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Welcome to Robinson Crew!


For many parents this is your first experience with crew, and you likely have a lot of questions.  The RCBC (Robinson Crew Booster Club) has put together the following list of frequently asked questions and answers.  For more details please feel free to contact any of the board members.

Click here to catch up on information presented at our 2023-2024 General Membership Meeting.

When does the season start?

Crew is a spring sport at Robinson but the team begins winter conditioning at the end of November.  To prepare for the spring season, every rower (unless participating in a winter sport) is strongly encouraged to participate in winter land training.  Winter conditioning is held at after school at Robinson and runs through the end of February.  In late February water training begins and practices shift to Sandy Run.  Regatta season runs March through May; events take place on Saturdays.  For more information about regattas, please check out the dedicated information page.


How do I get my child to practice?

No special transportation is provided for winter conditioning as the rowers meet at Robinson.  Once practices shift to Sandy Run, parents have the option of utilizing the RCBC carpool to get their athlete to the boathouse.  Parents are responsible for picking their athlete up from practice but many families coordinate this on their own.

How is information shared with rowers and parents?

In addition to website, the team uses email and a tool called Slack to communicate amongst the coaches, rowers, and parents.  The coaches will typically communicate directly with the athletes via slack or email and the board will send updates to parents via email and slack.  It is highly recommended that parents download Slack from the Google or Apple app store and create their own accounts.  Please contact a board member to request access to the Robinson Crew Team Slack channel.

Slack - Google Play

Slack - Apple App Store

Why do the novices have to complete a swim test and what is required?

All new rowers must be able to swim as practices and regattas are held on the Occoquan Reservoir.  Rowers don’t need to be fast swimmers, but they need to demonstrate basic swimming skills at a swim test in a swimming pool.  The swim test will be held during winter training.  Rowers must swim 100m and then tread water for 2 minutes without resting.

What are these volunteering points I keep hearing about?

Robinson Crew is a competitive varsity sport that receives no funding from Robinson Secondary School or FCPS.  Throughout the season, RCBC organizes fundraising events to supplement our operating budget and keep our registration fees stable.  To ensure that all families contribute to the team, RCBC established a membership obligation system.  You can read more about it here.

Is there any special gear or equipment I need to buy?

The only required gear/equipment that you need to purchase is the team unisuit (uni) and long sleeve spandex shirt.  Your registration fee covers all other equipment, i.e. boats, oars, etc.  That being said, the team practices and competes in harsh weather conditions.  Weather can change quickly, so always be prepared for heat, sun, wind, rain, or cold.  Here is a list of recommended clothing and equipment all athletes should have with them:

  • Water bottle!  There are water fountains at the boathouse, but athletes need drinking water while out in the boats, in cold or warm weather.

  • Running shoes, athletes run after practice.

  • Nylon or synthetic shorts or warm-up pants. Athletes must wear form-fitting shorts or pants. Loose or baggy shorts or pants are not allowed, as they may get caught in the boat slides.

  • A short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt made from technical fabric such as Under Armor, Patagonia Capilene, or COOLMAX. These fabrics keep you warmer and drier by wicking moisture away from skin.

  • A polar fleece jacket or sweatshirt.

  • A knit hat (not a baseball cap) during cold weather.

  • Sunglasses (or a baseball cap for warmer weather) to protect your eyes from the glare reflecting off the water.

  • Gloves.

  • Rain gear.

  • EXTRA CLOTHES. It is likely that you will get wet while out rowing. Water splashes, and occasionally the wake from a motor launch can splash over the gunwale of the boat, leaving you drenched. It's a necessity to have a warm, dry changes of clothes.

  • Sunscreen.

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