- How does one get into this program?
Selection of athletes to the team will be based on both rowing performance/potential and a written application. Potential applicants should visit the "Apply" section of our website to download an 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 aims to offer top-notch coaching, 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.
- 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:
- To support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on Rowing, Running, Nordic Skiing, and Biathlon.
- To use and teach sustainable practices; and
- 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. On top these resident coaches, Steve and Troy work to integrate a variety of visiting coaches from around the 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 true depths of the sport through enthusiastic camp patrons of all experience levels and an unrivaled score of coaches. Combining this geographical serendipity with both the purposeful integration of outside thought and the relentless 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 mid-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.
- 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.
- 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 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?
The center has a small fleet of pair/doubles, a heavy and mid-weight quad, several singles and access to additional singles and other small boats when they are not in use for the Sculling Camp. You are also encouraged to bring the shell you have been training in prior to coming to Craftsbury.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, and an excellent pizza joint/bar in Glover with weekly trivia and live music. 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.