Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp
Whether your child has sailing experience or never set foot in a boat before, each of the overnight summer camp programs is designed to teach basic sailing skills through more advanced techniques depending on each camper’s individual needs. Choose the camp based on your child’s age as of the start of the camp week. In addition to sailing, campers have the unique opportunity to explore all that Mystic Seaport has to offer.
For more than 50 years, young people have come to Mystic Seaport each summer to sail on the beautiful Mystic River and sleep on a tall ship. Learning by doing – in a friendly and supportive atmosphere — is the cornerstone of the Joseph Conrad overnight summer sailing program.
Built in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1882, the Joseph Conrad is a square-rigger once used to train young Danish men for the merchant service. Today, permanently moored on our waterfront, she’s fitted out with bunks for 50 campers, flush toilets, showers, heat and electricity.
During the six-day program, young people ages 10-15 sail our fleet of Dyer Dhows and learn the skills of the sea. Lifelong friendships are made through the spirit of teamwork that underlies the Conrad experience. Our staff includes a state licensed director, experienced counselors and experienced sailing instructors, many of whom are past Conrad participants.
Each day starts early with morning deck chores. After breakfast, campers tackle the wind and current of the Mystic River, then break for lunch before setting off for an active afternoon with an activity or more sailing. Evenings are filled with activities, as well as plenty of time to spend with new friends, stargazing in our planetarium, climbing the rigging of the Conrad, or enjoying a lively sea music sing-a-long. A favorite afternoon activity is a downriver cruise on the steamboat Sabino.