First Time Rowing

Learn to Row

BARC offers training classes in Spring-Summer for first-time rowers. The Learn to Row Course, consisting of 4 x 2 hour weekend sessions is offered for individuals who plan to pursue rowing at BARC. Students are required to attend all four sessions, with no planned absences. Upon successful graduation from the course, you are entitled to a free one-month trial membership to the club. All classes will run through two consecutive weekends, Saturday and Sunday. Classes start promptly at 8:30 am.

Cost: $125 per person

Try It You'll Like It (TIYLI)

TIYLI is perfect for those wanting to get a taste of rowing. During your two hour session, you will progress through various stations to offer you the full rowing experience.

Cost: $40 per person

BSA Rowing Merit Badge

The classes cover all the requirements for the BSA Rowing Merit Badge (sliding seat rowboat option). It includes two sessions: 1 x two-hour session (Thursday 6:00 to 8:00 pm) covering the off-the-water activities and 1 x three-hour session on the weekend (8:30 to 11:30 am) for the on-the-water activities. For more information on requirements and logistics: BSA Rowing Merit Badge Info Sheet 2023

Cost: $40 per person

SPECIAL NOTICE: Learn to Row classes and Try It You'll Like It sections have been limited to no more than four (4) students per session. BSA Rowing Merit Badge sessions are limited to no more than six (6) students per session. MASKS ARE OPTIONAL while in our boathouse. IF YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE OR HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, please stay home.

Minimum Agility and Attendance Requirements

Rowing is a strenuous activity, requiring flexibility and agility on the part of students. At a minimum, students must affirm they are capable of the following in order to register for the course:

1) I am a strong swimmer and able to tread water for 10 minutes, unaided and unassisted, with no fear of water

2) I am able to do moderate exercise for an hour

3) I weigh less than 220 pounds

4) I am able to sit down on the floor unaided by furniture from a standing position, and then stand back up, thus simulating getting into/out of a boat

5) I am least 14 years of age and if under 18, acknowledge that I must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or US Rowing SafeSport certified volunteer

6) I am committed to taking all four sessions of the Learn to Row course, with no planned absences.

7) BSA Rowing Merit Badge students must comply with any additional requirements in the BSA Rowing Merit Badge Info Sheet 2023 above.

Learn to Row Schedule of Classes for 2023:

Class #1: April 22, 23, 29, 30

Class #2: May 20, 21, 27, 28

Class #3: June 17, 18, 24, 25

Class #4: July 22, 23, 29, 30

Class #5: August 19, 20, 26, 27

Class #6: September 30, Oct 1, 7, 8

Try It You'll Like It Sections for June 10, 2023:

Section A: 9:00am to 11:00am

Section B: 9:30am to 11:30am

Section C: 10:00am to 12:00pm

BSA Rowing Merit Badge:

Session 2: September 7 & 10, 2023

Reservations and Payment

Follow the steps below in order to register for the Learn to Row course, TIYLI section, or BSA Rowing Merit Badge session.

1) Review and ensure that you meet the Minimum Agility and Attendance Requirements shown above and if relevant, the BSA Rowing Merit Badge Info Sheet.

2) Select your desired class and quantity of seats and submit your payment by using the PayPal button below. If a class is full, you will be redirected back to our website where you can try a different class. Please note that payment reserves your spot(s) in the class and is therefore subject to the cancellation terms in the FAQ section below.

3) Once payment is completed, a member of our club will reach out to you with a welcome email prompting you to complete and return the following forms to the class coordinator: Student Background Form, Emergency Contact Form, BARC Waiver, and Medical Form. Learn To Row students will also recieve a Membership Form. BSA Rowing Merit Badge students will be emailed a specific set of instructions.

For any questions, please send an email to

Learn To Row Classes

Try It You'll Like It

BSA Rowing Merit Badge


What if I already know how to row?

BARC requires a "Check Out" for all experienced rowers before joining the club. Please see our join page for more information.

What if the class dates don’t fit into my schedule? Can I take private lessons?

BARC is an all-volunteer club, so member availability to teach private lessons is limited. For information on availability and instructor fees for private lessons, please send an e-mail to Once your reservation is confirmed for private lessons, please download and familiarize yourself with our BARC Private Rowing Lesson checklist prior to your lesson.

What if I have to cancel?

The course fee will be refunded on two conditions:

  1. Notice of cancellation must be given no later than 72 hours before class, by Tuesday, in other words, for a Saturday class, and
  2. Another student can be found to fill the canceled spot.

What type of clothing should I wear?

The best clothing for rowing is bike shorts and a t-shirt. In the winter, layers are helpful as you will warm up once you start rowing. Avoid bulky clothing.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes! At some point, you will fall into the water – it happens to everyone. In addition, a certain degree of flexibility and agility is required as learning to row is a strenuous activity. Please see our Flexibility & Agility guidelines, above.

Where do you row?

Lake Mark Kramer (also known as Mud Lake or Pasadena Lake) in Harris County Clear Lake Park; please see our map here.

Rowing Improvement and Tips

For rowing improvement resources for all experience levels, go to our links page by clicking here.

For a curated playlist of sculling technique videos, go to our youtube playlist by clicking here.

Learn To Row

2023 class schedule has now
posted in Learn to Row

BARC Distance Challenge

Updated for July, 2023
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