Penn AC Gold Summer Rowing Camp

 Sabina Pierce

Program Details

Penn AC Gold is a high-performance summer rowing camp. Our goal is to promote skill development, teamwork, and competition by providing quality coaching and programming. We will provide you with the opportunity to challenge yourself mentally and physically in many areas – technique, fitness, discipline, independence, and teamwork. What you learn here will serve you long after you leave. You will be exposed to a level of competition not found in most high school rowing programs.

Program Dates: 2024

Practice starts on June 16th, but all athletes living in the housing provided during the camp must arrive in Philadelphia on June 15th by 6:00 PM EDT. Our final regatta will be the USRowing RowFest National Championships held in Oklahoma City, OK. Racing is currently scheduled to end on Tuesday, July 16th in Oklahoma City. Camp ends at the conclusion of racing and rowers/coxswains must be picked up by their parents/guardian either at the racecourse after racing ends or they must fly home from Will Rogers World Airport (WRWA) the evening of Tuesday, July 16th. Flights should be booked for no earlier than 6:00pm CDT if possible, to ensure conflicts with Tuesday’s race schedule don’t occur and the athletes have sufficient time in assisting with derigging and trailer loading. Transportation will be provided to the airport for those flying home.

Gold Coaching Staff

Director of Penn AC Gold - Paul Coomes
Junior Men's Staff
Head Coach – Junior Men/Recruiting Co-coordinator: Will Scully
Assistant Coach: Adam Sanin
Assistant Coach: Kristen Propst
Program Leader: Michael Harris
Junior Women's Staff
Head Coach – Junior Women/Recruiting Coordinator: Sarah Low
Assistant Coach: Baily Chick
Assistant Coach: Sierra Williams
Program Leader: Anne Horton
Additional Staff
Coxswain Coach: Coral Kasden

Daily Schedule

Penn AC Gold offers a comprehensive program which includes a daily schedule that simulates the training schedules of collegiate and pre-elite athletes. Below is a typical daily practice schedule.

Typical Daily Schedule
07:00 – Breakfast
08:15 – Bus departs for the boathouse
08:30 – First practice
11:30 – Bus departs for housing
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Lift/team meeting/video review/speaker
14:30 – Bus departs for the boathouse
14:45 – Second practice
18:00 – Bus departs for housing
18:30 – Dinner
21:00 – Bed

Practice Sessions

Training during camp will not only include twice daily workouts and on-the-water instruction, but also mental skills and athlete leadership development training. Our goal is to create a competitive environment where the athletes are challenged daily to excel. The athletes will train at a high level and be expected to adapt and learn quickly. Athletes can expect 10-12 water sessions per week, periodic video review, training on the erg, and/or strength training.

Mental Skills Training Program for Athletes

Each year, Penn AC partners with Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management to offer high-level athlete leadership development and mental skills training geared to meet the needs of junior athletes. Weekly programming has in the past included a combination of the below topics which will be delivered specifically to enhance the skillset of today’s athletes:

1. Mental Toughness for Athletes
2. Positively Managing Change
3. Imagery in Sport – Preparation for Race Day
4. Energy Management for Performance
5. Goal Setting for Athletic Development and Motivation
6. Sports Nutrition to Power Your Performance

The above sessions will be staffed by a professional facilitator and all course materials are included in the camp fee.

Eligible Athletes

Penn AC Gold is open to any interested athletes, limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender. For safety reasons we require athletes to have at least 1 season of sweep rowing, sculling, or coxing experience and the ability to swim. We accept Youth and U17 rowers and coxswains as well as lightweight rowers. If you are a graduating senior in 2024, you are still eligible for our camp, even if you turn 19 in 2024. Based on space and equipment limitations, we strive to achieve a roster of 32 males rowers, 32 female rowers, and 8-10 coxswains.

Youth Rowers & Coxswains: A Youth is a competitor who in the current calendar year does not attain the age of 19, or who is and has been continuously enrolled in a secondary school as a full-time student seeking a diploma. A Competitor thus ceases to be a Youth after December 31 of the year of his or her 18th birthday, or of the year in which he or she completes the 12th grade of secondary school, having been a full-time student, whichever is later.
U17 Rowers & Coxswains: A High School rower or coxswain who in the current calendar year does not attain the age of 17 is eligible to compete in the U17 category this summer. If you turn 17 in 2024, you are not eligible to compete in the U17 category, but you are eligible to compete as a Youth athlete.

Team Penn AC Gold

Since the club’s first recorded victory in the pair oared cup race of the 1882 Schuylkill Navy Regatta, Penn AC has prided itself on its winning tradition and has continued to amass on its walls, plaques, pennants, and banners - testimonies to its success. Today, we carry on this legacy with both national and international victories. Over the years, Penn AC has given birth to dozens of US National Team and Olympic oarsmen. Currently, no fewer than 15 elite level athletes are training out of the club. A Men’s 4x and Women’s Lightweight 4x from Penn AC represented the US at the World Championships in 2017, a Men’s 4x represented the US at the World Championships in 2018, and both the Men’s 4x and Men’s 2x represented the US at the World Championships in 2019. In 2021, Penn AC won Olympic trials in the Men’s 4x and raced at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne to qualify the boat for the Tokyo Olympics. Today, Penn AC is designated a USRowing High Performance Partner Club and the Philadelphia High Performance Training Center and will continue working in partnership with USRowing to develop athletes for international competition and the Paris 2024 Olympics. With the rebirth of our U23 racing team in 2021, Penn AC Gold athletes can and are encouraged to come back to the club in future summers while in college and train with aspiring national team athletes from all over the US.

Simply put, we are looking for young men and women who want to be the best. Penn AC Gold is a high-performance camp. Our goal is to promote skill development, teamwork, and competition by providing quality coaching and programming.

Coaching Recommendations

Rowers are encouraged to provide a coach’s recommendation. It is a great way to provide insight into your work ethic, race ability, and other intangible characteristics that are often critical to success. Please have your coach email your recommendation directly to the Director of Penn AC Gold. (


Rowers are encouraged to provide video and coxswains are encouraged to provide audio/video recordings of practices/races. Files should be shared via link to a shared folder in services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. YouTube is another great way to share these files. Links to and location of files should be emailed to the Director of Penn AC Gold. (

Recommended Performance Thresholds

The below erg times are recommendations for those interested in applying. If you are close to the standards or have experienced extenuating circumstances, we encourage you to apply.

2k Erg Score
Youth Men: 6:35 or better
Youth Ltwt Men: 6:45 or better
Youth Women: 7:40 or better
Youth Ltwt Women: 7:50 or better
U17 Men: 6:45 or better
U17 Ltwt Men: 7:00 or better
U17 Women: 7:50 or better
U17 Ltwt Women: 8:00 or better

Program Cost

Program costs vary depending on whether you are a visiting athlete that lives in the housing provided during camp, or a local athlete that will not. For ALL athletes, coaching, regatta travel expenses (housing, food, transportation), apparel, regatta entry fees, leadership seminars, outings, and facility costs are included. For visiting athletes, full room and board and transportation to and from practice are also included in your cost. Full room and board and transportation to and from the boathouse each day are NOT provided for local athletes, but you will be provided lunch each day and will be provided transportation to and from where our visiting athletes are staying to rest and relax between practices.  This provides you the opportunity to eat lunch with your teammates and coaches and spend the afternoon resting and socializing between practices.

Program Cost Visiting Athletes Local Athletes
Total $7,500 (room & board included) $4,750 (room & board not included)
Down Payment (due by May 10, 2024) $1,500 (non-refundable)* $1,500 (non-refundable)*
Remainder (due by May 31, 2024) $6,000 $3,250

Online Applications

Applications open December 1st, 2023 and close on April 30th, 2024. Spots are limited, so apply early to secure your summer camp experience. Applications are reviewed upon receipt and accepted on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. The final roster will be set no later than May 10th, 2024.