The Fernwood Cove waterfront provides a beautiful and safe environment for campers to each of the waterfront activities Fernwood Cove has to offer. Campers are able to enjoy water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, stand up paddling, kayaking, crew, canoeing, and swimming in the clean, quiet waters of Island Pond.

All campers, CITs and staff participate in a Deep Water Swim Test at the beginning of camp. The swim test allows the swimming instructors to evaluate each camper’s technical swimming ability as well as their endurance, comfort in the water, and ability to swim in deep water. Campers are placed into Swim Levels using the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program, and are scheduled by swim level for instructional swim classes. Campers, CITs and staff must successfully complete the Deep Water Swim Test to be able to participate in kayaking, crew, sailing, stand up paddling, water skiing, wakeboarding, as well as water-based Trip Day options.

All waterfront counselors are experienced in their respective activity, with many holding nationally recognized instructor level qualifications. Additionally, waterfront staff are certified in Lifeguarding and participate in additional waterfront training. Counselors who instruct water skiing, wakeboarding, and sailing receive additional training, including Powerboat Safety training through the U.S. Sailing Association.


At Fernwood Cove we feel that swimming is a foundational skill for each camper. The Fernwood Cove Swimming program provides campers with skill-based instruction, helping to ensure skill acquisition and mastery. Each camper will participate in a week of swimming activities unless she is in 7th – 9th grades and completed Level 5 of the Learn to Swim Program. Campers can also choose to participate in Fitness Swimmer, focusing more on endurance and overall fitness, to complete their swimming requirement. There is a daily free swim period each day where campers can enjoy the dive docks, waterslide, or water trampoline


The quiet waters of Island Pond is an ideal setting for Fernwood Cove campers to learn to canoe. Canoeing is open to all Fernwood Cove campers, however campers in 2nd- 5th grades will be required to participate in one week of canoeing. The Fernwood Cove Canoeing program utilizes a skill development program that ensures campers learn the basics of paddling before progressing to technical, high level skills. Older campers are able to utilize their canoeing skills on our overnight paddling trips or transfer their paddling skills and knowledge to participate in our Kayaking program.


The Fernwood Cove Kayaking program provides the perfect opportunity for campers to continue developing their paddling skills. Our traditional kayaking program provides individualized instruction for campers of all skill levels, ensuring continued learning and skill development. Our river kayaking option provides a true paddling challenge for campers in 6th – 9th grades, focusing on advanced paddling skills, self-rescues and rolls. Campers participating in river kayaking have the opportunity to participate in an entry level river trip where they put their advanced skills to work.


The Fernwood Cove Crew program provides campers in 5th grades and up the opportunity to learn the technical aspects of rowing while also learning life skills like teamwork and communication. Advanced rowing options are also available for campers looking for an increased technical and fitness challenge.

Stand Up Paddling

Stand Up Paddling is one of the most popular activities and provides full-body fitness options. The Fernwood Cove Stand Up Paddling program provides campers of all ages the opportunity to learn the basics of paddling while also improving their balance, coordination and fitness. Counselors also offer more advanced options, including SUP Yoga, further challenging campers as they enjoy the waters of Island Pond. Campers are also able to challenge themselves on nearby lakes and coast waterways through Trip Day options.


Breezy days on Island Pond provide the perfect setting for Fernwood Cove campers to learn the skills of sailing. Campers learn to assemble, maneuver, and disassemble their sailboats in a safe and appropriate manner. A variety of sailboats provides campers of all ages and abilities an appropriate learning environment. Campers are given opportunities for solo sailing as their skills and abilities advance through the Fernwood Cove Sailing program.

Water Skiing & Wakeboarding

The Fernwood Cove water skiing and wakeboarding program continues to be one of the most popular among campers of all ages. Younger campers learn the basics of water skiing and wakeboarding on Island Pond, where our jet-ski based program provides a welcoming, non-intimidating learning environment. Our older campers are able to develop their skills in our out-of-camp program utilizing two wakeboarding and water ski boats. Counselors provide individualized attention to campers of all ages and abilities while focusing on safety and appropriate skill development.