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

Summer Rowing Camp 2017 Middletown Overview

Why Middletown?

We’re essentially offering the same camp in Connecticut and Seattle – however, we thought it would be nice to briefly differentiate between the two. Our camp in Middletown is based entirely at Wesleyan University, was our first rowing camp, and is still our flagship. Middletown has an apt name in that it is right smack in the middle of the biggest rowing population in America, and offers easy access for campers and coaches alike. Wesleyan’s dorms and dining facilities are top in class, and the boathouse is walkable from campus. That said, we can’t make snide remarks about the quality of the coffee.

The best coach to camper ratios in the country.

This camp’s mission is inspire and raise athletic and personal awareness via access to a large array of top quality head and senior assistant coaches in a smaller summer camp format 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.

The 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. We enjoy running slightly smaller summer rowing camps than others; as such we included a third week in Seattle instead of increasing our size in Middletown. This is important given these camps serve as the start of a relationship for many families with our company.

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

A Coxswain Development Camp

If you’re considering our coxswain camp at Middletown, 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 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 all about coxing exclusively. )

At Middletown 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 Middletown Coaching Staff

Michiel Bartman

Michael Bartman
Head Coach Men’s Lightweight Rowing,
Harvard University
Three-time Olympic medalist

A rowing coach with his own wikipedia entry, Michiel Bartman’s Olympic medals and current position speak for themselves. Prior to coaching the Harvard LWT men, he worked with their LWT women. Previous to that, Michiel was the head coach at Vesper boat club in Philadelphia, a high-performance training center for athletes intent on making the national team. Michiel won gold in the 8+ at the 1996 Olympics, silver in the 4X at the 2000 Olympics, and Silver in the 8+ at the 2004 Olympics – all for the Netherlands. Moreover as a well-rounded educator, Michiel cares deeply about his athletes and utilizes the same intensity he won Olympic medals with to instill a deep understanding and love for the sport in those he coaches.

Kate Maloney

Head Coach Women’s Rowing, Williams College

It’s hard to say anything bad about Kate. An Olympian, Kate served as an assistant coach and recruiter for Northeastern and then Yale University for eight seasons before moving to head up the Williams women’s program. In her first two years at Williams, the team has won consecutive division III national championships. Kate has also coached with the US Jr. National Team. She double majored in art history and anthropology and has obviously found her own art form in coaching.

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.

Wendy Wilbur

Assistant Coach Women's Rowing, University of Texas

Coach Wilbur hails from a team which has surprised and impressed the rowing community given its recent successes – especially since “Austin” isn’t “Boston” in terms of its history in the sport (but who knows what the future holds). She joins the Longhorns after serving as an assistant coach the last five seasons for Harvard University’s Radcliffe Crew. Wilbur helped Radcliffe win medals at the 2013 and 2014 Ivy League Championships and mentored novice rowers who earned positions in NCAA Championship squad boats from 2011-14. “When I saw where the rowing program at The University of Texas was headed, I knew it was a staff on which I wanted to be a part,” Wilbur said. “With my years as an elite athlete and collegiate coach, I hope to add to the talented leadership already in place. The future looks bright, and I am honored to play a role in the development of the team.”

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!

Gregg Hartsuff

Head Coach Men’s Rowing, University of Michigan

A two decade veteran of coaching the Michigan men’s program, Gregg is a well known entity in the rowing community. Michigan has won two IRA medals during his tenure. Michigan Crews coached by Hartsuff have won over 60 Dad Vail and ECAC medals, with 28 of them being gold. He is only one of two coaches to ever win the Dad Vail and ECAC Varsity 8 titles in the same year (2005), and has won the second most varsity eight titles in the history of the Dad Vail.

Malcolm Doldron

Coxswain Coach, US Jr. Nat. Development Team
Head Coach LWT Women’s Rowing, Boston University

We’re lucky to have Malcolm in Oklahoma this year. Prior to assuming the head coaching slot for BU’s new LW women’s program, Malcolm served as the women’s assistant coach at Columbia University for four years while also working as the coxswain coach for the US women’s junior national team development camp. Prior to that, Malcolm coached at Princeton University for two years. A former coxswain himself, he coached junior rowing from 1999-2005 in DC. Born in New York, raised in DC, but now living in Boston, he has not yet claimed allegiance to the Yankees or Red Sox.

Kayleigh Durm

Assistant Coach Men's Rowing, MIT
Coxswain Blog Founder, readyallrow.com

Kayleigh Durm is an assistant coach with the heavyweight men’s program at MIT and the author of readyallrow.com, a popular coxswain blog (1M+ hits – that’s big for such a small community) – where she attempts to supplement the rowing community’s (particularly the coxing community’s) knowledge and resources in the sport. She also hosts one of the largest collections of coxswain recordings online, and will work with the coxswains at camp.

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.

Christopher Deyoung

Chris DeYoung
Senior Associate, Sparks Consulting

Chris is a three year veteran at Sparks after serving as a coach with men’s programs at Rutgers and the University of Michigan. Chris has also served as a head coach with multiple junior programs, including Bishop Eustace Prep. On the counseling side, Chris brings a knowledge of club rowing to Sparks, which is a extremely complex paradigm given the level of disparity in resources, coaching, and program leadership. He re-certifies on the NCAA Division 1 recruiting exam every year. Chris is currently interested in working with coxswains given the unique challenges coxswains face both on the water and in the recruiting process.

Summer Rowing Camp Middletown Details

Summer Rowing Camp Middletown Registration

July 18 - 22, 2017

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

Coxswains Men Women LTR
Week 1 Open Open Open Open

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 / 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
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 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 medical 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 -- To be printed, filled out by your physician, and turned in at camp.

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