Little Washington Sailing School sets course for 2020

Published 7:06 pm Monday, May 25, 2020

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As camps across the state weigh whether or not to proceed with overnight and day camps this summer, it’s full sail ahead for the Little Washington Sailing School.

The youth sailing school, which operates as a day camp on the Washington waterfront each summer, announced its plans to move forward with the 2020 season last week. According to LWSS Director Kevin Clancy, the core elements of the school’s signature learn-to-sail program remain intact, but will have to be adjusted to account for social distancing and other health guidelines.

With the exception of a few indoor classroom sessions, most of the sailing school’s programing takes place outside, allowing students to maintain a healthy distance from one another. Clancy said his organization plans on screening campers on a daily basis for any sign of illness, including taking temperatures each morning when kids show up.

“Most of all, if somebody’s sick, we’re asking them to stay home,” Clancy said.

Since LWSS announced its plans to offer sailing classes this summer, Clancy says registration has picked up tremendously. With many residential camps canceling or shortening their summer season, day camps like LWSS offer an alternative families might not have considered before.

“When the governor gave the green light for day camps, I bet we had our registration double in the 10 days after,” Clancy said. “Registration really fell off, because nobody knew what was going to happen. I heard some of the overnight camps in the area, some of these long-term sailing camps where kids would come overnight, they’re not able to do that. We’re thankful that we’re a day camp and can make that happen.”

Though registration has seen a bump in recent weeks, there are still spots available throughout the summer for Optimist pram and Vangard 420 sessions, as well as adult weekend classes and the LWSS adaptive sailing program later this fall. For more information, visit

“I think this year, at least at the beginning of the year, we’re going to have some unusual protocols, be it face masks or whatever the CDC says we need to do.” Clancy said. “But I feel confident, by the end of the season, we’ll have a regular summer.”

Under Phase II of the state’s three-phase reopening plans, day camps are allowed to operate, but must follow a strict set of guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A full list of those guidelines can be found here.