Penn AC Gold

“Penn AC Gold changed my life…  Go there to become a rower, to learn how to row and live well.” Ben Chuter, Penn AC Gold 2010

Penn AC Gold Title Page 2018

Junior Program Overview

Penn AC Gold (Men’s & Women’s Junior Programs) provides high school male and female athletes with the complete competitive summer racing experience. Our goal is to instruct athletes on all aspects of rowing necessary to prepare for collegiate and national level competition. 

We are not a recreational summer rowing camp. Our goal is to promote learning, teamwork, and competitiveness by providing education, setting common standards, and expecting accountability. It is our belief that rowing success is built upon a foundation of hard work, teamwork, discipline & determination, mental toughness, technical skill, and physical ability. Penn AC Gold will provide you the opportunity to challenge yourself in all of those areas.  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.

Penn AC Rowing Association is structured to provide a team atmosphere that is unparalleled. Our athletes are part of a larger structure made up of collegiate athletes as well as Elite athletes training to make the US Senior National Team. Penn AC Gold athletes will have the opportunity to train and learn what is necessary to reach that level. At the same time, our program introduces athletes to past and current Penn AC coaches and athletes who are World and Olympic Medalists.

Program Dates
Start Date* End Date
Session June 12, 2018 July 15, 2018
*Start Date: Rowing starts on June 13th but athletes must arrive in Philadelphia on June 12th.

Final regatta will be the US Rowing Club Nationals on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ.

Program Details

Penn AC Gold is a competitive and intensive summer rowing program for high school athletes operating out of Penn AC Rowing Association in Philadelphia, PA. We strive to educate and prepare athletes to handle all aspects of rowing necessary for top-level competition:

  • Technique
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Flexibility
  • Mental Training and Race Preparation
  • Proper Nutrition
  • Coxing – Practice and Race Preparation
  • Team Building – Leadership and Communication Skills

Housing in University of Pennsylvania dorms, meals, and all travel expenses are included in the cost of the program. Local athletes opting out of room and board will receive a reduced rate. Coaching staff and chaperones will live in the dormitories with the athletes.

Junior Coaching Staff
Director of Programs – Paul Coomes
Head Junior CoachDavid Lindstrom
Men’s Staff
Associate Head Coach:  David Herrick
Assistant Coach:  Julian Stephanski
Women’s Staff
Associate Head Coach:  David Hammond
Assistant Coach:  Emilie Muller
Daily Schedule

Penn AC Gold offers a comprehensive program which provides 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 University of Pennsylvania
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 University of Pennsylvania
18:30 – Dinner
21:00 – Bed

Practice Sessions

Training during camp will not only include twice daily workouts and learning on the water, but also classroom sessions. Our goal is to create a competitive environment where the athletes are challenged on a daily basis 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 and 2-3 sessions in the classroom, erg room, and/or weight room.

Athlete Leadership Development Program

New this year, Penn AC is excited to be partnering with the Drexel Sports Leadership Academy (DLSA) to offer high-level athlete leadership development programming. Weekly programming will include:

1. Mental Toughness for Athletes
2. Positvely Managing Change
3. Imagery in Sport – Preparation for Race Day
4. Learn from Me – A Panel Presentation of National Team Alu ni
5. Navigating College Admissions and Recruiting

Each session will be staffed by a professional facilitator and all course materials are included in the camp fee.

Eligible Athletes

For 2018, Penn AC Gold will accept applications for the following categories:

U19 Team: Maximum of 20 male athletes; 3 coxswains Maximum of 20 female athletes; 3 coxswains
High school rowers born in the year 2000 or after who have at least 1 to 2 years of rowing or sculling experience. Novices who are upperclassmen are encouraged to apply.  A rower can compete in the U19 category through December 31st of the year of their 18th birthday.
U17 Team: Maximum of 8 male athletes; 1 coxswains Maximum of 8 female athletes; 1 coxswains
High school freshmen and sophomores born in the year 2002 or after who have at least 1 year of sweep and sculling experience.  A rower can compete in the U17 category through December 31st of the year of the their 16th birthday.
Team Selection 

At Penn AC, we have a tradition of winning for over a century. Since the club’s first recorded victory in the pair oared cup race of the 1882 Schuylkill Navy Regatta, it has continued to plaster its walls with plaques, pennants, and banners, testimonies to its success. Today, we perpetuate 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 20 current National Team members have trained and raced for Penn AC.

Simply put, we are looking for young men and women who want to be the best. Penn AC Gold is a high level camp with limited spots available. The selection process is competitive and we will use the following criteria to select the group. Lightweight rowers are encouraged to apply and will be considered.
1. Erg Testing
2. Race Results
3. Technique
4. Coach’s Recommendations
5. Physiological Characteristics (height, weight, wingspan)
6. Age (the roster will be comprised of both U19 and U17 athletes)

Coaching Recommendations 

Athlete’s are encouraged to provide a recommendation from their current coach. Recommendations should be emailed to the Director of Programs (, before the close of registration on April 16, 2018.


Rowers are encouraged to provide video and coxswains are encouraged to provide audio/video recordings of practices/races. Files should be shared via links 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 Programs (

Erg Standards

The below erg times are recommendations and are not the only measures we will use to select the final roster of athletes. We will evaluate the athletes based on several criteria, as indicated in the Team Selection section.

2k Erg Score 6k Erg Score
U19 Men: 6:45 or better 21:50 or better
U19 Women: 7:45 or better 25:00 or better
U17 Men: 7:00 or better 22:50 or better
U17 Women: 8:00 or better 26:00 or better
Program Tuition
Tuition Out-of-town Athletes Local Athletes
Total $6800 (includes housing and meal plan) $3800 (no housing or meal plan)
Down Payment (due by April 30, 2018) $1500 (non-refundable) $1500 (non-refundable)
Remainder (due by June 1, 2018) $5300 $2300
Online Applications

Applications open January 10, 2018 and close on April 16, 2018. Accepted athletes will be notified at the latest by April 16th, 2018. Athletes who wish to apply to the Penn AC Gold Program must register by clicking the Penn AC Gold Summer Junior Camp Application Button below.

Team Trophies

Penn AC Gold athletes will unite with Penn AC’s U23 High Performance Program, and the High Performance Group (HPG) to compete for the following trophies:

Regatta Awards
Independence Day Regatta Mariner Points Trophy
US Rowing Club Nationals Overall Team Points Trophy
Sulgar-Barnes Points Trophy (Overall Men’s)
Marion D. Ventura Points Trophy (Overall Women’s)