Summer Camp Expectations and policies

Thank you for registering for summer camp at the Baltimore County Sailing Center (BCSC). For consistency, we have put together the following BCSC Summer Camps Expectations and Policies document. In addition, BCSC hopes to address safety concerns that parents may experience.

  1. What are the goals for BCSC's summer camps?
    • The Baltimore County Sailing Center (BCSC) Summer Camp’s goals are to:

    • Provide a fun and educational program for youth interested in sailing, fishing, windsurfing, and/ or outdoor water-based recreation.
    • Maintain a safe program and teach our students safe sailing practices.
    • Impart a love of sailing and boating as a lifetime sport while providing the fundamental skills necessary for participants to advance in the sports as far as their desire, skill, and hard work may take them.
    • Provide a curriculum with current and effective techniques. Our instructors will create skilled and confident youth who will respect others, will care for their equipment and the marine environment, and will be willing to help fellow sailors and boaters on and off the water.
    • Teach our sailors to conduct themselves in the Corinthian Spirit during practice and in competition.
    • Work to ensure all junior sailors will emerge with an enhanced sense of self-reliance, knowledge of seamanship, appreciation of teamwork, and solid foundation of knowledge in sailing and boating.
  2. What is expected of a BCSC camper?
    • Participants will:

    • Complete a swim check administered the first day of every session. The swim check is age-appropriate for each level, but at the very least involves swimming a portion of the length of the BCSC beach while wearing a life jacket. Sailors will not be allowed to participate in on-the-water activities until they have completed the swim check.
    • Agree to abide by the rules of BCSC, and follow the direction of the instructors. The participant must always represent BCSC in an appropriate manner and at all times is responsible for what he or she says and does.
    • Keep all electronics secure in their bag. Although these devices are acceptable on the bus, they cannot come out during camp.
    • Reapply sunscreen at lunch. Wear any hats or sunglasses provided by parents/ guardians.
    • Drink lots of water and refrain from drinking soda, or other dehydrating beverages, while attending sailing camp.
    • Refrain from abusing the head-injury policy to avoid challenging themselves.
    • Want to learn to sail (or fish if fishing camp).

    Safety Rules
    • Appropriate footwear shall be worn at all times.
    • A fastened lifejacket shall be worn at all times on the water, in the water, and on the beach. The instructor will identify the appropriate sized lifejacket for each sailor and show them how to tension it appropriately. The sailor will be expected to use the same size lifejacket for the duration of camp (unless refit by their instructor).
    • Swimming is not a part of sailing or fishing camp, but occassionally there will be some in-the-water time.
    • No running, sand/rock throwing or horseplay will be permitted
    • Avoid boat collisions
    • No participant shall leave a class without an instructor’s permission.
    • BCSC equipment must be kept clean and in good shape. Sailors must report all broken equipment and any unusual or unsafe condition to an instructor as soon as possible.
    • There will be no bullying or abusing other students or instructors, physically or verbally. There will be no disruptive behavior, disrespectful gestures, actions or language.
  3. What is Expected of the Instructors?
    • Instructors are dedicated and passionate sailors who maintain a safe situation, while keeping students engaged and learning. Instructors will:

    • Be U.S. Sailing Level 1 certified, at a minimum. A prerequisite of this certification includes up-to-date First Aid and CPR training. All BCSC staff is required to pass a background check, per Baltimore County regulations.
    • Maintain visual contact with all class participants when on the water, as well as keep all participants within earshot/whistle shot at all times, while participants are under their care.
    • Be role models and teachers. They are not babysitters. If a child refuses to participate in class activities or is misbehaving, the child will be sent to the Director’s office. Under the Director’s discretion the parents or guardians may be called to pick up their child.
    • Inspect all areas of use, facilities, and equipment at the end of each day. Each instructor is responsible for a certain area. Any damage to equipment must be fixed or reported to the Sailing Director. Sailing students will not operate outboard motors or any other power equipment while on BCSC premises.
    • Wear a securely-fastened US Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device of at least Type III at all times when on boats. All sailors, visitors and volunteers must also abide by this rule. Instructors are required to ensure that visitors and volunteers comply with this requirement.
    • The head instructor will communicate with instructors multiple times daily to ensure an appropriate curriculum is being used, ensure that safety standards are being followed, and receive updates on sailors (major sailing accomplishments, misbehavior, injuries, etc.).
    • Additionally, the head instructor will assign appropriate groups so that sailors are challenged, but not overwhelmed, and surrounded by peers.
  4. What are the roles of the director?
    • Assist on the water, as necessary.
    • Communicate with parents regarding misbehavior, discipline, severe injuries, and concerns.
    • Ensure all policies and procedures are followed.
    • Diligently monitor the weather to ensure all campers are off the water in the event of a thunderstorm or adverse weather.
  5. What is expected of a parent?
    • Parental involvement in recreational activities is extremely important for success. Parents are expected to:

    • Read, complete and sign the liability form, immunization form (if child is not registered in a MD school), and bus permit for each participant. Payment must be received in full three weeks before the first day of the session. No one will be allowed to participate without these forms on file and full payment.
    • Contact the BCSC director or registrar with any questions or concerns.
    • Be early for the bus drop off and pick up. If someone else is picking up/ dropping off their child, the parents will know who that person is and how to contact them.
    • Help ensure a drug, alcohol and tobacco-free environment.
    • Place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of any personal desire to succeed.
    • Provide support for instructors and coaches working with my child to provide a positive, enjoyable experience for all.
    • Treat other participants and staff with respect, regardless of race, sex, creed or ability.
    • Acknowledge the importance of being involved in their child's recreational activities. Ask their child about their day. Try to attend the graduation ceremony on the last day of 2-week camps.
    • Provide their sailor with the proper personal equipment necessary for sailing activities.
    • 3 & 4 - week travel programs only: Be aware of the fact that parents carpooling or supervising sailors at away regatta have not gone through a background check. Parental involvement is encouraged and experts (including Baltimore County) agree that parental involvement is an effective means of protecting children.
  6. What happens if an Emergency situation occurs?
  7. Should any event of note occur, parents of all affected students will be notified by the BCSC Director. In the event of an emergency or incident, instructors and coaches will follow the BCSC Emergency Action Plan. This includes: getting people out of the area, calling 911, gathering participants and accounting for all. If a participant is injured, parents will be called based on direction provided on their child's emergency contact form. In the event of sudden bad weather, students will be brought ashore as soon as possible. The Director monitors the radar and weather forecasts to avoid sending sailors out into adverse conditions. BCSC's full emergency action plan is available upon request.

  8. What is BCSC's Discipline Policy?
  9. Students are expected to behave properly during class, and treat their instructors, peers, and BCSC equipment with respect.

    1. Minor Infractions
    2. Campers who are disrespectful or disruptive physically or verbally will be given a verbal warning. After the first warning, if the behavior continues to occur, the instructor will send the student into the Director’s office. Depending on the severity of the action, the Director may call the parents and the transgression will be recorded and a note sent home to be signed by parents. If the inappropriate behavior persists, the Director may ask to meet with the student and parents to discuss the repeated transgressions and make a plan to avoid any future misbehavior, a member of the BCSC Board of Advisors may be included in this discussion. Any further transgressions may result in suspension or expulsion from the program.
    3. Serious Infractions
    4. Campers who engage in violent or destructive acts, violate the law or endanger fellow participants or instructors will be immediately sent to the Director’s office. The Director may call the parents and under the discretion of the Director, and the BCSC Board of Advisors, the student may be suspended or expelled from the program. As BCSC deems appropriate, it may also inform governmental authorities.

      Students who are suspended or expelled will receive no reimbursements for the program fees.

    All instances will be logged, which will provide a reference to the other instructors and staff, and outside parties, if necessary.

  10. If I have a grievance, how do I let somebody know?
  11. If a parent has any grievance with an instructor, the BCSC summer camp program, BCSC or its staff, the person with said grievance must adhere to the “Personal Grievance Policy” as outlined below.

    1. First
    2. Following an incident we strongly advise you to consider the matter for a minimum of 24 hours – many initial reactions to particular incidences can be stronger than intended or needed, so we recommend calculating any grievances before bringing them forward.

      Grievances regarding any aspect of the BCSC summer camp, or related incidences, should be brought up with the BCSC Director. Any issues with the BCSC Director should be brought up with the BCSC Board of Advisors.

      When an issue is brought to the BCSC Director, a time will be arranged to talk further about the matter. A member of the BCSC Board of Advisors may be asked to join in this conversation. The Director (or, in the event the BCSC Board of Advisors get involved, a member of the Board of Advisors) will work to understand the situation and come to a resolution in the best interest of all parties involved.
    3. Second
    4. If the person is not satisfied with the resolution offered by the Director, the person shall send a written explanation of the grievance to the President of the Board of Advisors, who shall review the explanation and any other relevant information and decide whether to adopt the prior decision, or offer amended relief.
    5. Third
    6. If the person is not satisfied with the resolution offered by the President of the Board of Advisors, he or she may contact Baltimore County Board of Recreation and Parks, as outlined in the BCSC bylaws.
  12. What is the refund and Payment Policy?
  13. BCSC requires a 50% non-refundable deposit to hold a child's spot in camp. The balance is due three weeks prior to the start of camp.

    Family emergencies and other unforseen events sometimes mean that a child cannot attend a camp. On a case by case basis, and at the discretion of the Board of Advisors, a voucher will be issued for a future camp in these situations.

  14. Can I split a session into non-consecutive weeks?
  15. BCSC does not encourage campers to split a session into non-consecutive weeks. The social and curriculum continuity inherent in a 2-week session is beneficial to both the camper as well as the instructors and the organization. However, we realize that some people's schedules only allow for individual weeks. Our official policy on this is:

    • For beginner camps, split sessions will not be discounted to the 2-week rate. To receive the 2-week discount, campers must attend the two week consecutive camp.
    • However, for anyone who registers for both Blue Dragons beginner sessions 4a & 4b, the 2-week rate will apply (same camper only).
    • For intermediate-level camps, BCSC will allow split camps and will extend the 2-week rate.
  16. How does BCSC respond to Head Injuries?
    • BCSC is working together with similar sailing summer camp programs througout the Country to ensure that we are offering the best head injury prevention and response possible. All staff are trained to identify concussions and our head injury policy is available upon request. Please know that sailing helmets are available from retailers. Sailing helmets are a new technology, and we are still evaluating their effectiveness. BCSC staff will ensure that a camper wears their helmet at all times on the water at a parents' request.

      BCSC teaches sailors to know when the boom is going to switch sides and how to effectively duck under it, but sometimes the boom catches a sailor off-guard when they are first learning. The majority of boom-to-head hits at BCSC are minor, but there is the possibility of a more serious situation, including concussions. BCSC takes all head impacts seriously in order to minimize this risk.

  17. Are Knives allowed in camp?
    • A good sailing knife can save a life in an emergency entanglement scenario. That is why every sailing instructor carries one on their person while on the water. These knives are specifically designed for cutting line quickly and to withstand the corrosive marine environment. Instructors are trained in their use and keep them closed or sheathed when not in use.

      BCSC does not allow campers to be in possession of knives during sailing camp. On a case-by-case basis and only with the approval of the director, a parent may choose to have their child carry a sailing knife as well, but will be subject to strict requirements, including:

    • A Knife Acknowledgement Form must be signed by a parent as well as the camper. Please email the director to receive of copy of this document.
    • The knife must not be opened or unsheathed unless the camper needs to detangle themselves in a lifesaving situation.
    • The knife must be specificially designed for sailing.
    • Failure to follow the BCSC knife policy is considered a serious infraction of BCSC's discipline policy.
  18. Will Trapezing be taught?
  19. Sailiors in the Bayfarer racing camps may choose to bring their own sailing trapeze harness to camp and will be taught to use it safely. Trapezing can be incredibly fun and is a great tool for balancing a C420, however BCSC will not provide trapezing harnesses. Parents are encouraged to purchase a trapezing harness for their child from a sailing retailer like APS in Annapolis to ensure a proper fit.

  20. My child requires medication daily, what is the proceedure for this?
  21. BCSC has a nurse on-call at all times, however they are not on site at BCSC. For this reason, campers who require medication must be able to self-medicate. Parents will need to complete a medication authorization form and will be contacted by the Director to establish best practices for storage, administration, and contraindications.

    Campers who carry Epi Pens will have a separate Epi Pen Form that must be signed by their doctor. This form is available from the BCSC registrar.

BCSC is looking forward to a great season and we hope that you are too! If you have any additional questions, please contact the Director, Eileen, at 410-391-0196