Joseph conrad overnight camp

Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp Summer 2023

Sunday 3 p.m.-Friday 12:30 p.m.

Sign up your child for a unique overnight sailing camp on the beautiful Mystic River! Campers experience what life aboard a ship was like by sleeping on the historic vessel, the Joseph Conrad. This is primarily a sailing camp: each day campers learn to sail on our traditional fleet of Dyer Dhow dinghies. During our apprenticeship program campers can choose a track to focus on each afternoon. Topics include marine science, maritime art, astronomy, and seamanship skills. Campers also participate in fun activities in the evenings, including a Planetarium show, climbing the rigging, and an interactive chantey show. Campers return home at the end of the week with new levels of sailing proficiency, knowledge about our local maritime heritage, and lasting friendships.

New this year! Each week will feature an underlying theme that some of our evening and “down time” activities will focus on:

  • Seaport Exploration: hands-on activities in our historic seaport village including places like the sail loft and ropewalk (June 18-23)
  • Whaling and Fisheries: featuring our iconic whaling vessel the Charles W. Morgan (June 25-30)
  • Marine Science: investigating the waters and creatures of the Mystic River (July 9-14 and July 23-28)
  • Boat Building and Design: where campers will build cardboard boats (younger campers, Aug. 6-11) or a stitch and glue canoe (older campers, July 16-21)
  • Race Week: where campers will learn about sailboat racing (July 30-Aug. 4)
  • Boat Adventures: where campers will explore the different types and purposes of the Museum’s boats and get to sail a variety of boats (Aug. 13-18)

Campers who attend more than one session can choose a new apprenticeship and weekly theme to explore and continue to progress through our five levels of sailing skills!

A Technology-Free and Immersive Camp
Conrad Camp is a technology free camp as we believe camp provides an opportunity for kids to acquire self-reliance and bond through immersion in a new environment. We do not allow calls home or calls from home during the week and ask that family and friends refrain from visiting campers during their stay. We take photos all week and send them out on Friday.

Safety is our first priority at the Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp. All staff are certified in Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED. All staff are also certified in medication administration, and they have been trained to prevent and respond to emergencies on and off the water. We adhere to strict policies regarding safe powerboat operation, concussion response, and on-the-water management. Our staff includes Red Cross certified lifeguards, US Sailing certified instructors, and U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains. All staff and campers wear PFDs (personal floatation device) and sunscreen and carry water bottles at all times while on the waterfront. We have a 1:8 staff to camper ratio at all times. Sailing classes are taught by experienced US Sailing certified sailors. The Sailing Center at Mystic Seaport Museum is an US Sailing accredited community sailing center. 

Is your camper in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?

During their week of camp, Boy Scouts can earn the Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge: there is a Merit Badge Counselor on staff and we can also conduct a boy scout swim test if needed. Our camp director is a Girl Scout Troop Leader: if your Girl Scout is working on a project that requires on-water skills or camp skills, please reach out to our camp director to see how we can help you achieve elements of that badge, journey, or award.

Camp sessions

  • June 18-23: Ages 9-11
  • June 25-30: Ages 10-12
  • July 9-14: Ages 10-12
  • July 16-21: Ages 13-15
  • July 23-28: Ages 8-10
  • July 30-Aug. 4: Ages 13-15
  • Aug. 6-11: Ages 9-11
  • Aug. 13-18: Ages 13-15

Members: $1,200 • Non-members: $1,300

Financial aid is available.

Cancellation Policy
Participants will receive a 75% refund if they cancel before 30 days prior to the camp. No refunds will be given if cancellation is made within 30 days prior to the camp.

COVID-19 Policies

  • Campers will still require proof of a negative covid rapid test at drop off.
  • COVID vaccinations will be strongly recommended but not required.
  • Masks are optional.

Scholarship Funding Available 

We are pleased to announce that we have scholarship funding available for our Community Sailing (ages 6-15), Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp (ages 8-15), and Schooner Brilliant (ages 15-18summer camps and spring and fall programs. Up to 100 percent of financial aid is available depending upon need. To apply, complete the online application. For more information, please email reservations@mysticseaport.org.

Camper Handbook

Camper Health Forms

In an effort to consolidate and keep camper health information secure, we use the electronic health record system CampDoc.com for all required paperwork. All registered campers will receive an email directly from CampDoc.com with detailed instructions on how to submit required health forms and paperwork. The site is secure, encrypted, and password protected.

Counselor-in-Training Program

The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for the Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp provides 16- to 18-year-olds the opportunity to develop leadership skills in a residential sailing camp environment. This is a volunteer position in which CITs refine teaching, teamwork, leadership and youth development skills under the guidance of camp staff. To apply, please first read the CIT Handbook.