On a more personal note…our summer camp philosophy:


  • USCG 100-ton Captain’s License
  • PADI Dive Master
  • BS Management, Northern Illinois University
  • Married, father of two boys and one girl
  • Not a "know-it-all!"


Camp Director - CAPTAIn don
ABOUT US
From the founders of Triangle Boat Tours and Elegant Yacht Vacations...

Boating and the outdoors has been our passion for the last 20 years and we are committed to sharing its many benefits with other families and children. Even after 8 years of sailing in some of the world’s premiere cruising areas, Jordan Lake was a treasure to discover in our backyard here in the Triangle. With fish jumping and bald eagles soaring, 180 miles of shoreline to explore, plus no housing or development to spoil the views, we always return feeling refreshed and like we’ve experienced something special…true quality time!  What could be better than sharing it with our customers and friends?

Owners, Don & Heidi Watkins, were in professional yachting aboard 50-120 foot sailing and motor yachts, private and charter, in 40+ countries around the world prior to relocating to North Carolina ten years ago....


                                               All that being said…the focus is on YOU and FUN!


After 8 years in the Caribbean yachting industry, we “swallowed the anchor” and moved to North Carolina just in time for the birth of our first son.  Living aboard yachts, we were immersed in nature and the elements around the clock, and we believe being outdoors is like looking through God’s window.  Awe, wonder, and beauty abound.  It is our dream and passion for our children to experience the outdoors in a very real and authentic way, and for our family to meet and share these experiences with other families and children from all walks of life….


We have no TV or video games in our home.  We want our kids to know where eggs come from (and eat fresh ones too), witness cows birth calves, plant seeds and watch them explode with life, kiss and hug llamas, dig in the dirt every single day, and sculpt imaginary kingdoms from pine straw, pebbles, and twigs.   This year, my children will learn to sail…we are fortunate to be down the road from the lake.


We strive to provide a warm and nurturing atmosphere, with plenty of water, mud, open space, and a few creatures…and kids’ minds and bodies do the rest.  Our goal is to help kids live the childhood they are meant to – and not rush it.  Without the distractions of the modern life, kid’s innate sense of wonder and imagination takes over, and they savor simple treasures, learn new things, and enjoy carefree timelessness.


Campers are outdoors 98% of the time rain or shine. They love it (as they are dressed for it!)   We also believe in small groups - children and their parents are NOT numbers to us - so our programs are structured with a minimum of 5:1 camper to counselor ratio, often even better.  This allows for loads of personal attention and a true quality connection.  


Whether your child is pre-school age (SunStarFarm.com) or school age (JordanLakeBoatingCamp.com) and (NCTinkeringSchool.com), our programs are designed to delight and educate, and provide the highest standard of quality care, safety, and encouragement for your child to grow.  


At the end of a fun day, our simple wish is that families go home closer to nature and closer to their children.  Our yachting travels make for good sea stories, but pale in comparison to the wild adventure of parenthood and business ownership – we love what we do!  We are very honored to have a place in your child's life to help them grow and thrive...  


One last thing - for summer 2019 we are formalizing our Counselor-In-Leadership Training and Junior Counselor program to set a path forward for campers who are "gung ho" boating/fishing/paddling.  I wish to encourage campers to think and dream of the future, and get boating and leadership skills that will prepare them for the workforce.  I've been fortunate to have campers who've been with us for the last 7 years and wish to grow.  Plus, I've had the honor to have young counselors work with me for 4+ years then go on to great things on and off the water.  Boating, ships and the sea are the perfect canvas to build character, decision-making, and life skills.


                                                                                                            Fair winds and following seas,


                                                                                                            Don & Heidi Watkins


Summer Camp in Apex, NC

Limited Space - Register TODAY!


Jordan Lake Boating Camp


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