A Full Summer on the Water

Registration is now open for Summer Day Camps, Community Sailing programs, and excursions on the schooner Brilliant.

There’s no better way to ward off cabin fever than browsing the summertime offerings at Mystic Seaport. Registration is now open for Summer Day Camps, Community Sailing programs, and excursions on the schooner Brilliant.

Mystic Seaport Summer Camps offer children the chance to delve into the region’s maritime history, learn to sail, and master new skills. With both full-day and half-day camps for ages 4-16, from June 19 through August 18, there is a camp for every child’s interest.

New this year to the camp roster is Junior Detectives for 4- to 6-year-olds, a half-day camp similar to the popular Junior Explorers. In addition to the usual camp fun of crafts, games, and activities, junior detectives will try their hand at potting their own herbs, using basic weaving skills, and seeing what kinds of food we harvest from the ocean.

“Children are naturally curious, and this camp gives them a great opportunity to explore how people lived in the past, while also having that classic summer camp experience,” said Sarah Cahill, Mystic Seaport Director of Education.

Cahill noted that “our popular partner camps with the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and Mystic Aquarium are back, as well as camps that focus on transportation, Victorian life, sea monsters, astronomy and navigation, and of course sailing.”

Student sailing a Dyer Dhow
A JOSEPH CONRAD Overnight Sailing Camp camper sharpens his sailing skills in a Dyer Dhow.

Registration is now open for all summer camps, with a 10 percent discount for registrations received by March 31. A Summer Camp Open House will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 8 to learn about the camp programs. The full schedule is online at www.mysticseaport.org/learn/summer-camps/day/

Mystic Seaport is adding to its Community Sailing a free Counselor-in-Training program for 14- and 15-year-olds and Summer Evening Sailing, a $10 drop-in program for adults and families.

“The C.I.T. program is an excellent way for local teens to log volunteer experience, build their resume and learn leadership skills, while spending their summer on the Mystic River,” said Cahill. Regarding the drop-in evening sailing program, “We hope people make evenings at the Museum a part of their summer routine. We want to provide a way for sailors to continue practicing their skills in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.”

The Museum’s Community Sailing classes offer ages eight and older a wonderful chance to learn to sail, hone their skills, or simply enjoy time on the water. Both half-day and full-day classes provide a flexible schedule. Community Sailing begins in mid-April and runs through late October. Summer Evening Sailing runs from late June through mid-August. Applications for the Counselor-in-Training program are available online and are due by March 17. Visit www.mysticseaport.org/learn/sailing/community-sailing/ for more information.

Another season of sailing on board the 61-foot wooden schooner Brilliant begins in June, with six Teen Sailing cruises planned as well as seven adult trips.

“We are looking forward to another eventful season aboard Brilliant,” said Shannon McKenzie, director of Watercraft Programs. “This year, as we celebrate the 85th anniversary of her launch, we kick off the teen season at the Sail Boston event in June. This fall, in addition to short cruises, she will head south to participate in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in October. Exciting transits to and from Maryland and Virginia, as well as the race itself, are available to adventurous adult participants for a longer experience aboard.”

Participants are not passengers; they are crew members who assist in steering the vessel, raising the sails, standing watch and learning navigation. Teenagers ages 15-18 can choose from a five-day or a 10-day overnight cruise, learning sailing, navigation, teamwork, and seamanship. Adults can choose from a one-day trip to attend the Connecticut Maritime Festival in New London to multi-day excursions to Block Island, Greenport, N.Y., Baltimore, Md., and Portsmouth, Va. Visit www.mysticseaport.org/learn/sailing/brilliant-programs/ for more information on each trip and registration information.