GRPRow U23

"There is no doubt in my mind that Craftsbury was the difference between winning and losing. This place is definitely magical to us."

- Peter Graves: GRP participant, 2009-10; bow,  US Senior Men's 2x, 2009/2011;  Champ 2x HOCR Gold Medalist, 2008-2011;  Olympian US Senior Men's 4x, 2012;  World Cup #3 Bronze Medalist, US Senior Men's 4x, 2014. See all GRP U23 alumni here.

 At Craftsbury, our core belief is that training in singles and pairs forms the foundation that sets athletes up for greater success in all boat classes. Irrespective of whether your long-term goal is winning races in the single, the eight, or any boat class in between, we believe that the swiftest path to victory goes through becoming proficient in singles and pairs.

You’ll be immersed in a training environment that is hard to beat, with coaches that possess a wealth of experience developing athletes in small boats.

The GRP U23 Summer Program is designed to provide athletes a bridge from collegiate rowing to the US National Team, with a focus on small boat skill development. In the nearest term, the immediate goal is to put together small boats to compete at U23 World Championship Trials. 

The program offers coaching, equipment, room & board, and travel support. Rowers are eligible for, and may compete in, any of the following events: U23 World Trials; Senior Nationals; Senior Team World Trials; World Championships (U23 and Senior); and, Canadian Henley.

Participants offset the costs of the program by giving fourteen hours of work per week back to the Outdoor Center. Work projects support the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and its mission. Tasks vary from chopping wood, to coaching Community Rowing participants, to working in the garden, to designing energy systems and maps.

Interested athletes are encouraged to apply here.

Our programming is still evolving, so, if after reading the FAQs something still remains unclear, don't hesitate to contact us

How far can you go? Come explore your limits with us.


Who will be the coach?

Head Coach - Steve Whelpley

Assistant Coach - Troy Howell, Craftsbury Outdoor Center Sculling Director

Third Coach - Grace Hollowell

Intern - Mackenzi Sherman

What is the cost of the program, can it be offset by work for the COC?

There is no monetary cost to the athlete for participation in the program. There may, however, be some race travel expenses. For example, if a crew makes the U23 National Team, Craftsbury will aim to provide as much support as a USRowing Camp athlete would receive; but, this may not cover the entire cost of the trip. All rowers are expected to work 14 hours per week at the Center. All room and board privileges are contingent on the upkeep and cleaning of your housing facility and completing all job assignments in a timely fashion.

What are the goals of the program?

The immediate goal of the program is to put together small boats to compete at U23 World Trials. Through this work, athletes will develop/improve small boat rowing skills as well as improve the rowing fitness. Additional race opportunities, such as Canadian Henley, may be provided as appropriate.

What does the day to day schedule look like?

Summer programming consists of 11-13 water workouts per week with supplemental land training designed to develop flexibility, strength, and power. Athletes will receive progress updates in the form of systematic evaluations and appraisals. Coaches will periodically take and review videotape for the athletes. When appropriate, racing opportunities will be provided. You can see a schedule from a past summer here.

I was planning on applying to selection camp too. Is that a problem?

Absolutely not ! We love big boats too; and, if being on the podium as a U23 World Champion in the 8+ or the 4- is at the top of your current list of athletic goals, we support that 100%. That being said, we also believe wholeheartedly that the surest way to prepare yourself to contribute to victories in big boats is by mastering the single and the pair. We encourage applicants to consider what is in their best interest for the short-term and long-term of their rowing careers. If you’re an athlete with more than one year of U23 eligibility remaining, you may get more out of spending a summer racing in small boats than you will out from a summer of seat racing at selection camp. The choice- of course- is yours; but, we’ll bet the farm that at the end of a season with the Green Racing Project, you’ll be a much more effective rower in every boat class, for the rest of your rowing career.

How late into the summer can U23 participants train at Craftsbury?

The GRP U23 program generally ends after the Canadian Henley Regatta in August. Select participants may continue training at Craftsbury until they return to their school or club.

What is the end of summer take away for athletes?

Coaches will review pre-camp goals with athletes and will provide a final evaluation of the athletes' fitness and rowing proficiencies in the three small boats. Athletes who compete in summer racing will receive race review and evaluation from their coaches. At the conclusion of the summer program, each athlete will have a clear understanding of where they are and what needs to be accomplished to move to the next level.

What will the work opportunities be like?

Work may include any of the following:

  • Various projects related to helping Craftsbury become more sustainable. These could include analysis of current heating/power systems, improved management of property, and production of local food on property.
  • Projects that support the Craftsbury sculling program in general: helping coach local juniors and masters, maintaining the fleet, and babysitting for children of rowing coaches and campers.
  • Meeting needs of the Outdoor Center such as caretaking of facilities, gardening, trail work, chopping wood, etc.
  • Other Projects TBD. Participants will be encouraged to generate ideas for projects.
What kind of boats does the program have? Can I bring my own boat?

The GRP has a small fleet of pairs/doubles, a quad, several singles, and access to additional singles and other small boats when they are not in use for the COC's Weekly Sculling Camp. If available, you are encouraged to bring the shell you have been training in prior to coming to Craftsbury.

Do I have to be in college? Is there a minimum age requirement?

The program is geared primarily toward U23 and Senior men and women, whether currently in college or not.

What types of rowing experiences must I have?

Athletes must have been part of a competitive school or club program and have the capacity to train multiple times a day. A familiarity with- and understanding of- small boat rowing (1x, 2x, 2-) is important, but not a limiting factor.

When are applications due?

We have a rolling admissions policy; but, we encourage all applicants for the summer program to have applications in by May 1 with acceptances starting as early as April 1. Start your application

How many athletes can the program serve?

We plan on serving around 4-6 athletes each summer.

What athletes have attended the program?

Check out our alumni.

How much regatta support will be provided? What expenses will I need to cover?

For any competitions outside of U23 Worlds, Craftsbury will provide coaching, boat transport, entry fees, competition uniforms, and housing accommodations.

Other than rowing gear, what should I bring to Craftsbury?

Athletes are strongly encouraged to bring:

  • Heart Rate Monitor and Heart Rate strap
  • Stroke or Speed Coach with harness, plastic holder, and pick up magnet - impeller is optional
  • Small tool bag containing an adjustable wrench, 7/16 wrench, 10 mm wrench, regular and Phillips head screwdriver, and a metric tape measure
  • Running shoes, hat for rowing, and workout gear
  • Log book for recording workouts and personal performance data
  • A set of slings if you bring your own shell
  • Mountain bike and helmet if you do not have a vehicle

Applicants are encouraged to note the questions regarding gear sizes- and the like- on their application as well

What is the water like? What is Craftsbury like? Is there any social life?

Rowing will take place on Big Hosmer Pond, which is a narrow, sheltered lake around 3000 meters long. Mornings are generally flat water; afternoons can offer more breezy conditions. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a very busy place in the summer, with Sculling camps running all summer long except for a few weekends. U23 athletes will train, work, and socialize with the year-round resident Green Racing Project (GRP) rowers. There is also a parallel GRP program of competitive Nordic skiers and biathletes training at the Center.

Still have questions? Drop us a line via