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  • CYC Office: 207.236.7033

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Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program


For more than a century, as the waters of Penobscot Bay warm and Camden Harbor stirs to life after a long winter, scores of young people have learned to harness the power of wind to move boats of all sizes effortlessly through Maine’s welcoming waters. Generations of children, at first apprehensive and timid, have developed the skills and knowledge from their older counterparts to feel competent and comfortable on the harbor’s waters and beyond.


Thanks to the Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program (CAYSP), children can begin to learn about the power of wind and water. There are abundant opportunities for novice sailors to hone their skills in both Optimists and RS Quests. Young sailors may progress to either non-racing expedition sailing or racing in Optimists and 420’s. Many CAYSP graduates have gone on to race at the college level.  CAYSP has twice hosted the Sailing Junior Olympics.


CAYSP is committed to promoting the sport of sailing to the community of Camden and surrounding areas.  You don’t need to be related to a member of Camden Yacht Club to participate in CAYSP.  Cyrus Curtis gifted the land on which the yacht club sits to the town of Camden in 1906 so that the club could provide this type of educational opportunity to the community.  To expand community wide participation, Camden Yacht Club formed the Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2008.  Camden Yacht Club and individual members provide over $50,000 in annual support to the program with the aim of providing affordable sailing education. In 2020, CAYSP programs provided on-the-water education to 181 young sailors and granted scholarships to those who otherwise might never have made it onto a sailboat.


Camden, Maine has a rich history of sailing dating back to the original settlers of this community.  It is the goal of CAYSP to keep the tradition of sailing alive and to pass it from one generation to the next.  Those who love the feel of a fresh breeze on their face as they confidently pilot a sailboat through the choppy waters of the harbor or bay know that the future of sailing lies in passing that love affair on to the young members of our community.

© Alison Langley Photography

CAYSP Board of Directors

Mark Scheffer, President
Colleen Duggan, Vice President & Secretary
Peter Van Alstine, Treasurer
Joe Cloutier
Kim Daly
Sue Pfau
Galen Todd
Victor Worms

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