Sail Camp FAQ's

We have assembled this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in order to give you a quick answer to questions you may have about the program. If you don't see the answer you're looking for don't hesitate to get in touch with the GRSA Sail Camp Director by emailing sailcamp@grsa.org. Back to top /  Sailcamp information page


What forms do I need to fill out for my camper?

You will need to fill out the following forms by the first morning of camp: Sail Camp Student Registration Form and the Chesterfield County Risk Form. These forms should have been emailed to you by Chesterfield County. However, if not or you missed them you can access them below. The Camper Handbook is also available to provide more details of the program and what your camper can expect!

ApplicationforSailCamp2017.doc

SailRiskForm.doc

CampGuide2017.doc


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What communications should I expect to receive from Chesterfield County and from GRSA?

You should receive a confirmation for registration from Chesterfield County after registering through their REGI online system. They should email a copy of their Risk Form, the GRSA Camper Handbook, and Sail Camp Registration Form. These forms may not be emailed until May but are available at any time on our Sail Camp page. GRSA Camp Director and staff will send emails to communicate any important changes. The Camp Director also utilizes a text update program that you will be given information on the first morning of camp. Updates of camp and important information will also be available at www.grsa.org and our Facebook page.

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What are the staff qualifications?

Camp staff are experienced college and high school aged sailors.  Each instructor and assistant holds a current US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor certification that includes current First Aid and CPR/AED certification, and a NASBLA approved safe power boating course. All instructors over the age of 18 have cleared a background check by Chesterfield County. All of the instructors have previously participated in the program as students and assistants.

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What are the staff to student ratios?

Staffing levels are adjusted based on the enrollment for each session.
    • Maximum enrollment for all levels is 12 students with 2 instructors and 1 assistant with oversight from the Sail Camp Director.

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What is a typical day?
  • 8:30am - Session Start will include a weather report, review of the previous day’s lessons learned and review of the day’s schedule. 
  • 9am - Classroom review of new concepts, land drills and demonstrations.
  • 10am - Students rig boats and head to the water for drills and games.
  • Noon - Lunch 
  • 1pm - Classroom review of the drills.  Introduction of new concepts.  Land drills and activities.
  • 1:30pm - Back on the water for drills and games.
  • 3:15pm - Students return to shore to de-rig boats.
  • 3:45pm - Site survey and clean-up as needed.
  • 4pm - Session close with review of victories and challenges.  Student pickup.

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Do you need to know how to sail to participate?

No sailing experience is required.  Students should be comfortable around water and must demonstrate the ability to swim during the first morning of camp. 

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Where is the swim test?

The swim test is conducted in the lake directly in front of the sailing club right after arrival on Monday morning of camp.  Students will be required to complete a 50 yard swim unassisted. Students who miss the swim test will have to complete this requirement before participating in any camp activities. 

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Do you offer group or alumni discounts?

No published group or alumni discounts are currently available. Please contact the Sail Programs Director via email sailcamp@grsa.org if you have a group for consideration.

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How do I decide which session to attend?

Sessions are organized based on sailing experience and age. Please visit our main Sail Camp page for course descriptions, ages, dates, and course numbers. 

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Do students repeat sessions?

Students whose sailing experience is limited to a single session the previous summer often enjoy repeating the beginner session.  Please ask your child their preference and assess whether they are ready for additional challenges.  If your child’s only sailing experience was 1 week of camp at age 8 or 9, they will benefit from reinforcing the skills in a group with their peers. If you have questions about where your child should be placed don't hesitate to contact the Sail Programs Director at sailcamp@grsa.org.

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Can my high school student get summer PE credit?

Chesterfield County and Richmond City schools recognize the GRSA sailing program for summer physical education course credit.  Please check with your guidance counselor to identify documentation requirements and credit limits.

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Can I register directly with GRSA or must I register through Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation?

All registration is conducted through Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation via telephone or the REGI enrollment system available on their website.

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What type of boats are used?

Junior sailors (8-12 year old) use Optimist dinghy sailboats.  The “Opti” is the current standard for junior sailing instruction. Learn more about the Opti here. Teens (13-17) may sail the 2 man 420 sailboat or the larger 3 man Flying Scot.  The 420 is a popular training and racing class for high school and collegiate sailors. Learn more about the 420 here. The Flying Scot is the most popular privately owned boat at GRSA and is new to our Junior Sailing fleet this year. Learn more about the Flying Scot here.

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How many students per boat?
  • Optimist sailboats – 1 person
  • 420 sailboats – 2 person
  • Flying Scot sailboats- 3-4 person

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What equipment do I need?
  • Students should be prepared for a full day outside in the sun on the water.  Sunscreen (not sun tan oil) as well as clothes and shoes which can be wet.  A cap or hat and sunglasses are advised, but don’t bring anything you are afraid to lose in the water.  Closed toe shoes which can be wet such as water shoes, Crocs, Keen sandals (closed toe only) or old sneakers are required at all times.  A second pair of dry shoes for shore activities are advised for comfort.  (Students should be wearing shoes at all times).  Each student should have a water bottle for use on the water and on shore.
  • A well fitting Coast Guard approved type III PFD (life jacket) designed for sailing or paddle sports is required.  If you do not have a PFD, loaners are available from Chesterfield County.  Again…We recommend that each student own a well fitting PFD.  We recommend a front zipper closure for the PFD.  Buckle straps may get hung on the side of the boat after capsize making it difficult to re-enter.  PFDs are available at most sporting good stores including West Marine, REI and Dick’s as well as Walmart.  For an example of an appropriate style PFD click here.

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Do I need a boat?

Boats are provided.  

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What will my camper receive when they complete their camp?

Each camper will receive a completed US Sailing Certification Log Book that can be mailed in to receive a nationally recognized certification. Each student will also receive a camp t-shirt. Campers who worked with their guidance counselors will receive their completed paperwork for a PE credit. Each week we also present one camper with our Tyler Patnaude Corinthian Spirit Award. 

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Do you provide PFDs (life jackets)?

We recommend that each student own a well fitting PFD.  Loaner PFDs are available from Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation if you do not wish to purchase a PFD.  We recommend a front zipper closure for the PFD.  Buckle straps may get hung on the side of the boat after capsize making it difficult to re-enter the boat.  PFDs are available at most sporting good stores including West Marine, REI and Dick’s as well as Walmart.  For an example of an appropriate style PFD click here.

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Does the program include meals?

Students are responsible for their own meals and snacks.

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Is the program day only or overnight?

The Sail Camp is a day program.  You must take your student home promptly at the end of each day. Camp hours are from 8:30am-4:00pm. 

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Can I come on-site to watch or help?
  • Parents/grand-parents are welcome to watch the Camp activities as long as they are not distracting or disruptive to your student or other classes.  There are several rocking chairs well placed for watching the fun on the water. For safety purposes, the front gate will be locked from 9am-3:30pm to limit access to the club. If parents need to enter the club during these hours they should call GRSA at 804-739-9054 or the Camp Director's phone number provided on Monday morning of camp.
  • Swimming is restricted….and ill advised around a large group of beginner sailors.  Please plan on watching from shore.

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Can I bring my boat and watch from the water?

No public boat launching is available at GRSA.  GRSA members are welcome to launch and use their boats away from the class activities.  Non-members will not be allowed to launch boats from the GRSA site.

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Are sessions held during inclement weather?

Class sessions are held rain or shine.  In the event of dangerous weather such as lightning, high winds or extreme heat sessions will be held in the covered pavilion.

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What are the details of the Camp Reunion?

This year we are offering an end of camp reunion event. This event is in memory of one of GRSA's late Junior Sailing Instructors, Tyler Patnaude. This event will consist of both a sailing component and a gala event. The sailing will be taking place in the Annual Boats and Bowties Regatta. A regatta is a sailboat race and will be held out of GRSA. All of our sailing instructors will be taking out larger sailboats and have our Junior Sailors on board to help crew the boat. We would like as many campers to come out as possible!

The regatta portion starts at 10am at GRSA. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and is free of charge. The first official race will start at 12. No race will start after 3:30pm. Campers should be wrapped up around 4:30.

Following the regatta all participating campers are invited to attend the Boats and Bowties Gala held at Celebrations on the Resevoir. This again will be free of charge for any camper. More information and registration will be available by June 1, 2017.

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What is the cancellation policy?

We require two weeks notice for cancellations for a full refund. Any cancellations made within two weeks of the selected course will not be issued a refund.

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