Summer Camps

We have 9 weeks of summer day camps for kids—all of them on boats. Kids can experience maritime life in many ways, from dinghy sailboats to marine life to boatbuilding. Summer camps are divided into two programs: Messing About in Boats, for 5 to 10 year-olds, and Learn to Sail for 8 to 16 year-olds. Scroll down to learn more!

For questions about registering for camps, please call 360.385.3628 x100 or email

Scholarships are available thanks to the generous support of Wilder Auto. You can submit a scholarship application during the registration process.

All in-person classes will be conducted in accordance with Governor Inslee’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ restrictions in place at the time.

Messing About in Boats

Junior Mariners Full Day Camp (7-10 year-olds)

Jul 6–9, Jul 12–16, Aug 2–6  |  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM  |  $275 for July 6–9 session, $350 for July 12–16 session, $350 for Aug session

Experience the sea in this one-of-a-kind summer camp! Jr. Mariners offers a multitude of ways for kids ages 7-10 to experience maritime life this summer in a fun, hands-on way. From our home in Point Hudson, kids enter the maritime world by meeting real captains, crew, and shipwrights in their element, heading out to sea in rowboats, powerboats and sailboats, and learning what it takes to live on and by the sea. It’s not your typical summer camp! Our staff are skilled mariners who love to have fun and share their passion for messing about in boats. All instructors are trained in CPR & FA. Class minimum is 4 and maximum is 8.

Lil Scuppers Half Day Camps (5-7 year-olds)

Jun 28–Jul 2, Jul 19–23, Jul 26–30, Aug 9–13, Aug 16–20
Morning Session: 9 AM – 12 PM
OR Afternoon Session: 1–4 PM
$150 Non-Member  |  $135 Member

Lil Scuppers is our maritime summer camp for the youngest campers, ages 5-7. Kids start with a morning circle, reading or singing. Afterward, they get out on the boats (weather dependent, of course)! They might row, sail, or drive a power boat. It is so much fun to see a six-year-old’s face light up when they realize they are the one steering the boat! Campers also explore the beaches and enjoy scavenger hunts. There is so much fun packed into this 3-hour camp! Curious where the name, “Lil Scuppers,” comes from? Well, when water comes on board a deck, it runs out the scuppers. Much like the water, the experiences flow through the kids and out the scuppers, leaving them doused with fun experiences exposing them to life in the maritime world. Class minimum is 4 and maximum is 8.

Learn to Sail

A year-round windy bay, skilled sailing instructors, and a beautiful waterfront location on the Northwest Maritime Center dock combine to make our sailing lessons for youth some of the best in the region.

Since the early 1990s, our sailing instructors have taught hundreds of people to sail on Port Townsend Bay. In 2006, NWMC and Jefferson County YMCA expanded the fleet to offer new Optimist Dinghies, the most popular learning dinghy in the world, and Vanguard 15s, two-person planing hull dinghies. These boats are safe, fast, and fun! In diverse and challenging waters, our excellent instructors teach competent sailing for all conditions. This is the perfect place to introduce your child to sailing or take their skills to the next level. And for the advanced sailors, we have the International Flying Junior (FJ). The FJ is a sailing dinghy originally designed in 1955 in the Netherlands by renowned boat designer Van Essen and Olympic sailor Conrad Gülcher. Our sailing classes are ideal for teaching young sailors the skills of boat handling and racing.

Beginner Sailing

Ages 8–12: 9 AM–12 PM  |  Jun 28–Jul 2, Jul 12–16, Jul 19–23, Aug 9–13, Aug 16–20  
Ages 10–14:
9 AM–12 PM  |  Jul 6–9, Jul 26–30 (Girls Only), Aug 2–6
$225 Non-Member  |  $202.50 Member

Beginner Sailing is our fun introduction to basic sailing skills. On “capsize day” kids learn in a controlled setting that they are capable of capsizing their boat and getting it upright again. By the end of the class, students should also be able to identify boat parts, rig and de-rig their boat, feel comfortable steering, and demonstrate wind awareness and points of sail. Depending upon the comfort level and size of the student, they will be sailing in either Optis or Vanguards. Class minimum is 4 and maximum is 8.

Intermediate Sailing

Ages 10–16  |  1–4 PM  |  Jun 28–Jul 2, Jul 12–16, Jul 26–30, Aug 9–13  |  $225 Non-Member  |  $202.50 Member
Intermediate Sailing is for students who have taken our Beginner Sailing class and have been recommended for Intermediate Sailing. Students in this class must feel comfortable with skills such as: sailing alone, managing tiller hand exchanges, and capsizing. This class stands out because students can perfect their skills on boats that are forgiving with instructors standing by in chase boats. If you do not know if your child is ready for Intermediate Sailing, please call and ask our registrar at 360.385.3628 x117. Students will sail in Optis and Vanguards, determined by the instructor. Class minimum is 4 and maximum is 8.

Advanced Sailing

Ages 10–16  |  1–4 PM  |  Jul 6–9, Jul 19–23, Aug 2–6 |  $225 Non-Member  |  $202.50 Member
Advanced Sailing is for students who have taken our Beginner & Intermediate Sailing classes and were recommended for Advanced Sailing. Students in this class must be able to do all the skills of the Beginner and Intermediate Sailing classes. Students will explore advanced sailing such as bouy racing, Port Townsend Bay distance sailing, and other advanced technical sailing skills.

Intro to Racing

Ages 13–16  |  1–4 PM  |  Aug 16–20 |  $225 Non-Member  |  $202.50 Member
Intro to Racing is a prep class for the High School Sailing Team season. If you are interested in learning more about the techniques and rules of competitive racing, this is a great class for you! This sailing class is taught by our High School Sailing Team coach in preparation for the fall season. Advanced Sailing is prerequisite for this class. Class minimum is 2 and maximum is 8.

Learn to Sail Instructors

Alyce Flanagan
Alyce Flanagan grew up on her family’s 82-ft schooner on which she sailed all over the globe. She has been teaching sailing in some form or another since she learned to talk. She has a USCG Captain’s license, has worked on a variety of tall ships and sail trailing vessels, and is currently the coach for the Port Townsend High School Sailing Team. In addition to that, she has extensive dinghy racing experience and has competed in both high school and collegiate racing. Since graduating she has kept her feet wet racing 505’s with her father. She is excited to share her passion for sailing this summer.

Erik Brown
Erik Brown started sailing on Optis in Connecticut when he was 6 years old and has never looked back. He has a USCG Captain’s license as well as a US Sailing Instructor Certification. Erik has experience in all types of sailing craft from dinghies to schooners, and his most recent passion is sailing his hydro foiling windsurfer. He has worked as a sailing instructor on and off for the past 13 years and looks forward to spending another summer on the water.