FAQs for Parents

Q: Who can participate in Yorktown crew?

A: For the 2015-2016 season 8th through 12th graders are allowed to participate in the Crew program.

Q: Who manages the activities of Yorktown crew?

A: The activities of Yorktown crew are managed through the collaborative efforts of the Yorktown crew Boosters, the Yorktown crew coaches, and the Yorktown athletic department.

Q: What is a boat party?
A: A boat party is a dinner party held on the Friday night before a regatta at a rower's house. A boat party usually is for the nine members of an individual boat. Parents take turns sponsoring the parties, and the rowers attending contribute food. The meal usually includes a pasta dish provided by the sponsoring family, for the all-important carbohydrate loading.

Q: What’s this spring break trip all about?
A: Crew continues throughout spring break. This is the largest and most intense team-bonding experience of the training season, and often gives crews the boost they need to reach their best performance potential in the spring. Since 2004, the crew has gone to a rowing camp in South Carolina affiliated with Clemson University. The facility is on the water, and rowers stay in cabin-like dorms and eat in the cafeteria. It is a wonderful opportunity for the rowers to get on the water and for the coaches to see their rowers in action. The weather is usually milder than it is in Northern Virginia at that time of the year, which is a nice respite from the conditions on the Potomac – many crews that remain in DC are unable to practice every day, while we are able to maximize our training time. There is a fee for attending the camp and for 2016 it is estimated to be between $515 and $550.

Q: How does the point system work?
A: Because Yorktown crew is a club sport, the team receives some financial support from the county but must come up with the bulk of its operating budget by relying on the contributions of rowers, through dues, and the fundraising activities of the crew boosters -- that is, the parents.

All crew families participate in fundraising (unless they pay to opt out of fundraising responsibilities at the time of registration) and other volunteer activities throughout the year. Each family must earn a total of 50 points if they have one athlete, or 75 points if they have more than one. Families new to the crew team are only required to earn 35 points their first year. Points are earned on the basis of the rower family’s participation in both mandatory and additional activities. Each crew activity has a coordinator, and one can sign up by phoning or e-mailing the activity coordinator or by using the sign-up rosters at the major crew boosters' meetings in October and February. Participation in an event will be recorded by each activity coordinator/supervisor, and earned points for each rower unit will be posted on this website. For more on points, go to FUNDRAISING in the Parents section of the website.

Q: What are parent responsibilities at regattas?
A: There are a variety of volunteer jobs for parents at regattas, ranging from staffing the food tent to driving a launch boat for a judge-referee. Yorktown has a parent coordinator who oversees volunteer jobs that are assigned to us by VASRA. Many if not most volunteer positions are flexible in terms of taking a break to see your child race, so be sure to discuss your schedule with the coordinator.

Q: Is there food available at the regattas, or will my kids need to bring a lunch with them every Saturday?
A: The club sets up a “food tent” at every regatta to provide food for the rowers (and their families). Families may donate suggested food items; a typical food contribution might be two loaves of wheat bread, a jar of peanut butter, pasta salad, a two-liter carton of orange juice, veggies and dip, fresh fruit, or a case of bottled water or Gatorade. The food coordinator for the regatta will email the team letting them know what is needed. (Monetary contributions also are always welcome!) Parents take turns putting out food, making sandwiches, keeping the area clean, and taking the tent down and packing up the trailer at the end of the day. At Occoquan regattas, there are also two concession stands where food can be purchased.

Q: How much does it cost to participate in YHS Crew?
A: Costs include registration, a uniform, spring break trip, weekend competitions, and away regatta costs.  Specifics are available on the Financial Overview page.

Q: Why does crew cost so much?
A: As parents, we pay for the boathouse racks and motorboat launch rental, new shells and shell maintenance, and new equipment, such as ergs and launches. Arlington County assists by providing school buses for transportation and offsets some of the regatta fees.

Q: Are there any other required/optional expenses?
A: Additional expenses can include boat parties, food donations for regattas, out-of-town regatta travel, practice clothing, and fundraising-related expenses.

Q: Other than paying dues, are there any expectations of the parents?
A: Parents are expected to help Yorktown fulfill its duties in supplying volunteers for VASRA events and to make sure the volunteer positions within the Yorktown crew boosters organization are covered throughout the year.