The Waterfront

Brown Ledge is fortunate to be located on a spot so conducive to the demands of a complete waterfront program. Situated on a point of land in Malletts Bay, the largest bay of Lake Champlain, Brown Ledge has excellent access to the water. In terms of both performance and safety, our location is ideal for the instruction of all the water sports we provide.

Sailing, windsurfing, swimming, diving, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and canoeing operate simultaneously within the sight of the waterfront director. The open bay offers appropriate wind and space to the sailor, while our cove and island provide necessary protection for the other activities.

In addition to daily waterfront activities, Brown Ledge offers Red Cross courses in basic rescue and lifeguard training, a variety of water based overnight trips, swim and sailing teams, and an Aqua-Ski Show.

Sailing & Windsurfing

Sailing

Sailing – an art, a science, and a lot of fun! Whether you’re skipper or crew, your skills are in immediate demand. At Brown Ledge it is always possible to “just go for a sail” but for those who are – or wish to be – sailors, rigorous instruction is available. Learn to rig your own boat, plot your own course, respond to weather, and race in intra-camp and inter-club regattas.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a popular sport at Brown Ledge. At least one of our senior sailing staff members, if not more, is primarily a windsurfer per passion and skills. Over the years, and with the help of better equipment for beginners, we have been able to ease the sharp learning curve of windsurfing. With wider boards and slightly smaller sails, even novices can soon be seen racing through the less choppy waters of the bay.

Location and Fleet

Our fleet includes race-equipped Vanguard Flying juniors, Lasers, a Laser II, a Vanguard 15, a J-22 and a variety of windsurfing boards and sails. We are fortunate to be on Mallets Bay, which is about a mile and a half in diameter, and provides an excellent location for racing and recreational sailing. Campers who wish to participate in either sailing or windsurfing must pass a safety swimming test before heading out for a sail; in addition, a power boat is always on hand for safety purposes. All of our ‘every day’ sailing takes place within sight of our sailing dock. Special events, and the sailing overnight, occur only with the oversight of a safety boat.

Swimming

The key to all waterfront activity is swimming. It is an activity that almost all Brown Ledgers enjoy, particularly on the hottest summer days.

Whether you are interested in swimming as recreation or in competition, our staff is here to assist. As in all activities, there are three levels of competency in swimming – basic, intermediate and vanguard. These are designed as a fun yet challenging way of progressing from beginner to accomplished swimmer. Instruction is available for types of strokes, forms, racing training and techniques, as well as for synchronized swimming. Our annual Aquacade and Red Cross courses in Lifeguard Training and First Aid add much to daily instruction.

The camp swim team competes against neighboring camps and clubs and provides an outlet for those interested in competition.

A camper may not participate in any of the waterfront activities until she passes our water safety test. The swim test — or “crib test” as it is known around camp — is a simple, straightforward, basic check on swimming skills. A camper needs to show basic comfort, and a minimum amount of strength, in the water. If a camper is unable to pass her crib test, the swim staff will work with her closely to have her succeed.

Diving

Diving is taught as a separate activity under the direction of a two well qualified diving instructors. It is an activity that truly provides a feeling of confidence and accomplishment.

Using the floating dock, two high towers, and a spring board, divers receive instruction in a wide variety of dives, from tucks and pikes to flips and twists. But divers also learn lessons in concentration, form and safety. In addition, those wishing to pursue the sport in greater depth have the opportunity to organize competitions, perform in the synchronized diving Aquacade event, and teach others.

Waterskiing & Wakeboarding

Waterskiing and wakeboarding are two of the most eagerly learned sports at Brown Ledge. The thrill of first “getting up” is something never forgotten. Once up and skimming along the surface of the water, the desire to master the next step seems always present.

Brown Ledge offers the necessary equipment and instruction for those wishing progress from beginner to trick and slalom skiing. In addition to on-ski instruction, lectures are given on such topics as history, form, technique, and competition. Our annual Ski Show provides an opportunity to demonstrate newly acquired skills in skiing and wakeboarding.

Above all, our insistence on the everyday use of skiing safety practices is rigorous and consistent. Click here to read about last summer’s waterskiing staff.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Although our bent is not hard core white water or endurance canoeing, campers get solid instruction in strokes, nomenclature, care and repair of equipment, small boat safety, and the pure pleasure of canoeing. After a camper earns her canoe basic, she may advance to mastering one of the 14 kayaks. She may paddle in a touring kayak or use a smaller play boat to learn a variety of freestyle tricks — the most popular of which is certainly the roll. Interest in whitewater kayaking has been on the rise in recent years. Dependent on staff expertise, whitewater river trips take place several times during the summer.

The canoeing and kayaking staff also host frequent, half–day canoe and kayaking trips. Campers head out for a morning or afternoon on the water of Malletts Bay, both for pleasure and practice of newly learned skills. Each session, a longer, overnight trip provides another opportunity for adventure, challenge and enjoyment.

Meet the Waterfront Directors - Shannon Elford and Sam Newbery

The Brown Ledge waterfront includes five departments, 20 counselors, and eight activities, all of which our Waterfront Directors, Shannon and Sam, oversee and gracefully manage. They both have gained skills over the years to help prepare them for this position. Sam studied Outdoor Adventure Education at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. She has worked in the outdoor industry since 2014 and loves being outside: Her main hobbies include rock climbing, skiing, hiking and just generally being outdoors with friends. Sam has spent five summers at BLC, four in Sailing & Windsurfing and one as the Trips & Transport Coordinator. Shannon first came to Brown Ledge as a swimming counselor, and she served as the Head of Swimming at camp in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, she transitioned to start working on the BLC team as our Operations Coordinator. Outside of camp, Shannon has spent the past several years as the Head Coach and Program Director of an all-girls rowing team in Arizona.

On the Brown Ledge waterfront, Sam and Shannon make sure that everything runs smoothly and safely. You may find them lifeguarding in swimming, doing safety checks on equipment, driving the ski boat, or keeping an eye on the incoming weather fronts. Sam and Shannon are excited to take on this role as a newly married couple and can’t wait to see everyone down on the waterfront this summer!

Meet the Sailing & Windsurfing Staff

Meet the Swimming Staff

Meet the Diving Staff

Meet the Waterskiing & Wakeboarding Staff

Meet the Canoeing & Kayaking Staff

Dive In!

Join us on Malletts Bay for the summer.

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