About the SBTC Program

"There is no doubt in my mind that Craftsbury was the difference between winning and losing. This place is definitely magical to us." - Peter Graves; 2009-10 SBTC participant; bow, US Senior men's 2x 2009/2011; winner Champ 2x HOCR 2008-2011; 2012 Olympian US Senior Men's 4X; 2014 World Cup #3 podium, US M4x

At Craftsbury, our core belief is that training in singles and pairs forms the foundation that sets athletes up for greater success in all boat classes. Irrespective of whether your long-term goal is winning races in the single, the eight, or any boat class in between, we believe that the swiftest path to victory goes through becoming truly proficient in singles and pairs.

At Craftsbury, you’ll be immersed in an environment of coaches and rowers with a wealth of experience developing athletes in small boats, in a training environment that is hard to beat. How far can you go? Come explore your limits with us in the Small Boat Training Center (SBTC). 

The SBTC is a summer program for U23 athletes (whether in college or not) designed to be a bridge from collegiate rowing to the US National Team, with a focus on smaller boats. In the nearest term, the immediate goal is to put together small boats to compete at U23 World Championship Trials. 

The program offers coaching, equipment, room/board and travel support. Rowers may compete in races such as U23 World Trials, Senior Nationals, Senior Team World Trials, World Championships (U23 and Senior) and Canadian Henley.

Participants offset the costs of the program with fourteen hours per week of work at the Center. Work projects support the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and its mission. Tasks vary from chopping wood to coaching Community Rowing to working in the garden to designing energy systems.

Athletes will be accepted through an application process.

Our programming is still evolving, so if after reading the FAQs something remains unclear, don't hesitate to contact us.


Expand All FAQ | Collapse All FAQ

Who will be the coach?

This summer’s Lead Coach will be Linda Muri. Assisting her will be Steve Whelpley and our Sculling Director Troy Howell.

What is the cost of the program, and how much of it can be offset by work for the Center?

There is no monetary cost to the athlete for participation in the program. There may, however, be some race travel expenses. For example, if a crew makes the U23 National Team, Craftsbury will aim to provide as much support as a USRowing Camp athlete would receive, but this may not cover the entire cost of the trip. All rowers are expected to work 14 hours per week at the Center. All room and board privileges are contingent on the upkeep and cleaning of your housing facility and completing all job assignments in a timely fashion.

What are the goals of the program?

The immediate goal of the program is to put together small boats to compete at U23 World Trials. Through this work, athletes will develop/improve small boat rowing skills as well as improve the rowing fitness. Additional race opportunities, such as Canadian Henley, may be provided as appropriate.

What does the day to day schedule look like?

During summer programming, there will be 11-13 water workouts per week with supplemental land work for flexibility, strength and power development. There will be systematic evaluations and appraisals of the athlete's progress. There will be periodic videotaping and review. When appropriate, racing opportunities will be provided. You can see a schedule from a past summer here.

I was planning on applying to selection camp too. Is that a problem?

Absolutely not – we love big boats too, and if being on the podium as a U23 World Champion in the 8+ or the 4- is at the top of your current list of athletic goals, we support that 100%. That being said, we also believe whole-heartedly that the surest way to prepare yourself to contribute to victories in big boats is through mastery of the single and the pair, so we encourage every potential applicant to consider what is in both their short-term and long-term best interest. If you’re an athlete with more than one year of U23 eligibility remaining , it may very well be that you’ll get a lot more out of spending a summer racing in small boats than you will out of summer of seat racing at selection camp. The choice, of course, is yours, but we’ll bet the farm that at the end of a season with SBTC, you’ll be a much more effective rower in every boat class, for the rest of your life as a rower.

How late into the summer can SBTC participants train at Craftsbury?

The SBTC program generally ends after the Canadian Henley Regatta in August. Select participants may continue training at Craftsbury until they return to their school or club.

What is the end of summer take away for athletes?

A review of the athletes' pre-camp goals will take place plus a final evaluation of the athlete's fitness and rowing proficiencies in the three small boats. There will be a race review for those athletes who do compete. Leaving Craftsbury, the athlete will have a clear understanding of where they are and what needs to be accomplished to move to the next level.

What will the work opportunities be like?

Work may include any of the following:

  • Various projects related to helping Craftsbury become more sustainable. These could include analysis of current heating/power systems, improved management of property, and production of local food on property.
  • Projects that support the Craftsbury sculling program in general: helping coach local juniors and masters, maintaining the fleet, and babysitting for children of rowing coaches and campers.
  • Meeting needs of the Outdoor Center such as caretaking of facilities, gardening, trail work, chopping wood, etc.
  • Other Projects TBD. Participants will be encouraged to generate ideas for projects.
What kind of boats does the program have? Can I bring my own boat?

SBTC has a small fleet of pair/doubles, a quad, several singles and access to additional singles and other small boats when they are not in use for the Sculling Camp. You are also encouraged to bring the shell you have been training in prior to coming to Craftsbury.

Do I have to be in college? Is there a minimum age requirement?

The program is geared primarily toward U23 and Senior men and women, whether currently in college or not.

What types of rowing experiences must I have?

Athletes must have been part of a competitive school or club program and have the capacity to train multiple times a day consistently. A familiarity with and understanding of small boat rowing (1x, 2x, 2-) is important, but not a limiting factor.

When are applications due?

We have an open and continuous rolling admissions policy, but we encourage all applicants for the summer program to have applications in by May 1 with acceptances starting as early as April 1. Download your application.

How many athletes can the program serve?

We plan on serving around 4-6 athletes each summer.

How much regatta support will be provided? What expenses will I need to cover?

For any competitions outside of U23 Worlds, SBTC will provide coaching, boat transport, entry fees, competition uniforms, and room and board.

Other than rowing gear, what should I bring to the SBTC?

The athlete must bring to SBTC:

  • Heart Rate Monitor and belt.
  • Stroke or Speed Coach with harness, plastic holder and pick up magnet - impeller is optional
  • Small tool bag containing an adjustable wrench, 7/16 wrench, 10 mm wrench, regular and Phillips head screwdriver and a metric tape measure.
  • Running shoes, hat for rowing, workout gear
  • Log book for recording workouts and personal performance data.
  • A set of slings if you bring your own shell.
  • Mountain bike if you do not have a vehicle.

Applicants are encouraged to note the questions regarding gear sizes and the like on their application as well.

What is the water like? What is Craftsbury like? Is there any social life?

Rowing will take place on Big Hosmer Pond, which is a narrow, sheltered lake around 3000 meters long. Mornings are generally flat water; afternoons can offer more breezy conditions. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a very busy place in the summer, with Sculling camps running all summer long, with the exception of a few weekends. SBTC rowers will train, work, and socialize with the year-round resident Green Racing Project (GRP) rowers. There is also a parallel GRP program of competitive Nordic skiers and biathletes training at the Center.

Still have questions? Drop us a line via smallboats@craftsbury.com.