skip navigation

Overview of Programs

Bare Hill Rowing Association (BHRA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Harvard, Massachusetts, formed to promote the sport of rowing in the greater community. The club is dedicated to inspiring a lifelong passion for rowing. BHRA provides scholastic and community-based rowing programs for youth and adults, primarily on beautiful Bare Hill Pond. BHRA programs are designed to provide every participant with the opportunity to succeed within his/her own skill set and age level. Equally important, BHRA strives to develop sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership skills and overall fitness through its rowing programs.

The Competitive Program

The Competitive Program is known as Bromfield Acton-Boxborough (BAB) rowing. BAB is the interscholastic rowing program of BHRA for Harvard and Acton-Boxborough students in grades 8 through 12. The program is structured as a progression beginning in 8th grade with an emphasis on sculling. Sweep rowing is introduced at the Novice level, 9th grade and above. Novice and Varsity rowers have the opportunity to compete in both disciplines. The progression is designed to allow all athletes to participate and race at levels that support their appropriate physical, technical and mental development, while learning to love the sport.

BAB members must be full-time students at the Bromfield School, R.J. Grey Junior High School or Acton-Boxborough Regional High School or a Harvard resident students who attend a publicly funded charter, technical or vocational school are eligible to join the program.  Because rowing is not an MIAA sport and neither school district sponsors the sport of rowing, BAB operates as an independent club, with the Bromfield School and other Harvard schools as the principal schools. Based on current regulations, the composition of the BAB team must be no less than 51% Bromfield students (inclusive of the Bromfield-only school year Learn to Row program) and no more than 49% Acton-Boxborough students.

Depending upon age and experience, athletes are divided into Eighth Grade, Novice and Varsity teams:

See frequently asked questions about the competitive program.


  • The Eighth Grade Sculling Team is a co-ed team comprised of athletes from the Bromfield School and R.J. Grey Junior High School plus Harvard charter and vocational schools who will learn to scull (row with two oars) exclusively. No prior rowing experience is required. Eighth grade athletes will compete in 2-3 sculling races per season.
  • The Boys' and Girls' Novice Teams are made up of athletes with no prior rowing experience or who have not competed in sweep events for more than one year. Novices are exposed to both sculling and sweep rowing and compete against similarly experienced rowers from other schools in both the spring and fall seasons.
  • The Boys' and Girls' Varsity Teams are comprised of athletes with typically two or more seasons of competitive sweep rowing experience. These teams compete against other top public and private schools and club programs from all over the Northeastern United States in 1,500 and 2,000 meter races in the spring season. In the fall, rowers compete in several longer head races throughout the Northeast, including the premiere head race in the world – The Head of the Charles.

The Registration Fee covers program operational expenses such as user fees to the town and school, coach’s salaries, race entry fees, insurance and other overhead costs. The Equipment Fee is a 'per rower' cost that helps the club provide and sustain equipment for all athletes. The program does not receive funding from either school or the Town of Harvard. Community fundraising efforts help purchase additional equipment such as boats and oars.

Experienced Adult and Collegiate Rowing

BHRA has active adult programs for beginner and experienced adults. Summer Learn to Row provides recreational instruction for those new to the sport. Swimming proficiency is required. Experienced adult and collegiate rowers can row on their own using BHRA equipment from April through October. Whether you rowed years ago in high school or college, or you’re just looking for a fun way to exercise, we’d love to have you join us! College students are also welcome to row and train with us during school breaks and the summer.

ERGON Adult Indoor Rowing Fitness

ERGON is a dynamic indoor rowing-based adult group fitness program that uses the ergometer as the centerpiece of training, similar to a spinning class. ERGON features all over low-impact, aerobic conditioning with individualized workouts in a non-intimidating atmosphere regardless of experience or fitness level. Multi-week sessions are available. Come get your ERGON!

Learn to Row

BHRA offers two Learn to Row (LTR) programs: School year LTR and Summer Youth and Adult LTR.

School year LTR is open only to Bromfield School 6th and 7th graders. The program is an introduction to rowing for beginners and classes are small. There is an emphasis on age appropriate development and building a strong foundation in proper technique. When ready, young LTR athletes have the opportunity to compete in local middle school regattas. School year LTR participants practice one day a week on Saturdays, which includes rowing on the water and  land activities for several Saturdays during the fall and spring seasons.

Summer LTR is a recreational program offered to youth and adults in the Harvard and the surrounding communities. Similar to its school year counterpart, summer LTR programs are designed for beginners. The goal is to introduce rowing in a fun way that promotes an interest in and appreciation of the sport for life.

Summer Rowing

BHRA offers both competitive and recreational rowing opportunities during the summer. Our competitive summer program features training and race opportunities for experienced rowers. Recreational Learn to Row programs for youth and adults introduce beginners to the sport in a non-competitive way. Opportunities for experienced adults and collegiate athletes to row during the summer are also available.

Winter Training

BHRA winter training is designed to promote strength, flexibility and cross training during the off-season. It focuses on enhancing cardio fitness, core and muscular strength. While the program is optional for team members, athletes who are not participating in other winter sports will find this a great resource for staying in shape and increasing overall strength. Running from the first Monday after Thanksgiving until February break for athletes in grades 9 through 12, the program offers a variety of activities such as ergometer work, cardio/core circuits, weight lifting and yoga for all skill levels. Fitness assessments are provided before you begin strength training. Participants have the option of signing up for 1*, 2, 3 or 5-day programs.
*The 1-day program is seen as a supplemental day for those athletes doing another winter sport who might have a free day to join one of our sessions.

Eighth Grade program: special 1 or 2-day a week training sessions on ergometers, running for six Mondays and Thursdays in January and February, are offered to our 8th grade rowers. Consistent with our 8th grade curriculum, the informal Monday and Thursday sessions will offer developmentally appropriate instruction for 8th graders and enable our youngest rowers to stay engaged in the sport on the days of their choice while balancing other middle school interests and activities.

Contact Information

Further program details are added to the website based upon the season. See our latest offerings for current program information on costs, dates and other requirements.

If you have questions about our programs, please contact BHRA Program Director, CB Sands Bohrer

BHRA does not want financial constraints to limit an athlete from rowing. We provide financial aid and scholarship assistance to those that require it. Requests and discussions about financial aid and scholarship assistance are strictly confidential. For more information, please contact BHRA Scholarship and Financial Assistance Team.