Mission, Values & FAQs

About | FAQs

The Craftsbury Green Racing project is guided by one mission, one vision, and one set of core values wherever we compete, train, and work around the world.  These are the guideposts for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project.


The mission of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project is to be a year-round, multi-sport training program at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center that provides athletes with both a top tier training environment as well as a supportive community. Members of the Green Racing Project work to reach their fullest potential in their respective sport, develop as members of a sustainable community, and uphold the mission of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.


Our vision is that the Craftsbury Green Racing Project athletes will blend the uncompromising virtues of pursuing athletics at the highest level with the conscientious values of being a considerate member of a larger community. GRP athletes will further their own mission while also contributing to the larger one that supports and surrounds them. In the end, the Craftsbury Green Racing Project will build some of the best athletes in the world who also have an understanding of their impact and involvement in both the communities that surround them and the physical environment they live in.

Core Values:

Self-Motivated - A GRP athlete sees what needs to be done before being told what needs to be done.

Conscientious - A GRP athlete possesses the humility to recognize the larger picture even as he or she pursues something very passionately on his or her own. In this sense, a GRP athlete is aware of his or her effect on the environment, respects his or her teammates, demonstrates sportsmanship with his or her opponents, and finds ways to support the community that supports him or her.

Communicative - A GRP athlete utilizes communication in order to cultivate relationships that further progress and development in his or her training, community, and work.

Purposeful - A GRP athlete is optimistically determined. GRP athletes have a constant focus to better themselves and the world around them. 

Open - A GRP athlete is open to growth, varying viewpoints, challenges, the pursuit of excellence, and the support of others.

Green - The values listed above allow GRP athletes to engage with being environmentally green as they blend the explicitness of their athletic goals with the broader understanding of the ecosystem they work within.


How does one get into this program?

Selection of athletes to the team will be based on rowing performance, potential, personality, and a written application. Potential applicants should visit the "Contact Us" section of our website to navigate to the application. Leading candidates may be invited to either visit or Skype for an interview to ensure that Craftsbury will be a good fit for the applicant.

Why is there a written application - why not just take the fastest rowers?

This program has unrivaled training and race support, while also offering participants a meaningful non-rowing experience and meeting the mission of its host, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. It will be important that participating athletes see the value of this approach and have interests or skills, outside of rowing, that will make them a valuable member of the Craftsbury community effort. Think of this as a job application - because in a way, that's what it is. One part of the "job" will be training effectively and rowing your fastest; the other part will be making a meaningful contribution to the Outdoor Center and the community. While Craftsbury might improve any rower, we're looking for the ideal fit in order to both make optimal, efficient improvement and build truly exceptional rowers and people.

Who is supporting this project?

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is the primary supporter and sponsor of the GRP, with the support of a collection of sponsors from the rowing world and beyond. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center was purchased in November 2008 and restructured into a non-profit organization with the following mission:

  1. To support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on Rowing, Running, Nordic Skiing, and Biathlon.
  2. To use and teach sustainable practices; and
  3. To protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.

The Green Racing Project fits well with this mission, and Craftsbury is excited to provide this programming opportunity. Craftsbury will be providing housing, meals (when dining hall is open - about 10 months of the year), coaching, part-time work, access to health insurance, and race support.

Who are the Coaches?

GRP’s director and lead coach is Steve Whelpley. Throughout the year, Steve works collaboratively with Troy Howell, the director of sculling at Craftsbury. Additionally, Steve and Troy work to integrate a variety of visiting coaches from throughout the sculling world into the GRP's programming in order to further their understanding of racing, physiology, and small boat use. The GRP's unique location within the Craftsbury Sculling Center exposes athletes to the breadth of the sport through enthusiastic camp patrons of all experience levels and an unrivaled roster of coaches. Combining this geographical serendipity with both the purposeful integration of outside thought and the continuous year round coaching in-house makes for an environment of optimal athletic growth.

Who is the target audience for this program?

The Craftsbury Green Racing Project is designed primarily to fill the gap that exists after collegiate rowing, and serve as a bridge from collegiate racing to national and international level competition. Most rowers won't reach their peak performance levels until their late 20's, yet it's hard to graduate from college and tell your parents that you're "just going to train" for the next 3-5 years. This program hopes to provide a long-term training situation that also allows an athlete to develop and use other skills, specifically those related to the mission of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, on a part-time basis. The athlete may not have time to earn a lot of extra money, but with housing and meals provided along with the rowing supports, at least they have a chance to keep their heads above water.

As a result of the unrivaled support, we're looking for ambitious, self-driven athletes who are also conscientious during this intense pursuit. For a greater idea of who we are looking for check out our home page to see the mission, vission, and values. 

What is the time commitment for this program?

One does not become a faster rower overnight. It's generally at least a 3-5 year proposition and thus requires a long-term commitment, with periodic review to be sure the goal is reasonable and the progress is good. This program asks for a minimum one-year commitment - and preferably not just a one-year commitment, but this would be evaluated between coach and athlete each year. We're offering you the opportunity to pursue rowing full-time, while also maintaining some healthy balance in your life.

Will rowers be paid for the part-time work, or is it an unpaid expectation of the program?

Program participants will be expected to do a certain amount of work for the Center in exchange for their lodging, meals, equipment, and coaching. The Center will also cover health insurance. There will be the possibility of working additional hours for take-home pay either at the Center, or at area businesses, as time allows. With prior approval, community service may also count toward some of the work requirement, such as offering learn to row clinics for local kids, coaching local sports teams, or volunteering for other non-profits.

What will the work opportunities be?

Certain projects and tasks are ongoing; other new projects may be determined through a joint brainstorming and prioritization process that gives rowers the chance to suggest and design projects that align with the Center's mission. Here are some examples from the past years:

  • Various projects related to helping Craftsbury become more sustainable. These include analysis of current heating/power systems, improved management of property, production of local food on property
  • Management of the team itself: uniform design and acquisition, press releases, blogging for interested media, travel planning, work with sponsors
  • Projects supporting the broader Craftsbury rowing program in general: helping coach sculling camps, helping run the Community Rowing program.
  • Meeting needs of the Outdoor Center: support for rowing programs as needed, caretaking of facilities, helping with non-skiing programs.

What does Craftsbury offer in terms of training facilities and opportunities?

The Outdoor Center is at the south end of Big Hosmer Lake. Hosmer is about 3k long, and more often than not, offers beautifully calm water. In fall 2014 the center constructed a new zero-emission gym. It is equipped with 3 squat racks with free weights, a lifting platform, 14 Ergs, 6 SkiErgs, 2 BikeErgs, 2 spin bikes, and stretching matts/equipment. Craftsbury also offers an extensive trail network for trail running and mountain biking, as well as nordic skiing in the winter. There are also many dirt roads which make for great long running, and nearby paved roads for road biking. Mountains aren't far away for more vertical challenges: Jay Peak, Mt. Mansfield and others. Craftsbury has VO2 and lactate equipment on site for physiological testing.

Do I need to know how to scull?

No! Both sweep rowers and scullers are welcome to apply. You will be introduced to sculling and it may be included in your training but it does not have to be your primary focus.

Do I need to bring my own boat?

If you've been training in your own boat, you are encouraged to bring the shell with you to Craftsbury. Don't worry. There's no "rack fees" where you're going. If you don't have your own boat, Craftsbury will provide the necessary equipment.

What happens in the winter?

Yes, the lake does freeze in the winter. In a typical year it will be frozen from December until April. Lucky for us, nordic skiing happens to be a great method of cross-training for rowing! Applicants should be excited about the prospect of learning to nordic ski if they don't already know how, but there will also be southern and/or western training trips likely in both January and March. Rowers will be ready for their spring races, but we also see nordic skiing as one of our best tools towards creating more capable athletes both in terms of physiology and skill.

What is the expected housing arrangement?

There are two nearby country houses that are dedicated for rowers. Additionally, there is a house for skiers/biathletes. In the summer, we sometimes make additional arrangements for the U23s and other visiting guests.

Is there any social life in Craftsbury?

Ok, this is probably the most important question! There are some excellent restaurants in Hardwick and Stowe, a great coffee house with frequent music in Morrisville, another coffee house in Hardwick, an excellent pizza joint/bar in Glover with weekly trivia and live music, and a brand new pub in Craftsbury. Stowe of course offers all the usual apres-ski kind of entertainment as well. The Outdoor Center itself is far from dead in the summer, with a steady stream of sculling campers and coaches of all ages coming through. There is a very similar program for nordic skiers as well which adds to the number of young people around to hang out with. For days off, there's Burlington or Hanover, both about 90 minutes away. However, you should be aware that you're headed to the country, but you'll find it is one of the most unique, rural communities in the world.

What's the U23 program like?

The U23 program emmulates the senior, resident program. If accepted, athletes join the program for free. Once on board, they are housed, fed, coached, and have all their domestic regatta fees taken care of for the duration of the program. Each athlete is provided a coveted unisuit and shirt. In the event that athletes win U23 Trials, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center will support the entry on an equal level to any of the boats being sent to Worlds by a selection camp. The U23 program has two primary goals: 1. to further develop small boat and sculling ability in the States and 2. to create A finalists in the present and future. To apply, you fill out the same application as the resident program on the "Contact Us" page.