Kids Set Sail®


Update - February 28, 2024:

All Sessions are sold out to capacity! We are so very grateful for our Kids Set Sail parents - THANK YOU!

Waitlist Option: There is a waitlist option when you open the links in the red box for each Session toward the bottom of this web page. You're welcome to add your information to as many of the Sessions' waitlist(s) as you wish for your camper(s) to attend.

There is no cost or invoice issued to register on the waitlist. (*You will need to select the level, however, in order to complete the waitlist registration.)

What Happens Next: There is no way to gauge the likelihood of coming off the waitlist as it takes cancellations and we then start at the top of the waitlist to offer the week to parents. FYI - there is no particular Session currently that has less than at least a dozen families already on the waitlist(s).

For campers/sailors age 12-17, you may wish to also explore our Schooner Camp web page as an alternate option for getting out on the water this summer for an outstanding experience with "big boat sailing!" Please click here for the Schooner Camp page.


Please carefully review the information posted below as we have added "Sailing Levels" to be selected at the time of your registration. 

What is Kids Set Sail?

Kids Set Sail offers beginner and intermediate programs for 7-15 year old children over the course of 8 one-week sessions throughout the summer. Youth sailors with a broad range of experience from never having been on a boat to more advanced returning Sailors  will participate in the same sessions. In 2021, we added differing "Levels" for registration. The descriptions are posted below.

The Kids Set Sail Director and Instructors will evaluate your Sailor's age, sailing skills and knowledge and will assign them to the proper area on the first day of programming for the week. 

Kids Set Sail Curriculum Includes:
P Health and Boating Safety
P Parts of the Boat
P Rigging & Furling a Flying Scot
P Identify Wind Direction
P Steering
P Weather and Electricity Talk
P Learn how to Tack and Jibe
P Safety Position
P Currents & Tides
P Nautical Charts
P Learn Points of Sail and Math       P Knots
P Learn the Rules of the Road
P Burgees
P Introduce Launching and Landing
P Person Overboard Drills Demonstrated by Camp Instructors
P Learn how to Navigate a Race Course

Registration Levels:

Beginner/Novice students ages 7-15, will be on our 18-foot Flying Scot fleet with four or five Sailors and their Instructor on the boat with them. This level is appropriate for Sailors who have little to no sailing experience as well as returning Sailors. Each week, the curriculum is the same, however, the weather and other factors make each day different. We see many of our Kids Set Sail participants return several times a summer - without complaints of boredom! 

They will learn basic small boat sailing skills such as parts of the boat, knots, upwind/downwind sailing, dockside person-overboard demonstrations by Instructors on the water, and more!

Intermediate/Advanced students ages 12-15 and weigh at least 75 pounds is appropriate for Sailors who have completed at least three sessions of Kids Set Sail or sail training experience (documented) from another facility. Instruction will include learn race techniques and build upon their navigational skills, with the opportunity to engage in higher levels of the science of sailing.

Sailors at the Intermediate/Advanced Level will be sailing double-handed (with another Kids Set Sail Sailor) on our two-person Olympic Flying Junior Fleet or RS Fevas, which can capsize.

Sailors will receive Capsize Recovery training on the first day of programming. Sailors at this level are required to have strong swimming skills while wearing a life jacket in addition to applicable sailing knowledge.

Instructors will not be on the boats with the Sailors at this level, but will be close by in motorized power boats for coaching and safety.

Staff: US SAILING certified Instructors are on site during our program and all are highly trained with a week-long intensive training schedule prior to the start of programming. They are fully background checked and have also completed US Sailing's Safe Sport program along with certification in American Red Cross training.

Instructors while on board the boats with younger, less experienced Sailors as coaching staff, but the Sailors work together to run the boat.

Both on land and on the water, our energetic Instructors use a fun combination of games and drills to teach sailing concepts. At Kids Set Sail, fun is an integral part of our program. By the end of the week, your child will be well versed in sailing techniques and maneuvering a small boat.

Register Your Camper Today!


$400.00 Per Camper/Per Week

Cancellation & Refund Policy: 

Requests for cancellation 30+ days from start date would receive a full refund.
• Requests for cancellation within 30 days to 14 days from the start date would receive a 75% refund.
• Requests for cancellations with less than 14 days prior to the start date would be non-refundable. * Consideration of extraordinary circumstances will be at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Scholarships: DC Sail offers partial scholarships (final cost - $100) per week to applicants who meet the criteria outlined in the Scholarship Application of less than an annual household total income of $50,000. We will also work on a case-by-case basis with those who need further assistance.

If you are qualified for a scholarship for your child, please proceed with the online registration and select, "Kids Set Sail, Scholarship," registration type. 

Complete the payment of $100. The Registration and Liability Waiver Form and also the KSS Scholarship Application along with required supporting documentation is to be delivered to the the Camp Director in a sealed envelope the first day of programming for the week.

Kids Set Sail Registration Step One:

To register for Kids Set Sail, please click on the session you're interested listed below in the red box and complete the online registration. You will see options for the Beginner/Novice and the Intermediate/Advanced Levels. Select one to proceed to check out and confirming your registration.

Important Information:

Full payment by a credit card is required at the time of registration. Unpaid registrations will be cancelled by the system automatically after 15 minutes. Please be sure to have your payment information available at the time of online registration.

Kids Set Sail Registration Step Two:

Once the online registration is complete, the hard copy forms should be delivered to the Kids Set Sail Director on the first day of programming for the week. We will send out a reminder and confirmation email message a week prior to the Session you registered your sailor to participate and it will include copies of the registration documents.

We are unable to accept email versions of the registration documents as we'll need to have the original hard copies on file.

Download Registration Forms here:

Please click here for the 2024 Registration Forms

Please click here for the 2024 Scholarship Application. *Only required if registered at the Scholarship Rate. 

Notice for Parents/Guardians:

After completing your registration, you will receive an email message and receipt. The confirmation email message will include a link to a .pdf document that will have helpful information regarding where to go, what your child will need to bring, cancellation commentary, etc. If you would like to review this document in advance, please click here.

General Schedule Information:

Drop off is between 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM Monday-Friday.

Pick up is between 3:45 PM and 4:00 PM Monday-Thursday.

Friday is an early release for each week of programming. Sailors are released at 2:30 PM and must be picked up at that time.

DC Sail does not offer before or after program care due to logistics. 

Kids Set Sail Sessions

24 Jun 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
01 Jul 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
08 Jul 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
15 Jul 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
22 Jul 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
29 Jul 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
05 Aug 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
12 Aug 2024 10:00 AM • Diamond Teague Park Piers, 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003

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DC Sail is the community sailing program of National Maritime Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Business Mailing Address: 650 Wharf Street SW, Unit 20, Washington, DC 20024
Diamond Teague Park Piers Waterfront Address: 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Wharf Marina Waterfront Address: 650 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 547-1250 · Email: Traci Mead, Executive Director - 
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