Wesleyan Summer Rowing Camp

Summer Rowing Camp 2017 Middletown Overview

The Experience

Our camp in Middletown, CT is at Wesleyan University – a well-known liberal arts college a short distance from Hartford and a two hour drive from New York City. Campers are housed in Clarke Hall and row out of the Macomber boathouse on the Connecticut River. Wesleyan’s dorms, campus, and dining facilities are top in class.

Our Middletown camp’s size and location allows us to bring in a large number of head and senior assistant coaches from well known institutions in excellent ratios to campers. This group of senior, successful coaches consistently generates positive energy as they share knowledge amongst themselves and support juniors seeking inspiration and growth.

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

Pre-camp goal setting creates intention amongst campers, individual meetings with top tier 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 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 this 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.

The Right Mix of Coaching Staff

Beyond hiring head and senior assistant coaches for our rowing camps, we put real thought behind the mixture of experience, skill sets, and personalities our staff – from coaches to Program Leaders– bring to camp.

Left-brained, concrete types will appreciate the wide range of background in our coaches and our evaluation system with its precision in identifying potential areas for improvement such that coaches and campers have data to work from. We also include educators who are more emotional in nature and can approach the restorative and emotional components of the sport from a place of comfortable experience.

A Coxswain Development Camp

We are beyond passionate about working with coxswains and maintain an annually evaluated, extremely experienced coxswain coaching staff for our camps.

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

Coxswains will cox, spend time with a four-point system of one-on-one technical evaluations with our coxing staff, and attend small group seminars to discuss tapes, calls, steering, drills, and recruiting as they relate to their specific level.

(The Middletown 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 exclusively about coxing.)

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. They also understand how important it is to pass the torch. Thanks to our structure, they can do this on a very real level.

We see our rowing camp as a place where campers can find their home in rowing and be challenged to grow as athletes and as individuals.

Summer Rowing Camp Middletown Coaching Staff

Kevin Macdermott

Former USA Junior National Team Coach
Head Coach Men’s Rowing, Trinity College

In Kevin’s first year leading Trinity’s men’s program, the team won the men’s team title at the ECAC Rowing Championship and the New England Rowing Championships. In the 2010-2011 season, the team finished 2nd in both the New England Championships and in the ECAC National Invitational Regatta. Before coming to Trinity, he worked for four years as assistant coach of men’s rowing at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. Kevin also served as head coach for the Junior Men’s National Team in 2011. MacDermott also serves as senior associate director of the Craftsbury Sculling Center in Craftsbury, Vt. He has been a head coach at the Center since 2004 and first began coaching at CSC in 2002.

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.

Phil Carney

Head Coach Men’s Rowing, Wesleyan University

A graduate of Trinity College where he was a co-captain of the Bantams varsity heavyweight crew and later freshman coach, Phil is in his 23rd year as Head Coach Wesleyan and holds the rank of adjunct professor of physical education. He has also served as a U.S. Rowing lightweight development coach, and coached sculling at Craftsbury sculling center. Phil founded the Riverfront Recapture Rowing Club in 1993, a community rowing program in the Hartford area which has won multiple state and national awards and serves hundreds.

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.

Pat Tynan

Head Coach Women’s Rowing, Wesleyan University

A 1999 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Patrick began his coaching career as a men’s assistant at his alma mater for two seasons before heading to Colby College. As interim head women’s crew coach at Williams College in 2006-07, Patrick directed the Ephs to a New England and NCAA Division III title before joining the Yale Lightweight Men’s staff in 2008 to act as the freshman coach there. Pat was then offered the Head Women’s coaching position at Wesleyan and has brought the team to new records in his time at the school. He has also enjoyed coaching at most of the popular east coast rowing camps, and thus we’re happy to capitalize on the benefit of his experiences with smaller ratios at Sparks.

Grace Hollowell

Asst. Coach Women’s Rowing, Dartmouth College

Grace coordinates recruiting for the Dartmouth women’s team after doing so for the BU lightweight women’s squad. Originally from Michigan and a Harvard (pronounced “Haw-vaarhd” if you want to make Grace smile) graduate, she captained their lightweight team before graduating and serving as a volunteer assistant with the Crimson. She then worked as the varsity assistant at Smith College before taking her current position at BU. While at Smith, Grace was also a teaching fellow and lecturer in sport science.

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.

Summer Rowing Camp Middletown Details

  • Who:  A coed camp for high school rowers and coxswains ages 14-19 (open to all)
  • Duration:  5 days
  • When:  July 18-22, 2017
  • Cost:  $1,379
  • Where:  Middletown, CT on the campus of Wesleyan University: in Clark Dormitory (air-conditioned) and on-campus boathouse. Shuttles will run between Hartford Airport and camp (25 minutes) on Tuesday and Saturday.
  • Day Campers:  Please see the Registration tab for day camper discount.
  • Questions:  Email camp@sparksconsult.com
  • Registration:  See our availability table.
  • Supervision:  The staff lives amongst the student athletes, and has oversight 24 hours a day. Unhealthy substances and/or behaviors are strictly prohibited.
  • Payment/Refunds:  Payments may be made in full at RegattaCentral.com by using 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.
  • 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.

Summer Rowing Camp Middletown Registration

July 18 - 22, 2017

Day campers, looking for a discount code?


Coxswains Men Women LTR
Closed 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 Middletown Schedule

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

Camp Forms

The Information Packet is yours to keep while the Health History and Authorization of Medication 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 the Health History and Authorization of Medication (if they are bringing medication).

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, filled out by your physician, and turned in at camp.