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Tall Ship to Host Summer Sleep Away Camp

By: Megan Roche

With the banks of the Elizabeth River and the waters of the Chesapeake Bay right off our shores, the Schooner Virginia is the perfect spot for a water-based summer camp! Is your child ready for the summer of a lifetime? Look no further. 

The Schooner’s summer camp is a great way to get your teen engaged and educated on team building, relationships, and more. According to Sarah Linden-Brooks, Sail Nauticus manager, the experience is transformative. 

“During this 5-day, 4-night camp, your teen will explore the southern Bay aboard our 120-foot tall ship. Sailors will be immersed in all facets of tall ship sailing from raising sails and standing watches, to ship upkeep and navigation! This experience will build leadership and teamwork as campers learn about coastal ecology and maritime history,” Linden-Brooks said. 

The Schooner Virginia will sail throughout the southern Chesapeake Bay and make stops at two ports of call for students to explore cultural sites, shops, and other attractions within walking distance. This incredible opportunity also allows for students to spend a night (or two) at anchor and experience the beauty of the night sky away from light pollution. Campers will be running the ship and be in charge of decision making with guidance from their counselors

“Your teen’s watch will spend time learning how to sail the vessel, participating in engaging education stations, engaging in shipboard responsibilities—like bow watch and cleaning. They will also be able to enjoy down time while underway,” Linden-Brooks added. 

While underway on their trip, campers will also discover new parts of themselves. Linden-Brooks shares that many campers have enjoyed the break from social media and cell phones. Also a highlight: learning how to take a five minute shower! 

At the end of camp, campers leave their experience with a better understanding of who they are as people. 

“We really focus on honing their interpersonal skills, but also building their confidence to know that they can use those skills effectively. I really appreciate that the kids learn to be reliant on each other to fully make a ship run,” Linden-Brooks shared. 

Camp is overseen by trained sailors and educators, completely vetted up to U.S. Coast Guard Standards. The Schooner Virginia summer camp is being offered from June 27-July 1 and July 11-15. Space is capped at 12 campers per week. For Nauticus members, camp costs $945 and for non-members, camp costs $995. 

For more information on Summer Camp, visit

About the Schooner

The Schooner Virginia is a reproduction of the last all sail vessel built for the Virginia Pilot Association. The original ship sailed for the pilots from 1917-1926, training apprentice pilots in seamanship and navigation. 

The Schooner Virginia serves the Nauticus Foundation as a vital education platform to engage the Hampton Roads community with a focus on delivering transformative maritime and hands on learning to students of all backgrounds and ages, museum visitors and the general public. The Schooner Virginia’s programming emphasizes STEM education, maritime history, tall ship training, workforce development and the conservation of our local waterways. 

The Schooner Virginia also participates in major events such as the Norfolk Harborfest, and the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, as well as in many community service projects assisting in safety-at-sea seminars and with local maritime-focused nonprofit organizations.