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Junior Program

The Junior Program provides sailing, tennis, and seamanship education to member and non- member children 5-18 years of age.

  • The objectives of the AYC Junior Program (JP) are to:
  • Instill in children a love for sailing and the sea, an ease and confidence in handling of boats, and enjoyment of waterfront recreation
  • Promote awareness and observance of safety principles, equipment care, and maintenance, and sportsmanship in all phases of seamanship
  • Develop racing skills and an aptitude for competitive sailing, according to interest and ability
  • Introduce children to tennis and develop their skills according to their interest and ability
  • Inspire respect for the outdoors, for sport, and for sportsmanship as a way of life
  • Provide an opportunity for children to develop a broader sense of community

Eligibility: Participants must be of appropriate age and have requisite skills. Parents or guardians of participants are responsible for the conduct of, and all liabilities incurred by that child/participant. Continued participation in the program is subject to each participant following the rules of the JP as interpreted by the Program Director, subject to review by the JP Governor.

Application and Acceptance: All candidates interested in participation must complete application forms and payment through the online registration and payment system by June 1. Acceptance into the JP will be made based on several factors, including availability, skills, prior applicable experience, and prior experience with the program. 15 Please note any applications received after June 1st will be subject to space available in the JP at the discretion of the Program Director.

Enrollment Periods: The AYC JP runs for 1- week sessions commencing on Monday, June 24th and the last weekly session begins August 12th.

Boat Use and Storage: Participants in the AYC JP sail Optimist Dinghies, O’Pen Bics, Stur-Dee Cats and 420’s. Parents are encouraged to own appropriate sailboats and to make them available for use by the JP. Members who make their boats available to the JP will receive priority status for the limited storage spots on the front float. Prior to the commencement of the first JP session, the JP Director and Coaches inspect each boat and, if its condition is acceptable or better, approves it for use in the Program. Owners of approved boats which are available for use by the JP will not be billed for storage.

Boat Use by the AYC JP: To operate a successful sailing program, it is essential that families enter their Optis, and 420’s into the program. The JP takes responsibility for repair of any unusual damage that occurs while the boats are used by the program but not for normal “wear and tear”. A full analysis of the condition of each boat is made by the Program staff before the season (and after) the boats are used. It is important to realize, though, that even under the best conditions any sailboat used by anyone will receive some degree of wear and tear. It is not reasonable to expect the Program to repair every ding or scratch that might have occurred during the summer under normal operating conditions. Members are encouraged to make use of their boats when the Program is not in session. If scheduling permits, the JP Director may make a boat available to its owner for use during Program hours.

Regatta Participation: Participation in sailing events sponsored by other clubs and organizations is encouraged. However, the JP assumes no responsibility for such participation. Parents are solely responsible for all aspects of their child's involvement in these events, including enrollment, transportation, housing, and supervision. Exceptions, if any, to this policy will be announced in advance of the event by the Program Director. Owners of boats in use by the Program may arrange with the Program Director to borrow their boat for a Regatta. Boats will be released only to their owners. Members loaning their boat for use by the child of another family must clarify issues of insurance and responsibility for damage directly with the family to which the boat is being loaned. The Club assumes no liabilities while the boat is outside the direct control of the Program.

Swimming: All JP participants must be able to pass the swim test as prescribed by the Program as a condition of enrollment.

Policies: Camp policies are available for review upon request and are subject to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps, Chapter 105 CMR 430.000. NOTE: In accordance with Massachusetts state law, and to ensure both the safety of the campers and highest quality staff, the Annisquam Yacht Club performs background checks on all program staff each year. Our full policies on background checks are available upon request.


Week 1: June 24th -27th

Week 2: July 1st -3rd (no camp on the 4th, prorated week)

Week 3: July 8th -11th

Week 4: July 15th -18th

Week 5: July 22nd -25th

Week 6: July 29th -August 1st

Week 7: August 5th -8th

Week 8: August 12th-15th

Thursday, August 15 is the last day of JP, and Prize Night.

Fridays are reserved for all interested 8+ year olds to participate in occasional tennis tournaments, and/or race-program participants to join regattas. Tournament or regatta details will be updated on Clubspot.



Ages 5-7 9:30am – 1:30pm

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Tennis and Seamanship

Thursday: Sailing and Seamanship

Sailing The Under-8 (U8) program is JP’s entry class, for kids aged 5-7 years old. Mondays through Wednesdays, campers will learn basic tennis strokes via drills and games, with instructors challenging campers at their own levels. On Thursdays, campers will learn and practice sailing basics, including on-the-water safety. Virtually all days include ‘seamanship,’ a mix of swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and being in and around the water. Life jackets are mandatory for boating/seamanship/on and around the docks. To give U8 campers more time building friendships off the courts and water, and to give families more time, the U8 program will include lunch.


Ages 8-15:

Monday -Thursday: 9:30am – 4pm

Friday: optional tennis tournament

The Opti 1 program includes sailing and tennis lessons Monday through Thursday. No sailing experience is required to join Opti 1, which focuses on the basics of sailing for beginners up to sailors who can tack and jibe in complete control in winds up to 10 knots. In addition to keeping everyone safe, the goal is to foster a love of sailing, learn boat parts, rigging, points of sail, body position, boat handling, capsizing, docking, basic navigation and seamanship. In addition to swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding during seamanship, on days when the tide is high and conditions are right, counselors and campers may head to the Lobster Cove footbridge to swim off the dock, and either brave a bridge jump, or cheer on others to do it. As with all on-water JP activities, life jackets are mandatory. On Fridays, interested Opti 1 (and older) JP participants may opt in to join tennis tournaments. Parents will receive an email with dates and locations of the tournaments. Please note tennis whites may be required for some tournaments.


Ages 8-15

Monday through Thursday: 9:30am – 4pm

Friday: optional tennis tournament

The Opti 2 program includes sailing and tennis lessons each day. Opti 2 will build on those with mastery of Opti 1 lessons, develop advanced sailing skills which will include being able to rig and de-rig an Opti independently, master basic knots, be held to a high standard of boat care, and a clear understanding of how to power and de-power under varying conditions. Sailors will learn to have a constant awareness of wind, body position, and be able to use a tiller extension. Participants may join in local racing, if interested and approved by coaches. On Fridays, interested Opti 2 (and older) JP participants may opt in to join tennis tournaments. Parents will receive an email with dates and locations. Please note tennis whites may be required for some tournaments

420 Cruising:

Performance/ability-based admittance Minimum age 13

Monday through Thursday: 12:30pm - 4:30pm

Fridays: optional Tennis tournaments

For those whose performance in Opti 2s or Opti Racing warrants it, 420 Cruising classes build on the mastery of basic skills, but in a two-person sloop design boat. This class does not participate in regattas; instead, fosters passion for recreational sailing and the sea. The curriculum will also include non-sailing-oriented sessions and educational experiences. Tennis offers a choice between Stroke Development and Advanced Tennis Drills, for more advanced players. All tennis players will be encouraged to play matches in the Friday afternoon inter-club competitions and to join other tennis- related Club activities, including the senior division of the AYC Parent-Child tournament. Please note tennis whites may be required for some tournaments.


Performance/ability-based admittance Ages 10 - 15

Monday through Thursday: 9:30am – 4pm

The Opti Racing program includes sailing and tennis lessons Monday through Thursday. This class gets sailors with demonstrated skills into the racing spirit! Opti Racing focuses on boat handling, racing rules, tactics, and strategy. Sailors are encouraged to participate in all local and travel regattas during the program. Advanced level coaching will focus on understanding and practicing racing rules, specific racing tactics, mark rounding, currents, wind shifts and team racing. Participants must be accepted by the Program Director and Coaches. Tennis offers a choice between Stroke Development and Advanced Tennis Drills, for more advanced players. All tennis players will be encouraged to play matches in the Friday afternoon inter-club competitions and to join other tennis-related Club activities, including the senior division of the AYC Parent-Child tournament

JUNIOR PROGRAM BASICS SAFETY: Safety will remain the Junior Program’s focus. Instructors will be trained and certified in the areas of First Aid, CPR, First Responder, as well as Safe Powerboat Handling and Safety and Rescue. All our sailing instructors are US Sailing Level 1 certified. Jared and the team are also constantly tracking the weather, to be sure campers remain safe in and around AYC.


Lunch is included for all JP campers. A variety of options are offered throughout the week, examples on the FAQ page. 


Life jacket

Tennis racquet (U8s: tennis is only Mon-Weds; no need to bring on Thursdays.)

Water bottle

Tennis shoes

Water shoes




This four-day Safety & Certification Course will be offered occasionally throughout the summer. Upon successful completion, participants will receive US Sailing Safe Powerboating Certificate (NASBLA approved), and MA State Boating Education Certificate. Eligibility: No experience is required, but participants must be at least 12 years of age.

AYC STP 501(c)(3)

The AYC STP is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC of 1986. The AYC STP supports scholarships to the AYC Junior Program. Through this organization, fundraising and scholarships make the Junior Program experience possible for deserving youth in the greater Cape Ann community. Past fundraisers such as the Commodores Gala have raised scholarship resources from generosity of our members. Anyone interested in donating for AYC Junior Program scholarships may make tax deductible donations to the AYC STP. The tax ID # 45- 199-7718.


Please email our Camp Director at