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Member Since 19 Feb 2009
Offline Last Active Jan 26 2015 02:24 AM

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In Topic: Teaching Newbie Kids

18 July 2011 - 02:24 AM

Similar story here too Tom Ray.
The program I have been volunteering with for 3 years was started back in the 70's by an old sailor/school teacher named Ward Bell. Ward is not with us anymore but his program lives on (not likely up to his taste in seamanship!) and his replacement may be looking for a replacement soon too.
These kinds of programs run on the power of the people that volunteer only. The village pays for the insurance for the sailing program to happen but it wouldn't happen without the volunteers. The families in that school district pay $25 for 3 weeks of 'lessons', M-F, 9 am - noon which is laughable but precludes paying instructors so they've been able to get some volunteers.

In Topic: Teaching Newbie Kids

18 July 2011 - 12:49 AM

Some great ideas for teaching squirts through teens sailing on this thread.
I just finished a 3 week community sailing program using Sunfish for 12 - 16 year olds. Everyone who participates as 'staff' is a volunteer and therefore not subject to the Jones act and we do let the kids go out in the chase boat for fun.
Sailing programs for kids can be either relaxed or very structured or somewhere in between. Ours is pretty relaxed but we see the local Opti fleets out with their young 'uns teaching them racing between 9 am and noon. I'm not sure if our kids have more fun though, just doing everything wrong: splashing each other with bailers, flirting (all from same school district), sitting on the bow yet some of them actually learn how to sail a Sunfish moderately well. I was hoping for some windier days this summer (10 - 15k) so I could show some of them how a Sunfish feels when it is up on a plane. Alas, we got only one day with enough wind worthy of getting a Sunfish on a plane the LI Sound as our winds are usually better towards evening. The kids seem to really enjoy it which makes it fairly rewarding.
The Sunfish is one of the boats that I learned to sail on back in the 1970's when things were a bit different. I sailed with friends on their boats and PFD's were thrown in the bottom boat if we had 'em. We would sail any damn place we wanted to and generally had a great time and there were no 'chase' boats. We learned to sail better from our mistakes.