AM - 12:00PM Meet Parents / Snack
1:00 - 2:00PM Check-In 1:15PM - 2:15PM Private Coaching 1:15PM - 2:15PM Private Coaching 1:15PM - 2:15PM Private Coaching 12:30PM - 1:15PM Concluding Presentation
2:00PM - 5:30PM Rowing / Assessment 2:30PM - 5:30PM Rowing 2:30PM - 5:30PM Rowing 2:30PM - 5:30PM Rowing 1:15PM - 1:45PM Individual Feedback Collection
5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 1:30PM - 2:30PM Depart Camp
7:00PM - 8:30PM Ice Cream Social & Conversations 7:00PM - 7:45PM Conversation 7:00PM - 7:45PM Conversation 7:00PM - 7:45PM Conversation 2:30PM - 3:00PM Last Airport Run
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Camp Forms


Please complete the following forms. The information packet is yours to keep while the code of conduct, waiver, and physical forms should be printed out, signed, and brought to camp to be submitted at registration.

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

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

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