As winter slowly transitions into spring many parents are already looking to safe and educational programs for their children come summer. If you are struggling with options, one well worth considering is sailing.
There are a number of different ways that you can get your child to try sailing. In fact, there are many summer sailing camps organized throughout North America, as well as other parts of the world, for children of all ages. As well as sailing camps, there are sailing courses available that can make the learning process an enjoyable and rewarding one.
Sailing is a great alternative if you have already tried other summer camp activities for kids such as tennis, soccer, swimming or golf. What makes sailing attractive as a summer camp activity for children is that it is safe and the programs are conducted by professionals. Plus, the skills your child or children will develop, they will be able to use forever.
Skills Your Child Will Develop While Learning Sailing
1. Focus, concentration, and discipline
The ability to focus and concentrate is a valuable skill everyone should have. By introducing your child to sailing they will learn this early in their lives and it will benefit them as they grow older.
With ever reducing attention spans, getting your child outside and off their smartphone or tablet and into a sport where they have to focus and concentrate, while at the same time having fun, means that they will be stretched both physically and mentally.
2. Understand the Weather
When you child starts sailing, they will have the opportunity to learn a lot more about the weather than they current know or understand. This is because they have to pay attention to it… something that they may not have really done before. These things will include identifying and understanding what weather patterns are and how conditions can quickly change.
They will see the sky and the environment in a very different way and be able to make decisions based on the size, kind, and direction of weather systems, for example. The knowledge of weather and how it changes improves their ability to adapt to situations around them and helps them to be more aware of their local surroundings.
3. Spatial Awareness
Sailing teaches children the ability to maneuver a small vessel between, around and through various kinds of obstacles. They learn how to judge distances, make turns, avoid and prevent collisions and how to speed up or slow down where needed. This awareness of where they are and the room available for these maneuvers improves coordination and also can be applied in other aspects of their life… e.g. driving a vehicle.
Boats are inherently unstable, so just sitting or standing on a boat can be challenging. Add to the fact that you have to keep a dinghy upright using your own body weight, as well as trimming sails and moving from side to side as you tack and jibe, this all improves hand-eye coordination and balance.
Mastering how to ride a bike is a big deal for many young children. Being able to skipper or crew a boat solo at a young age is quite something else. Steering, docking and sailing a boat of any size will give your child a great sense of accomplishment. It will also give them the confidence to take on many other tasks in their lives that they may not have considered possible prior to that.
Although there are a variety of boats that beginners can learn to sail on (from dinghies right up to yachts), you are never really alone. Even if your child is learning to sail in a 1-person dinghy, there will be others around them learning or to race against. They will build relationships as they learn and discover new things from others, and these relationships can end up lasting a lifetime. The communication skills and confidence gained from developing new relationships can affect all areas of their life.
Yachts and many dinghies involve multiple people as part of the crew. And the only way to successfully sail a boat of this type is through working efficiently and effectively as a team. Learning to work with and fit into a team is an important part of sailing, which is also transferable into other aspects of day-to-day life.
A large aspect of sailing camps for teenagers and kids of any age is that they learn the discipline necessary to keep a boat in proper working order and fit for operation. This includes how to properly rig and unrig a sailing dinghy which introduces the need to put and store things in their place. This encourages neatness, order and additional skills related to good behavior in caring for things. It also teaches care and respect for other people’s belongings.
There is an element of danger with sailing of any kind. However, when kids are taught by experts, this risk is negated and mitigated. There are certain things that need to be looked out for, and specific equipment used to keep everyone on the water as safe as possible. This also translates into other aspects of life, making them more aware of the dangers in day-to-day life, helping them to be safe in the real world.
Step-By-Step Learning With Summer Sailing Camps And Courses
Summer sailing camps are designed to introduce sailing basics. They are tiered in such a manner that follow-up programs and levels complement the skills and knowledge developed from previous courses. Also, depending on the specific course, programs can run for half or full days and run over a weekend or several days or weeks.
There are many different summer camps around, each having different formats. Some are dedicated sailing camps, while others can have a large array of sports and activities available, with sailing just one aspect. Finding the right camp for your child may depend on their preferences, or what is available to you where you live.
A general outline of a summer sailing camp according to age may look something like this:
Sailing basics are introduced along with age-appropriate ecology. This may include hands-on activities including time onboard a vessel sailing so they can get a better understanding of how a boat works, and what to look out for.
Older children learn the basics of rigging, sailing maneuvers, points of sail and safety/recovery. All of these lessons take place in an environment that is fun and assists in making the children comfortable in a boat. It also promotes independence in a boat and sailing situation. For older children, these skills are tested with longer durations on the water.
Depending on the specific camp, the children in this age group may be introduced to more advanced equipment. They can then improve upon their existing skills and refine how they handle their boat. This phase is usually a longer camp which can run for up to a few weeks.
Some sailing camps for teenagers feature racing programs to assist high school students who are part of a sailing team. This creates teamwork and fun competition between teams. The skills developed during these camps can be used well into adulthood.
There are also several camps that feature sailing programs to train for junior instructor positions. A junior instructor course can lay the foundation for a professional sailing career or any kind of sailing teaching application.
How To Know If Sailing Is The Right Summer Activity
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of sailing as summer sports for kids, you need to ask yourself several questions before committing to a sailing camp for your child. Then you have to ask your child another set of questions to see if they are truly interested. If you end up with more positive responses than negative ones, then sailing may just be the right choice for your child.
Here are a few things that you, and your child, may need to consider:
Before you choose a sailing camp, you have to be able to fit it into your budget. There are many different camps and courses available, all with different price points as well as offerings.
You need to look and see how much time your family is prepared to devote to a sailing with kids program during the summer. Do you have to drop the child off every day, or do they stay on location for the duration of the camp? Do parents have to supervise?
You also need to decide how far your family is willing to travel for a sailing camp if there is not one offered locally.
If your child has expressed interest in a summer camp you need to discuss with them if they would prefer a day program or a sleep-over program, and if a half- or full-day program is of interest?
You may have to also make a choice between traditional or sailing only camps. If your child wishes to attend a sailing only camp, then you may require choosing between introductory or intermediate skills development camp.
Your child may wish to master a boat themselves instead of being in a camp where several children learn together on a single dinghy.
Another question you need to have an answer to is if your child is looking to the summer sailing camp as just a form of recreation or if they are really passionate about developing their skills and desire to really master the sport.
Once you have contemplated and answered these questions, you will have a much better idea of the kind of program to try to fit with your specifications.
Summer Sports For Kids Sailing Camps in North America & Abroad
Even before summer starts, there are summer sailing camps that are designed to help kids learn to sail already scheduled in many countries around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean and Saint Lucia. In the United States, around 24 states offer programs where three provinces in Canada do the same.
Some of the summer camps are dedicated to sailing, while others offer a wide range of different sports and activities.
Here is a look at just a few of the best summer camps around:
1. Ontario, Canada
Camp Kawartha Day and Overnight Camp in Douro-Dummer have offered programs in a summer camp format for both children and teenagers since 1921. This camp has a number of water and non-water sports and activities including sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, archery, guitar, and dance.
Camp Chikopi in Magnetawan has camp staff from all over the world who teach skills on the water through their water sports program to build confidence and independence. Sailing is one of their most popular sports, with over 22 Sunfish and a few Lasers. They also have two-dozen land-based sports for your child to learn, perfect and enjoy.
2. Alberta, Canada
The Northern Alberta Sailing College (NASC) provides instruction as a non-profit society. They use Lake Wabamun in conjunction with the Wabamun Sailing Club and the Edmonton Yacht Club. Programs include a sailing program for children aged 8-13 (Junior Program), a Youth Program for those between 13-17 years old, and an Adult Program for 16+. They use the Optimist for Juniors and the 420 (Youth/Adults) and are CANSail accredited.
Catalina Sea Camp in Avalon has been providing sea adventures since 1979. Their programs include a large number of different and interesting activities, ranging from Scuba certifications to sailing as well as Marine Science and Seafood Cookery. They have 1-week and 3-week camps for ages between 8-17 years old.
Stanford Summer Sailing Camp in Stanford utilizes US Sailing certified instructors who provide fun, safety and learning in a recreational program designed to assist all kinds of sailors with year-round programs including adult camps in the summer.
4. New York
The Sports Academy at Brookwood Camps in Glen Spey offers a combination of sports and traditional camps with over 75 years of experience. Campers learn to sail with the choice of participating in weekly programs of various sports activities led by professional level instructors or broad-based general sports programs.
5. Sydney, Australia
The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron located at Kirribillion Sydney Harbour has sailing camps/courses run throughout the year for kids and teenagers aged between 8-12 & 13-17. All courses are conducted by accredited instructors in a fun and safe environment.
Wickedly Wonderful conducts week-long summer camps involving a large number of sports and activities. The sailing aspect is conducted in Laser Picos and instructions given by RYA sailors. Some of the other sports and activities on offer include kayaking, pony riding, pottery, talent shows, volleyball, etc.
The Appeal Of Sailing As A Summer Sport
Sailing is fun, relatively inexpensive and it teaches skills that can be carried into adulthood. The fact that it is also an Olympic sport may prove to be a goal for some extremely talented young sailors. Plus, as your skills develop, racing may become an option.
Sailing is also not limited to just one kind of boat.There are several classes for sailing as well as types of boats including many different types of dinghies (laser, moth, 49er), yachts, windsurfers, catamarans, and kite-boards. This allows you to grow and develop as a sailor, and switch classes/type of boat to learn new things.
Depending on individual interest, you can also be involved as little or as much as you like. Being involved with sailing can take many different forms:
It can be a casual pastime, where you just go out on the water every once in a while and enjoy a nice relaxing day out
You can be involved with serious racing, with racing held multiple times a week as well as state, national and international regattas
You can even become a professional sailor with the sport taking you all over the world, and even to the Olympics
You can become an instructor so that you can teach others how to learn to sail
Or you can just help out down at your local club.
The Added Bonuses To Sailing
In addition to the many skills you can develop through an introduction to sailing in a summer camp, there are additional benefits. They are related more to personal development and include physical fitness, relationship building by making new friends to sail and/or race with and share these experiences with and a greater sense of self. Sailing can bring you all of these benefits plus so much more!
So if you are thinking of a summer sport for your kids, you may want to consider sailing as an option. Make sure that you check out the summer sailing camps mentioned above, or sailing courses in your local area for more tips on how to teach your kids how to learn to sail.
Whether your children dream of sailing the world or just messing about on the water, the best time to learn to sail is when they are young, fearless and full of wonder.
I remember my first day out on the water, drowning in my life jacket, nervously tugging the straps tighter as I stared at the Laser. My eyes grew wider as I listened to my dad telling me something about a boom and a tiller and giving me a rope to hold on to. Then we were off, water rushing by close enough to touch, the salt spray on my skin, the wind whipping my hair and a smile that lasted for days – I was addicted.
There are many fun ways to encourage your kids to enjoy sailing and there is no better way than learn to sail holidays
The best thing about learning to sail
The best thing about learning to sail when you are a kid is that there are so many opportunities. There are sailing clubs, high school sailing teams and holiday sailing camps to join. School holidays can be spent rigging up different boats and taking part in mini regattas. Even timid children quickly gain confidence, growing bolder with every challenge and adrenaline rush. Teens can volunteer on larger keelboats and yachts, joining offshore sailing races and gaining sailing experience before getting formal qualifications.
If your child dreams about sailing the world or working in the industry, learning to sail on a smaller boat is the perfect start. When their sailing experience starts off on smaller boats, their senses become more attuned to the ocean. They learn to tell the direction of the wind by the chill on their skin and feel the movement of the water running through the boat and down the lines. They gain technical knowledge by rigging up their own boats. They are taught to trust their instincts and keep calm if something goes wrong. They are encouraged to capsize and test their limits, learning while having fun.
There are yacht charter options where you can either charter your own yacht or join like-minded sailors on a sailing adventure
There are many fun ways to encourage your kids to enjoy sailing and there is no better way than learn to sail holidays. There are yacht charter options worldwide where you can either charter your own yacht or join like-minded sailors on a sailing adventure. You can choose to go island hopping in Greece or join an expedition, making new friends while discovering places like Tonga and Samoa. If you are looking for a true sailing adventure, choose a crossing charter. It’s the ideal combination of a few days of blue water cruising and island hopping. You will all discover the thrill of the open ocean while you watch dolphins frolic at the bow of the yacht and keep watch for the glimmer of land on the horizon.
Why do people love to sail?
There’s something addictive about being out on the water, it’s thrilling, intoxicating and addictive. The salt water seeps into your pores, getting under your skin and into your blood. You are giving your child a gift. You are not only teaching them to sail, but also important life skills: patience, responsibility, self confidence and a deep love for nature.
This article was written by Margot Jefferson, from Intersailclub. For more information on learn to sail holidays, please visit the official Intersailclub website.
There are quite a few excellent books on laser sailing that cover the spectrum from beginner to advanced. The picks below contain important information on the exciting sport detailing everything from laser sailing rigging to how to sail a laser dinghy.
Whether you are a novice or more experienced, there is a lot of information to learn, and if you fill your library with these titles, and study them often, you will be better prepared and can put the theory into practice when you hit the water.
Here is a close look at some of the best laser sailing books on the market…
The Complete Book of Laser Sailing by Dick Tillman
Dick Tillman’s book “The Complete Book of Laser Sailing” could not have had a better title. Tillman details what you need to know not only on how to set up your dinghy, he gives you the straight goods on how to properly sail your Laser.
This book covers everything you could possibly need to know from upwind and off wind racing techniques and how to train and condition yourself for racing to storage and maintenance tips and how to rig and sail.
What makes this book stand out is that the author is an expert on the subject of sailing lasers having won the first three Laser North American Championships (1971 to 1973), was on the US Olympic sailing team in 1976, won the Laser North American Masters (1981 and 1982) and the Great Grand Master Laser World Champion in 2002.
Tillman still races and shares his wealth of information in this must-have book.
Laser Sailing From Start To Finish by Timothy Davison
Timothy Davison’s “The Laser Book”, subtitled “Laser Book: Laser Sailing From Start To Finish”, is jam packed with rigging, launching and sailing advice and tips on how to do all of those tasks in different weather conditions.
It is also probably one of the better guides on competitive racing where you’ll learn how to set up control lines plus how to master laser standard, radial, and 4.7 rigs. Tips also assist on how to race to win by avoiding common mistakes and by racing smart.
Davison has held the Laser (Masters) European and National Championships plus two Moth Nationals.
In his book, his enlists the help of other racing pros to share their experience on sailing lasers. They include Paul Goodison the top laser sailor in the world and Olympic Gold medallist and European and British Champion, Steve Cockerill, a six-time Laser Radial National Champion and Radial Masters World Champ. Philip White, a top Laser 4.7 racer is also involved in the book providing information on his favorite racing dinghy.
“The Laser Campaign Manual” by Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie is chock full of the tips and tricks that won him that medal.
Being known as the fastest laser sailor on the planet carries a lot of responsibility and Ainslie chooses to take it and share all his knowledge in this guide that will turn you into a competitive racer.
This book is an interesting combination of photos and text that is designed to teach you how to properly set up laser sailing rigging, how to maneuver around a course fast, the fitness and training tips you need to keep your body in top racing form and how to become a champion Laser sailor.
This is a must-read for anyone who sails small sailboats… not just those in the Laser community.
The top laser sailor in the world and Olympic Gold medallist and European and British Champion, Paul Goodison hits our list for the second time but this time around with his own book.
Titled the “RYA Laser Handbook”, Goodison uses it to share his vast knowledge on sailing with a good chunk of the book centered on his suggestions for setup and handling of sailing lasers in any possible condition you can imagine. That information alone makes this guide a serious contender as a sailing/racing reference book.
The book also contains a generous amount of photographs that are used to illustrate the details described in the text on such items as how much vang is required and useful hiking positions to save you from learning through your own trial and error.
In addition, Goodison continues to race so his practical and logical tips and tweaks are not only based on his personal experience, they are also up-to-date with current laser sailing and racing standards.
While most of the laser sailing books contained on this list mention conditioning in sections of them, Michael Blackburn’s “Sailing Fitness and Training” book focuses on just that subject.
Simply put, this book explores the ‘physical factors that affect sailing performance’ and in doing so reveals some interesting methods you can use to learn how to improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and agility when sailing lasers. Blackburn is a Sports Scientist and World Champion sailor who completely understands the forces placed upon the body and the energy required to sail and race like a winner.
There is a lot to be said about being mentally prepared for a race as being one of your best weapons. If your body is not in tune with a high fitness level, there is no way you will win those races and competitions if you can’t keep up physically.
Blackburn’s book is one of the best fitness and training tools designed specifically for sailing lasers as it is written by a sailor.
If you are serious about racing then you will want to have a copy of “Laser Racing” by Ed Baird.
In this book, you will learn through words and photos how to prepare your boat, improve your skills and apply them to racing.
Baird, who is considered one of the top US racers and was Laser World Champion in 1980, uses his practical advice to ease you through every step of a competitive race from the starting line, through any possible scenario you may encounter during a race, to finishing hard and fast.
You can learn a lot about how to sail a laser dinghy from other sailors. When those other sailors happen to be world champions at that sport you know you are going to gain some great knowledge from those who have experienced it all. That is what makes each of these books essential reading for anyone at any level of laser sailing.
You can try to pick it up and learn it all on your own, but experts in any field know the importance of learning from the best. If you can get personal access to the likes of Michael Blackburn and Ben Ainslie, then, of course, you would be mad not to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, most of us don’t, so the next best thing is to read up and study books written by these experts to speed up your learning.
Purchase one or all of them and you are sure to become much better at sailing lasers than if you do it all on your own.
Do you have a favorite Laser Sailing book? Please tell us what is your best sailing book and why below…
Looking at cheap boats is both challenging and exciting especially for sailing newbies who do not have any idea on what to look for in sailing boats. If you feel that your knowledge about sailboats is still inadequate and you are all excited to buy one, it is best that you seek the help of a trusted sailor. There are a lot of affordable and inexpensive sailboats that could be perfect for you if you know where to look and what to look for.
However, before you embark on your journey into sailing, do your homework first. It is easy to be intimidated with all the terms that sailors use, especially if you don’t have a working knowledge on basic sailboat parts and the different kinds of sailing boats. Buying cheap boats doesn’t mean compromising on quality, so if you know what to look out for, there are some good value inexpensive sailboats on the market. You don’t want to be paying top dollar for a dud boat, right?
Getting to know the parts of sailing boats
Cheap boats don’t necessarily have to have major things wrong with them. There are good deals out there
After spending countless hours on the water, you invariably learn the different parts of sailing boats and the terminology that goes along with them. But what about when you are just starting out? You don’t want to sound as though you don’t know what you are talking about. An awareness and understanding of the weather, the water, your boat and safety takes time to develop. It all comes with experience and patience, but you can speed up the process by reading up and talking to people and taking an interest. Spend enough time on the water and your sailing knowledge will become second nature. At times when you are out on the water, your life can literally depend on your sailing knowledge. A thorough knowledge will not only save you from getting into trouble but more importantly, it will make your sailing experience more pleasant and exciting.
Below are some basic terms that every sailor should know. And generally it doesn’t matter whether you are talking about cheap boats or their more expensive cousins – the terminology is mostly the same.
A brief look at the terminology of sailing boats:
Learn sailing jargon to increase your knowledge about sailing boats
Bow – is the forward part of the hull of a boat or ship
Stern – is the rear part of a boat or ship and is normally designated with a white navigation light when sailing at night
Port – the left hand side of the boat when looking forward, indicated with a red light
Starboard – the right hand side of the boat when looking forward, indicated with a green light
Centerboard –The movable or retractable fin or keel in a sailboat or dinghy that can be rotated or retracted upward into the hull of a sailboat to reduce the boat’s drag and draft in shallow water. This prevents the boat from slipping sideways when under sail
Keel – similar to a centerboard except not retractable and often contain lead to counteract the force of the wind to keep the boat upright and stable. Keels are more common on larger boats (eg. Yachts)
Hull – The hull is the body of the boat and everything below the deck
Mast – It is the tall vertical pole holding the sail. You can change the shape of the mast (the bend) to change the shape of the mainsail to maximize performance
Boom – this horizontal spar is attached to the mast and is used to extend the mainsail. When sailing you have to pay attention to the boom when changing direction (mainly when tacking and jibing) as it can swing across the boat rapidly and cause injury
Stays and Shrouds – These are the wires that make sure that the mast stays in position, especially in very heavy winds. Windsurfers and some dinghies (like the Laser) don’t have stays
Cleat – This is what holds the ropes or lines in place
Halyard – These are the lines that pull the sails up in the mast
Jib / headsail – this is the sail that is placed at the bow (or front) of the boat. Not all boats have these (eg. Lasers and some other dinghies don’t have a jib)
Mainsail – This refers to the sail attached to the back of the mast. As the term implies, this is the main sail of the boat
Spinnaker – This is a special type of sail (usually brightly colored) that is intended specially for sailing across the wind or downwind. It is shaped like a big parachute at the front of the boat to catch as much wind as possible
Sheets – These are the lines that control the sails
Rudder – This is what steers the boat. The angle of the rudder is changed by using a wheel (similar to a steering wheel in a car) or a tiller
Tiller – directly connected to the rudder, and is used to change the rudder’s direction to steer the boat.
So should you only look at cheap boats or inexpensive sailboats?
Inexpensive sailboats may be cheap for a reason
Now that we have gone through the basic parts and terms of sailboats, you will be in a better position to understand what to look for and talk about when you are looking for your perfect boat. But what makes cheap boats cheap? A lot of the time, you only get what you pay for when looking at inexpensive sailboats. So having the knowledge, or someone you trust to help you, can make a big difference. For more information on what to look out for when checking out different boats for sale, click here.
But, as with anything you buy, there are good deals out there, as well as some that are over-priced. That being said, different people also have different personal preferences. Some like to pay more for good quality, while some simply can’t afford it and their budget is lower. Classifying them into cheap or inexpensive sailboats is not the only consideration that a buyer should look at. Inexpensive sailboats may be cheap for a reason. An important consideration in buying sailing boats is the quality and the value for money. Even some boats that cost a hundred thousand dollars can still be considered cheap boats in their category when you consider the quality of construction and all the gear that comes with it.
If you are someone wanting to learn sailing, the best option you could have is to enroll in a sailing academy. Sailing academies offer structured courses that are designed for different levels, depending on the level of skill of the learner. Different people pursue sailing for different reasons. There are those who simply love the water and find joy in sailing as a leisure activity, and there are some who want training in sailing that will take them to the next level in the sport. Whatever your reason, with a little research, you will definitely find the right course for you.
Sailing is attractive to a lot of people because it does not discriminate age or gender. Anybody who loves the water and is willing to learn sailing can have a go. And those who want a systematic way of learning can definitely find it in a sailing school.
So… what actually happens at a sailing academy?
Here are some of the normal courses you can expect to see in a sailing school:
Is a sailing academy the right option for you to learn sailing?
Introduction to sailing – this course is for those who know nothing about sailing or have no previous experience in sailing. In this course, students will learn sailing fundamentals, the proper clothing to wear while sailing, the basic controls in a simple sailboat, and stopping and tacking techniques.
Foundations in sailing – this is a course where the student learns basic solid sailing skills such as handling ropes, knots, the concepts of tide and weather, downwind and upwind sailing principles, and more advanced tacking and gybing techniques. This course is also open to those who have no earlier sailing experience.
Learning the basic skills – is a more advance course and would require that students have previous sailing experience or has an understanding of the fundamental principles. This is important as during this stage, students will be exposed to complex principles that need a more in depth understanding as well as basic sailing. You can expect to be taught along these lines at this stage: function of a sail and how it works, sailing in groups, and essential points of sailing amongst others.
Once you have learned the basics you are now ready to improve your sailing capabilities. Your next course in the sailing academy will focus more on improving the skills that you have learned in the previous course so that you are able to handle the boat with more confidence. At this stage you may also learn sailing without a rudder or sailing backwards. Cool!
Higher boat manipulation skills – this is the stage where your instructor will teach you how to sail out in strong winds. During this time your will actually experience more challenging situations and you will be taught more techniques and strategies in dealing with waves, and maximizing the capacity of your sailboat.
When you have passed all these courses, you next step in the sailing academy curriculum is to develop expertise necessary for extended hours in the water. Later, you will also be trained to become a good sailor capable of sailing alone and able to make intelligent decisions when circumstances are critical or out of the ordinary. In other words, you will be more confident handling your sailboat independently.
So which sailing academy is for you?
Of course, there are many different sailing academies around, with different course names and content. The above outlines only a general overview of what you can expect. Do your own research and ask around for advice on what are the best courses, instructors and academies on offer near to you.
Sailing is a very challenging and engaging sport because you do not have total control over these forces of nature. But good training from a sailing school will equip you with the appropriate skills to harness both wind and water to your advantage. Becoming a good sailor means hard work and countless hours of training. But, the effort is all worth it.
If you have you ever been to a sailing academy, please share your experiences below; what did you do, what did you learn sailing, and are they worth it?
If you are thinking of a worthwhile activity that your children might be interested in, think of a sailing camp. Sailing camps have become very popular during summer and a lot of young children and teens enjoy a week or so at sailing camps learning not only to sail but a lot of other skills as well.
So, what is a sailing camp? A lot of people do not realize that there is more to it than meets the eye. Of course that is where you go when you want to learn how to sail. But do you know that children learn life skills at sailing camps as well? And most children do not just go to a sailing camp once; there are those who go every year.
But before going any further, let us just run through…
The different types of courses at a Sailing Camp
The water babies class
This is a class designed for the younger kids, normally for 7 to 10 year olds. For parents who want to introduce their kids to sailing, this is a perfect way to do it. During this time children will be taught how not to be scared in water, learn a few knots, appreciate nature, and generally to just be comfortable in water.
The beginners class
The beginners’ sailing camp is designed to introduce the basics of sailing to 10 to 14 year olds, although some would admit 8 or 9 year olds who have completed the water babies’ class. There are also beginners’ classes for adults. In the beginners’ class, the students are taught how to sail, tack and jibe and other procedures for water safety and rescue. Students will also have the opportunity to sail with other students under the close supervision of an instructor.
The intermediate class
Learning Life Skills At A Sailing Camp
When a student has completed the beginners’ class in a sailing camp, he or she may move up to the intermediate level. The students in this class are already knowledgeable about basic skills and will now be introduced to sailing in stronger breezes, especially the afternoon winds. The campers will be learning about high wind sailing, tacking and jibing. Students will likewise learn how to handle capsizing, an indispensable part of sailing.
Unlike the beginners’ class, campers in intermediate sailing camp may spend more weeks in order to polish their skill in dealing with stronger winds. This skill is a prerequisite to higher sailing classes.
The advanced class
Just as the name suggests, the advance class are for those who want to pursue more knowledge in sailing as well as to hone their actual sailing skills. Usually, students in this camp are taught how to evaluate risks and safety practices and learn boat maintenance and repair. Aside from that, campers are given more strategies and techniques in order to perfect their sailing skills against strong winds as well as crewing procedures.
The life skills you can learn at a Sailing Camp
So, where do learning life skills fit in at sailing camps?
For starters, sailing is a life skill in itself. It is something that becomes a part of your life and as they say, once a sailor always a sailor.
Learning how to sail means learning water safety and rescue techniques. These two skills are necessary even if one does not get into sailing. It is an important survival skill.
Learning how to sail means learning the different kinds of knots, and their uses too. As we all know, the Boy Scouts also teach this – proof that this is a vital life skill that comes in handy.
Learning how to sail teaches patience and determination. Even little kids can be taught the value of perseverance and focus, a necessity both to sailing as well as for real life success.
Learning how to sail teaches children the value or teamwork and cooperation. Understanding the importance of working together towards achieving a goal does not apply to sailing alone, but also to career enhancement and personal growth. And last but not the least, sailing teaches children to respect nature and to learn to live in harmony with it.
So if you are a family member is thinking about getting into sailing and don’t really know how or where to start, why not enroll in one of the courses at a nearby sailing camp – it may just change your life.