Children benefit from mobile learn-to-sail program 0
The last sailboat launches from the shoreline for a lesson in capsizing during the week-long learn-to-sail program offered through the Boom Mobile Sailing School on Lake Kennisis from July 30 to Aug. 3. This Ontario Sailing offering is open to children eight to 14 and provides lifejackets and the sailboat. DARREN LUM/HALIBURTON ECHO/QMI AGENCY
A blustery wind moves the trees lining Kennisis Lake on the shoreline of the Windermere Cottage Resorts and it’s easy to feel why sailing is being taught here.
Through the co-ordination by the Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners’ Association, children and youth from eight to 14 were harnessing the wind and reading the waves during their intensive one-week introduction to sailing offered through the learn-to-sail Boom Mobile Sailing School.
Boom is a skill based program that offers three levels (Sail 1/2/3) of certification determined by exercised ability. Courses usually run from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult classes are offered in evening hours or outside of the day program.
Students are children from eight to 14 and learn the various nautical terms, boat safety, rigging, knot tying and reading the wind.
There are three mobile teams (one of which is for disabled sailors) that travel to different places through the province over eight weeks. The Laser Pico sailboats and lifejackets are provided for the program.
Sailing on the open water gives children a unique set of skills and freedom to grow as people as much as in sport, Jim Prince of KLCOA said.
“The most important thing is they have fun,” he adds.
Prince said it’s a great opportunity to not only educate young people and to enjoy a water sport, but to help give participants confidence.
He applied for the program for the association and said this was the second consecutive year it was offered on the lake. Prior to last year the lake hosted the program 10 years ago.
The KLCOA billeted the instructors and also provided a barbecue for the children.
Although some participants like 11-year-old Whitby resident Blanca Keohan, who was happy about being free of her parents, may not appreciate the depth of the learning experience until much later.
It is an Ontario Sailing not-for-profit volunteer organization offering, which promotes and actively develops boating and sailing. Boom started more than 30 years ago and has taught more than 30,000 people to sail.
Instructors Ryan Good and Alex Hamilton, who have racing and instructing experience, both started young and believe this program is great for beginners, as it focuses on keeping the experience fun and practical.
Hamilton said sailing is a technical sport so it’s good to just get beginners on the water quickly.
“It’s good to just jump into it. They pick it up better,” he said.