Summer Watersports Camp

You’re never too young to love watersports

Open Registration for Summer 2023 will begin in March

The Eckerd College Waterfront Program, one of the largest collegiate programs in the U. S., offers instruction in Little Mariners Watersports, Exploring Watersports, Sailing Fun & Skills, Windsurfing,  Saltwater Fishing, Children’s Marine Discovery and Exploring Marine Life for students of various ages at various levels. Located on Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, the school provides the perfect environment for learning watersports!

Classes at the Waterfront Program have been in existence for more than 50 years. Through those years we have introduced thousands of children and adults to the wonderful world of watersports. We look forward to meeting you and your children and providing you with an exciting and unforgettable experience!

  • Most classes occur in the protected waters of Frenchman’s Creek, adjacent to the Waterfront facilities.
  • More advanced classes expand into the open waters of Boca Ciega Bay, adjacent to the college.

Each student receives:

  • Camp T-Shirt
  • Photograph of them participating in class
  • Certificate of completion for each class

Lunch

  • The lunch period occurs from 12-1pm. Campers who are not enrolled for morning and afternoon classes may make arrangements to stay for the lunch period by signing up for Before or After Care, depending on which class they are taking. All campers participating in the lunch period must bring their lunch in a container that is safe and appropriate for non-refrigerated storage.

Awards Ceremony

  • Each week is capped off with an awards ceremony. Participants receive a certificate for completion of their class and a photo of them participating. Awards for Sportsmanship and Most Improved are presented for each class.
  • As stated, each student receives a photo of them participating in their class. These photos may be used in advertising or literature developed to promote the summer camp. By agreeing to these policies, you are indicating that you are giving Eckerd College permission to use photos of your student in class.

Weather

  • Classes are held rain or shine. If the weather makes on-water practice impractical, students will participate in classroom instruction and other land activities. However, persistent inclement weather may result in class cancelations and prorated refunds will be given for days of class lost. Make-up sessions of on-water practice are not offered.
  • Classes may be canceled if a tropical storm or hurricane is in the area. In this situation, pro-rated refunds will be given for days of class lost.

Safety

  • All students must be able to swim. 
  • All students must wear proper footwear at all times, both on land and on the water. Flip flops are not acceptable. Water shoes are preferred but sneakers or any closed toed shoes that fit securely to the foot with a backstrap will suffice.
  • All students must wear their life jackets while on the water and on the docks. 
  • Students are expected to follow the directions of their instructors at all times. 
  • All students are expected to work together during class set-up and breakdown. This includes rigging and derigging boats and equipment, and clean-up of supplies used in class. Students should not arrive late or leave early unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor. 

Behavior

  • To ensure an enjoyable experience for all, student behavior is closely monitored during classes. Behavioral problems are addressed immediately in class with the intention of coaching students through situations and avoiding future conflicts. If problems persist, a camp supervisor will meet with the parents to develop a solution. There will be no refunds given for students removed from class due to behavioral problems.

Wallace Boathouse

  • Outdoor Classrooms
  • Picnic / Seating Area
  • Snack Bar & Ship Store
  • Multiple Docks

Activities Center

  • Classrooms equipped for Multi-Media Instruction
  • Restroom Facilities
  • Weather Tracking System
  • All watersports equipment and instructional supplies provided.
  • Life jackets provided – Always worn when on the water and on the docks.
  • Each class supervised by instructor in safety boat.
  • All boats equipped with required safety gear.
  • All instructors certified in CPR and First Aid.
CLICK HERE TO ENROLL
Our online system provides you with real-time information about class availability, waiting lists, and other types of details that you may need!

A limited number of class scholarships are available each summer, and we receive many more requests than what we have available.  Scholarships are available for:
Sailing Fun & Skills
Exploring Marine Life
Little Mariners Watersports

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please submit an email to wfprograms@eckerd.edu, indicating the following:
Class Requested
Age of Student
Support information of why you are making the request.

Applications must be received by April 23, 2023.  Decisions will be finalized by May 1, 2023 and recipients will be notified.

Classes – Summer 2022

Little Mariners Watersports (Ages 5-7)

Children at this age may need some extra help with feeling comfortable in the water and enjoying our coastal environment. This class gets them in the water and aboard different types of boats and floats, in a safe and fun environment. Water and dock safety, paddling, and fishing are a few of the areas they will experience, some of them for the first time! Let us help you introduce them to the wonderful world of watersports!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $180

Exploring Watersports (Ages 8 - 12)

Students new to watersports may not be very sure of what type of activity they would like to try. So, we have created a class that spends each day with a different sport – Water Safety, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Exploring Marine Life, and Kayaking are all part of the week! We will introduce students to a variety of activities and help them decide on what interests them the most!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $190

Sailing Fun & Skills (Ages 6 - 8)

A Vanguard Pram is an excellent teaching boat for young sailors and this class gives every student the opportunity to experience how to maneuver a sailboat.  The prams are primarily operated in Frenchman’s Creek, where two instructors will assist in their learning process and facilitate the growth of inexperienced sailors or more advanced sailors.

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $180

Children's Marine Discovery (Ages 5-7)

Let us introduce your child to the wonders of the bay area! Students learn about plants, animals, and ecosystems that are found in their own backyards! Each day focuses on a new topic, including marine mammals, marine birds, invertebrates, fish, and marine conservation. Students will explore the different environments on campus, search for dolphins and manatees in the waters adjacent to Eckerd College, identify creatures they see and/or catch in their nets, get acquainted with critters in our touch tank and learn specifics in the classroom through discussions, presentations, and crafts.

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $195

Exploring Marine Life (Ages 8-12)

Eckerd College’s proximity to the open waters of Boca Ciega Bay and Tampa Bay allows us to give children the opportunity to collect marine life and then study them up close. Students gather information about plants, animals, and ecosystems by exploring different Bay environments via land or kayak, collecting live samples to bring back to the dock. By working with a variety of equipment, students are able to observe the samples collected during the week.

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $195

Windsurfing (Ages 9-17)

Windsurfing combines the fun of sailing and surfing to form a unique sport! Students stand on the surf type board, move the entire sail, and catch the wind to propel themselves across the water. Given the right wind conditions, windsurfers can get moving incredibly quickly! In this class, we alternate teaching the basics on a land simulator and using those new skills on the water.  This class will be a hit whether they’ve never tried windsurfing before or they’ve mastered the basics and want to improve!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $200

Saltwater Fishing (Ages 8-14)

There are multiple ways to enjoy saltwater fishing and children in this beginning level class will be introduced to many of them. Students will fish from powerboats, kayaks and from our campus’ fishing piers and seawalls. They will be taught how to identify different types of fish, how and where to catch them, and what types of bait and tackle to use. All equipment and bait is provided, but all fish caught will be released. The goal is not to bring home dinner, but to enjoy the sport!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $200

Wakeboarding/Water Skiing (Ages 9-17)

In this class taught by USA Waterski certified instructors, students can experience the basics of wakeboarding, water skiing, and kneeboarding on Boca Ciega Bay, adjacent to the Eckerd College campus.  Participants are encouraged to try all three sports, but instructors let them choose their equipment each time.  Your child will love the excitement of these fast and fun watersports!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $295

Paddlesports (Ages 9-15)

Paddleboards, kayaks and canoes are more popular now than ever! Students new to paddlesports or looking to further develop their existing skills on these boats will be immersed in instruction provided by staff well-versed in national standards (NOWS Program). In this class we start on land with weather checks and boat and safety gear preparation. Next come maneuvers and stroke refinement within the boundaries of Frenchman’s Creek, and then we depart for paddle adventures, relays, and games in the protected waters of Boca Ciega Bay. Capsizing and self-rescue complete the lessons and work to create confident paddlesports enthusiasts!!

Class Schedule

  1. June 5 – June 9
  2. June 12 – June 16
  3. June 19 – June 23
  4. June 26 – June 30
  5. July 10 – July 14
  6. July 17 – July 21
  7. July 24 – July 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1 – 4 p.m. Daily

Class Fee Per Week – $190

Cancellation/Refund Policy

  • No Refunds – Registrations canceled after 5pm on the Thursday before the start of camp.
  • No Refunds – Changes to camp participation after 5pm on the Thursday before the start of camp.
  • A $75 Administrative Fee will be charged for changing or canceling registrations prior to the Thursday before start of camp.
  • Eckerd College reserves the right to cancel classes that have not met the minimum enrollment. If we cancel a class, your payment will be fully refunded.
  • Requests for full refunds due to injury or illness must be accompanied by a physician’s written verification of date and type of injury or illness. This verification must be received no later than one week after the missed class.
  • If your class is cancelled at any point due to a COVID related incident, your payment will be fully or partially refunded based on the portion of the class missed.