AdventureSail® is a rewarding experience for the volunteers as well as girls. For most of the girls, this will be their first sailing experience. We welcome women with all levels of sailing skills and experience to participate in this program. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the event organizer or if  you’re interested in organizing this special day in your area, contact Val Cook at adventuresail@womensailing.org

Take a moment to peruse the events that have taken place

June 9, 2018vAdventureSail® – Courageous Sailing Center, Boston, MA
Co-chairs: Joan Thayer and Pat Dieselman
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

Saturday, June 9, was a lovely day to be on the water and a perfect one for the AdventureSail®event on Boston Harbor. Courageous Sailing Center hosted the event.  The girls ages 9 to 12 came from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.  Twenty pairs of big and little sisters arrived with their big sisters to kick off  the summer.  Some volunteers were as timid as the little sisters at first. However, that issue disappeared after a few minutes of safety rules from Hannah of the Courageous staff.  “Keep your butt on the bench when the boat changes direction”,  drilled Hannah.  Ashley, also of Courageous, helped fit the lifejackets on the girls.  Then two pairs of big and little sisters joined their skipper and headed to the dock below where the Rhodes 19s waited patiently for their cargo.  Everyone pitched in to rig the boats and soon drifted quietly from the dock, one by one. 

Meanwhile, the shore team of Pat Dieselman, co-chair; Jen Chaisson,  Reen Duffy were clearing the decks for the grill.  Being on the water makes one hungry and thirsty.  After lunch there was a quick review of boat parts and a word search game for the newly learned words and then it was on to the basic knots, lead by Susannah Winder and Susan Epstein.  It did not take the girls long to figure out that tying some of their lines together would produce a jump rope!  Not only did the girls leave with smiles on their faces, but also with a T-shirt, a frisbee, a coloring book provided by the Foundation.  For all, it was a great way to start the summer.

“This is an eye-opening event for the women.  Many of the girls live only a few blocks from water, but have never been to the water’s edge, much less get on a boat. “ says Thayer, who introduced AdventureSail to the area 20 years ago.  “Seeing the girls’ self esteem skyrocket at the end of the day is very rewarding.”  Other volunteers included Colleen Charles, Irene Choi, Danielle Feerst, Samantha Muto, and Kathy Ryan.

The day was made possible by the financial support of Boston Private and the proceeds from the fundraising event held the previous week at the NWSA Women’s Sailing Conference in Marblehead.  Other supporters of the event were New England Ropes, the Beverly-Marblehead Sail & Power Squadron and the Jennifer L. Gerrish Foundation.


On Saturday, June 30, at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club eight young girls enjoyed sailing aboard Cal 20’s – two adult women and two girls in each of four boats. They all took a turn at the helm and most executed tacking maneuvers. We sailed before lunch – gave them some snacks and water in their swag bag (US Sailing bags with a length of rope for knot tying practice and some knot tying worksheets, and their AdventureSail tee shirt).

On my boat, my crew, Nina Hipkins, who is a Jr. Sailing Instructor, taught the girls to make a figure 8 stopper knot by having them “make a ghost, strangle the ghost and then poke it in the eye”.  Our two girls ended up teaching this to all the others on their own as soon as they hit land and had their practice rope in hand.

Having had blue skies and gentle winds, many of the girls expressed interest in sailing again or participating in our Youth Sailing Camps this summer.  The yacht club offered two scholarships. We sent two scholarship applications home with each of them.

Several of the dads who came to pick up couldn’t resist the rope and got right into the knot tying along with the girls. 

June 24, 2017 AdventureSail® – Courageous Sailing Center, Boston, MA
Co-chairs: Joan Thayer and Pat Dieselman
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

Partnered with Big Sister Association of Greater Boston Rain rain go away and it did! Saturday June 24th at the 20th AdventureSail® event at Courageous Sailing Center there was much discussion about whether we could sail or not due to the rain and thunderstorms coming behind it. After the 18 sets of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston arrived, checked in with Pat Dieselman and Jen Chaisson and picked up their t-shirts from Flossie, Jen Bodde, of Courageous, gave a safety talk, and assigned the pairs to volunteer skippers. Four skippers including Jen herself were from Courageous. Stephanie and Rebecca from the Big Sister Association were pitching right in with coordinating the girls, assisting with life jackets and the shore activities.

By the time we had finished rigging the boats, the rain had stopped and a gentle breeze with a few puffs came in. We ventured into Boston Harbor and wended our way around the ferry boats, larger sail boats and power boats. The girls jumped at the opportunity to steer the Rhodes 19.

We returned to shore where the grill was fired up and hot dogs and burgers awaited the hungry sailors. Following lunch there was a brief review of the parts of the boats (very well done for the amount of new terminology the girls had tossed at them), we launched into three commonly used knots: the figure eight, the square knot and the bowline. The skippers went around giving one on one assistance. Sometimes the girls caught on so quickly, they were teaching the other girls themselves. Nice plan. Having learned that that two lines could be tied together, the girls were soon out in the sun jumping rope.

We ended the afternoon with a group photo on the pier and many smiles and thank yous.  A fabulous day for all.

We are grateful for the support of Courageous Sailing Center and particularly to Jen Bodde and the Courageous skippers.     


June 10, 2017 AdventureSail® – Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association, New Orleans, LA
By: Debbie Huntsman

AdventureSail® Jump Starts the Summer at New Orleans Yacht Club

June 10, 2017 – New Orleans. “You can do anything,” said US Coast Guard Captain Lucinda Cunningham, commanding officer of Coast Guard Base in New Orleans. Her resounding message to the fourteen Girl Scouts who participated in the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association’s (LPWSA) AdventureSail® event at the New Orleans Yacht Club (NOYC) perfectly embodied the mission of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA). The picture-perfect sailing day featuring all female skippers on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain enriched the lives of these young girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. AdventureSail® participants learned how sailboats work and then skillfully mastered raising and trimming sails, taking the helm, safety practices for sailing and man-overboard duties. The young sailors also tried their hand at radio communications, quickly adopting the protocols of hailing and proper use of terminology such as “over” and “out.” AdventureSail New Orleans 2017 “Introducing local children of all backgrounds to the fun they can have on the lake will certainly bring good things to sailing and the greater New Orleans community,” said Debbie Huntsman, Coordinator and National Women’s Sailing Association Board Member. Huntsman worked with the Girl Scouts of Louisiana East to engage girls who would not otherwise have a chance to go sailing. “The high level of interest shows there is a need for such programs,” said Huntsman.  It was easy to tell by the smiles that the AdventureSail® experience was fun for everyone, not just the girls. The four boats, a Cape Dory 27 (Muse), a J/80 (LL Cool J), a J35 (Footloose) and a 42’ cruiser (Starchaser) glided along the flat water in the steady south breeze along the shores of the lake giving the girls and chaperones a thrilling morning on the water. The lunchtime pizza party included impromptu sailing quizzes and prizes offered by NOYC members and some America’s Cup action on the club’s TV. AdventureSail New Orleans 2017The girls dazzled club members with their knowledge retention and enthusiasm. This year’s event brought two return sailors from the Pleasant Zion Troupe including two scholarship recipients, Kyla and Karma. Karma, who attended AdventureSail® 2016, is an outstanding example of the leadership and sailing skills the NWSA aims to instill in young girls. “It was clear during the sail that Karma is good role model for the other Girl Scouts. She retained a lot of what she learned a year ago.” Karma will attend sailing camp at the NOYC later this summer under a scholarship from LPWSA, along with Kyla who is a Women’s Sailing Foundation AdventureSail®scholarship recipient. Both girls are very aware of and excited about the doors that have opened to them because of the AdventureSail® program. The second AdventureSail® event, scheduled for August 5, is already booked to capacity.

 


July 8, 2017 AdventureSail® – Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY Val Cook and Charlene Kagel


July 13, 2017 AdventureSail® – Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI Amy Cermak


August 5, 2017 AdventureSail® – Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association, New Orleans, LA Debbie Huntsman

 

August 2016 – LPWSA AdventureSail® – New Orleans, LA

Breaking Waves in the Gulf Area – By Debbie Huntsman AdventureSail® is new to the Gulf Coast, so laying a foundation for a successful local program in New Orleans for at risk girls ages 9-14 was the goal. Oddly enough Lake Pontchartrain, a 630 square-mile lake bordering New Orleans, is neither widely visited nor used. There are life-long locals who have never been on the Lake. Many New Orleanians rarely see it. The Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association (LPWSA) organized the sail hoping to help increase the enjoy – ment of the beautiful natural resource at the community’s doorstep.

Finding girls who meet the criteria in New Orleans is not a problem, however over coming the “exotic” nature of going to the lake to get on a boat — much less a sail boat — took some effort. After not getting any takers for the sailing opportu – nity through a 9th Ward charter school, the education program manager with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation sug- gested LPWSA contact a Girl Scout troupe they had worked with through the Use Our Lake Program. After the introduc- tion, LPWSA, the Pleasant Zion Church ministers, East Louisiana Girl Scout organization, and troupe leaders went to work asking parents and grandparents to encourage their daughters to sign up for the AdventureSail ® .

Because there was hesitancy, even fear of the whole idea of sailing, LPWSA first invited the minister and his wife to help with race committee on a Wednesday night sail. They loved it! The next week LPWSA members presented a short program on the AdventureSail ® at the church for the girls and their families. They learned about safety measures that would be in place and what the girls would ex- perience. The girls also got to handle a headsail, practiced folding it and learned how it worked. They were sold!

On Saturday, August 6, 12 girls (and 13 adults) from an East Louisiana Girl Scout group joined LPWSA members on a picture perfect day for an introduction to sailing. The group was treated to an enjoyable romp along the south shore, a pizza party sponsored by Whole Foods Market, and an inspirational address by USCG New Orleans base Commanding Officer Capt. Cunningham (who enjoyed her first sail on MUSE). NWSA and LPWSA made a memory for these girls and reintroduced the Lake to a group of adults. Volunteers organized the sail and lunch at The New Orleans Yacht Club. The club offered great hospitality, a meeting spot and life jackets. Five skippers offered their boats and crew.

The expressions on the girls’ faces when they took the helm and when the captain addressed them during lunch; urging them to work hard, overcome failures and always believe in themselves, made it clear these girls had a day they will remember. You can see it in the group photo. It was a good day! Let’s do it again!


AdventureSail® – Racine, WI – August 4th 2016

 

Over 25 girls took part in the free program sponsored by the Girls Inc., Racine, the Racine Yacht Club and the National Women’s Sailing Foundation. This was the 17th annual AdventureSail® program at the Racine Yacht Club.     

 

 


July 16, 2016 – AdventureSail® Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY 

A beautiful summer day with light breeze awaited six skippers and their crew who hosted 26 young at-risk girls for the 17th annual AdventureSail ® at Breakwater Yacht Club. Following the welcome and receiving t-shirts, the girls were assigned one of cruising sailboats. A spirited race in the harbor commenced. Under the watchful eye of the skipper, many of the girls took the helm! After a very close race, all the participants returned to the clubhouse for a BBQ lunch and award presentation. Event co-ordinators are Board Member Val Cook, and Breakwater Yacht Club members Charlene Kagel and Cam Gleason. NWSA member Donna Lipper continues to assists with the day’s event. The agencies participating included Big Sisters of Long Island and I TRI ; both groups have a mission to empower girls.


June 18, 2016 – AdventureSail® in Boston, MA
Co-chairs: Darthea Collins and Ellen Gray
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

The day could not have been better for 19 pairs of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. The girls received sapphire t-shirts and a draw string bag filled with a variety of useful items. After a brief safety talk by Courageous staff member, Kayla McLaughin, two pairs of big and little sisters were assigned an experienced female skipper and off they headed to the boats. One of the common words heard “why does this (dock) seem to be moving up and down? For at least one little girl, the fresh air and sun got the best of her and she slid off into a deep 5-minute nap. She had worked really hard steering the boat and trimming the sails beforehand. Out on the Boston Harbor waters, the traffic with ferries, other small day sailors and power boats kept everyone’s attention. The winds were about 5 to 9 knots with bouts of wind shears and puffs. Heading back to the dock, co-chair Dar Collins and Pat Dieselman had the grill ready to go. After 2 hours on the water, the appetites were satisfied with no waiting. Water, chips and cookies filled out the menu. After lunch, co-chair Ellen Gray lead a lively session on knots inside the tent. It really was too hot to be outside. The girls learned the stopper, the square, the sheetbend and the bowline. Ellen’s use of words like ghosts and aliens with a few punches and rabbits running around made the learning fun. High fives and “Yes!” were heard frequently from the duos. And this year, thanks to an anonymous donor, the girls were able to take home some rope to practice those knots. Thanks go to the Courageous Sailing Center, the Jennifer Gerrish Foundation, co-chairs Dar Collins and Ellen Gray and all the volunteer women.


May 2016 – AdventureSail® – Alameda, CA

We teamed up with the NWSA to provide a free opportunity to get girls out sailing on Sunday May 22nd. We had 18 Girl Scouts come to our site and learn the basics of sailing. Our great staff of instructors showed them how to rig a boat and the basics of tacking, gybing and knots.

We separated into two groups. One group was out on the water first, two girl scouts with one instructor in our Flying Juniors, while the other group was on the beach learning the parts of the boats, points of sail along with practicing knot tying. They switched halfway through and we even had a couple of the chaperones join in and learn some sailing terms while watching the girls sail on the beach!

We had a group of new girls, and some who returned from last year, who all had an awesome day out on the water. Everyone had a blast and said they loved being able to have access to sailing and learning all the new skills that come with it.

We ended with a BBQ where the girls shared their experiences and even had some camaraderie through their shared experiences! Overall, it was very successful and we cannot wait to have them back next year!

Victoria Anweiler

 

AdventureSail® – July 11th Coordinator: Charlene Kagel and Cammy Gleason Host Facility: Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY Sponsors: Apply Bank, Corcoran Group, Sag Harbor Beverage, Goat On A Boat and BNB

Val Cook, WSF board member, and Donna Lipper, NWSA member, attended the 16th AdventureSail at the Breakwater YC in Sag Harbor New York. 27 girls from Project Most, I Tri, and the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Long Island Association were treated to a day’s activities on the water in a six different boats. The day was sunny with a gentle breeze. After the races, there was lunch and medals provided by the Yacht Club.


AdventureSail® – Boston, June 13, 2015 Co-chairs: Dar Collins and Ellen Gray Host Facility: Courageous Sailing Center Big Sister Association of Greater Boston

Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown,MA, hosted the 18th AdventureSail® event for 19 pairs of big and little sisters aged 9 to 14 from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Despite the rainy forecast, the skies were partly cloudy, the temperature was about 70 degrees with oscillating winds from 4 to 8 knots. After receiving bright yellow t-shirts from volunteers Pat Dieselman and Flossie Porn, and a safety talk by Courageous staff, it was time to go sailing. It was a little tricky getting away from the pier with the wind moving around so much. Once away from the pier, the Rhodes 19 with 5 aboard moved quickly down Boston Harbor. No long after the introduction to the boat and basic terminology, the girls eagerly but timidly took the helm and also trimmed the sails. Smiles beamed from ear to ear when they realized that they were controlling the movement of the boat.

It was a good idea that Couragaeous staff had given each skipper a radio. They could keep a check on the “fleet” and call us home at the right time. We arrived back at the pier with a much gentler landing. Dar Collins and Michu Rosen of Hingham, keeping an eye on our return, had fired up the grill. Being on the water increased our appetites so the waiting hamburgers, hot dogs, cookies and chips were consumed quickly. Following lunch we had a group photo and then went under the tent for a recap on our newly learned terms. The girls had remembered the basic parts of the boats, but the points of sail were challenging. Ellen Gray then led the afternoon knot session. Gray introduced a most interesting way to remember the Figure Eight knot: the alien who need to be choked and then punched! Whatever happened to gentle rabbit coming out of the hole ducking around the tree and scampering back into the hole? The skippers continued to coach the girls with one-on-one help. There were only successes around the tables.

It was a wonderful day for everyone. Skippers included Ellen Gray, Erin Devine of South Boston, Debbie Noble and Joan Thayer of Marblehead, Debbie Medenbach of NY and Carrie Will formerly of Hingham and several of the Courageous staff. We are grateful to Courageous Sailing Center for being our host and Boston Private Bank for its financial support for each of the 18 years.      

 


May 9, 2015 – AdventureSail® – Portland, OR Host: Oregon Women’s Sailing Association Event chair: Lauren Goche

    A smashing success with 17 girls from Girls Inc on May 9th. The adults took the girls out on 6 different boats. The sun was shining all day. The temperature was 80 degrees, but the wind got a slow start. By the end, the wind had increased to a nice 12 knots, providing for a wonderful afternoon of sailing. Amazing food too. The girls had a blast and left with HUGE smiles!


AdventureSail® – Alameda Community Sailing Center, May 3, 2015. Coordinator: Rich Jepse

 

 

AdventureSail® – Racine, WI – July 29, 2014 Chair: Amy Cermak Host Facility: Racine Yacht Club

The weather conditions were perfect for the 2014 AdventureSail® activities. This year the program provided more hands-on water activities through the use of the Racine Yacht Club’s optimist prams, canoes, paddle boats, stand up paddle boards, and kayak’s. As the girls arrived they were quickly engaged in learning how to tie a few knots before Kaisa Herrmann kicked off the event by singing the national anthem. The girls learned about safety, on and in the water, and the importance of wearing a life jacket.    Sailing instructor, Gabby Herrmann provided a brief introduction to sailing before the girls went sailing. The girls caught on quickly to driving the boat using a tiller. The girls had a wonderful day on the water, that could not have happened without the many volunteers from Racine Yacht Club!

   

 


AdventureSail® – Sag Harbor, NY – July 12, 2014 Chair: Charlene Kagel Host Facility: Breakwater Yacht Club

A gorgeous sun-filled day brought out about 20 pairs of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association for a day on the water, complete with races and trophies at the end. Board Member Val Cook and NWSA member Donna Lipper were on hand to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.


AdventureSail® – Boston – June 14, 2014
Co-chairs: Susan Epstein and Darthea Collins
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

Co-chairs Susan Epstein and Dar Collins greeted the 19 pairs of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston Saturday morning at Courageous Sailing Center. After Pat Dieselman and the Big Sister coordinator checked them in, the girls were outfitted with lifejackets and assigned skippers. Kate Henderson, youth director at Courageous, welcomed the girls and gave them some idea of what the day would be like – boats would heel, lots of traffic on the water, listen to your skipper and have fun! The weather was very calm, in fact, almost no wind. But the girls found the paddle on each boat and soon they were making their own wind. The Rhodes 19 moved quietly down the harbor. Confronting the various powerboats, sailboats and ferries gave new meaning to Keep Your Eyes Open!

The wind finally picked up to about 5 knots just as it was time to head back for burgers on the pier. Dar and other volunteers had fired up the grill, and the lunch table was ready with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and chips. Comfort food! After lunch Susan led the knot tying session. The skippers and other volunteers gave individual attention. The bowline was always the most challenging knot, but some very sharp girls mastered it on the first or second try. One of the girls suggested that they could tie the lines into a jump rope. Out the tent went about 8 of the girls. Knots were tied hastily resulting in one very long jump rope. Unfortunately as the rope came full circle some of the knots did not hold. But the girls had put the new knowledge to practical use. And it was fun seeing their faces light up with their result. Then the girls got T-shirts and bag and photos were taken against the Boston skyline with the sun shining brightly.

It was a wonderful day for everyone and we appreciate the support of Courageous Sailing Center with the boats, two skippers and providing a tent for our on-shore activities. We also appreciate the skippers and on-land volunteers. We thank Boston Private Bank & Trust Company for its financial contribution.

AdventureSail® August 13, 2013 Racine, WI
Host Club: Racine Yacht Club
Coordinator: Amy Cermak

       

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 AdventureSail® 2013 was offered to girls age 7-17, by the Racine Yacht Club in cooperation with Girls Inc. and the Women’s Sailing Foundation. Strong, cold, Northeast winds blew AdventureSail® a bit off course; however, the 14th annual, FREE, one day sailing program for 82 girls was a big success! Many thanks to the volunteers who taught the girls about the parts of a sail boat, points of sail, navigation, knot tying, and the Racine landmarks-Wind point Lighthouse, and the Reef light. Stephan Kurdas, from the Racine Health Department talked about North Beach being certified as a Blue Wave Beach. He gave the girls tips on how they can help keep the beach clean. More information can be found at www.wibeaches.us The Racine Sheriff, Mrs. Knight offered rides aboard the water patrol boat and let the girls drive the boat in the harbor. Miss Bell City’s Teen, Mara Mandli, spoke to the girls about the importance of volunteering and giving back to your community. She also commended the girls for attending the AdventureSail® 2013 program, and encouraged them to try new and different experiences.


AdventureSail® Breakwater Y.C. in Sag Harbor, NY The weather was ideal for the AdventureSail® event at the Breakwater Y.C. in Sag Harbor, NY the weekend of July 6th. Lots of laughter was heard while enjoying the good wind aboard a variety of sailboats.


AdventureSail® May 11, 2013 Portland, Oregon

Sunny weather and light warm breezes greeted Oregon Women Sailing Association (OWSA) volunteers and 10 young sailors on the Columbia River Saturday. The young women sailors are participants in Girls Inc. of NW Oregon (a non-profit which helps at-risk girls). Each participant received a folder with educational materials and a small sail boat with a main sail and sheets as learning tools. We began our program in the clubhouse with a short lesson on parts of a sailboat, points of sail, knot tying, river stewardship and water safety. OWSA mentors assisted the girls with these activities and then fitted each young sailor with a life vest. OWSA skippers and crew were on hand and lessons on everything from boarding a boat to docking were discussed and practiced. After a couple of hours of sailing & sunshine, sailors, skippers, crew and families of sailors returned to the clubhouse for the celebration picnic. OWSA member, Emilee Monson, spoke of her sailing adventures while working aboard a tall ship and the opportunities for careers in sailing. Mentors presented award certificates and words of praise and encouragement to each of the young sailors. It was a great day of sailing, sharing and celebrating. Many thanks to all of our OWSA volunteers, Girls Inc. and National Women’s Sailing Foundation.

AdventureSail® – August 14, 2012, at Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI

AdventureSail 2012 went off with a bang! Racine Yacht Club had 56 girls participate!


AdventureSail® July 7, 2012, at Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY
Co-Chairs: Charlene Kagel (cgkcpa@gmail.com) and Cam Gleason (mae922@gmail.com)
Sponsors: See end of article

Breakwater Yacht Club (BYC) in Sag Harbor, NY, hosted its 13th annual Adventuresail® Regatta for Girls Saturday July 7th. Under sunny skies and perfect wind conditions, over 27 local area girls ranging in age from 9-16 participated as crew on the BYC racing fleet boats for a race around the buoys, while learning the basics of sailboat racing. A few of the girls even helmed the boat while others trimmed sails and assisted with hoisting the spinnakers! After the race, everyone enjoyed lunch and received gift bags and trophies. Participating groups were I-Tri of East Hampton, Montauk and Springs School District and Big Brothers and Sisters of Long Island.

Attending the event was Val Cook, who assisted in coordinating the very first event thirteen years ago. Val, former president and current member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Sailing Foundation (WSF) and Donna Lipper, member of the National Women’s Sailing Association, also a program of WSF. Donna has been representing WSF since 1999 and enjoying every year. Val extended thanks to Charlene, Cam and Mary Ann Eddy and the Breakwater Yacht Club for continuing to provide a memorable day for the girls.

Members of the BYC fleet and their boats included Witchli – Fred Stelle, Wave Equation – Bruce Dinsmore & Joan Worthing, Buckaroo – Bruce Tait , Roxanne – Wayne and Carol Morse, Skoot – Jim Vos, Swans Way – Chris DiSunno, and Wave Train – Richard Bockman.

Race Committee volunteers included Dave Betts, Nancy Neumann and Ray Pride.
Women Sailing Foundation also thanks the following sponsors: Bridgehampton National Bank; Apple Bank, Corcoran Realty, Emporium Hardware, Sag Harbor Variety, Tate’s Bake Shop, and The Wharf Shop.


AdventureSail® June 9, 2012 Courageous Sailng Center, Charlestown, MA
Co-chairs: Dar Collins and Susan Epstein
Sponsor: Boston Private Bank & Trust Company

The 16th AdventureSail® event, a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, was held Saturday, June 9th at the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown. Eighteen pairs of girls from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston were treated to a morning of sailing under sunny skies with gentle winds. Experienced women sailors volunteered to skipper the Rhodes 19’s, mentoring the girls and teaching them sailing basics.

Following lunch on the grill, co-chair Susan Epstein led a session of hands-on knot-tying. Marblehead’s Maureen McKinnon, Director of Development and Community Outreach at Courageous, shared her gold medal from the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, China with the girls. Every girl had a chance to hold the medal, and more than a few couldn’t resist trying it on! Maureen explained that the design of Olympic/Paralympic medals reflects the host country’s culture. For the 2008 games, China incorporated various shades of jade, each shade reflecting the relative prestige of bronze, silver, and gold achievement. On Paralympic medals, inscriptions on the back are also in Braille, since some of the competitors are blind athletes.

Marblehead author Julie Hahnke, was the guest speaker. Thanks to the generous gift from a Marblehead sailing couple, Julie gave each of the girls an autographed copy of her book, The Grey Ghost. Julie also previewed her upcoming book, War Correspondent, a novel about the War of 1812, as told by an eleven-year-old girl (disguised as a boy) serving aboard USS Constitution. Julie and Maureen encouraged the girls to follow their dreams and to believe in themselves. Every facet of the day reinforced lessons of self-esteem, the pursuit of dreams, and never giving up. It was an inspirational message for all in attendance!

The staff at Courageous Sailing Center prepared the boats, gave the safety talk after the girls and big sisters were fitted out with pfds, were on hand to help when the boats returned and fired up the grill. Courageous is a wonderful partner in this event. Thanks to Boston Private Bank & Trust Company for its continued financial support so the girls would have the orange sherbert T-shirts and enjoy the barbecue.


Oregon Women’s Sailing Association
OWSA Partners with Girls Inc.
May 12 and July 21, 2012
co-chairs: Judi Davis davisja1@comcast.net and Linda Starr starrfiddler@gmail.com

The Oregon Women Sailing Association (OWSA) brought AdventureSail® to Oregon again, only this time we did it twice – on May 12th & July 21st! As in 2011, OWSA partnered with Girls Inc. of NW Oregon, a non-profit that helps young at-risk girls, to bring this exciting adventure to Portland. AdventureSail®, program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, is a mentoring program for at-risk girls between the ages of 9 and 14. The program introduces basic sailing skills and boating safety, and incorporates life skills; such as leadership, responsibility, teamwork and environmental stewardship.
OWSA AdventureSail® is divided into three activities: Classroom, On-the-water and wrapping up with a Celebration Picnic. On the day of each event, we were greeted with beautiful sunny skies and a steady breeze which continued throughout the day.

July 21, 2012 – The girls gathered with their OWSA Mentors @ the RCYC club house for an introduction to basic sailing, knot tying, safety & environmental stewardship. Following the classroom instruction, the young sailors headed out with their OWSA Mentors to meet their OWSA Skippers & Crew for an afternoon sail on the Columbia River. The girls had the opportunity to experience and practice their new skills; such as, hoisting the main sail, bringing in a line and sharing time at the helm. At the end of the day, all returned to shore for a Celebration Picnic with family and friends, enjoying stories of adventure and success together.
This year we had 18 girls participate, and we were able to send three young sailors to ISC Junior Sailing Camp in August with scholarships provided by the Women’s Sailing Foundation.
We are grateful to all of the outstanding OWSA Mentors, Girls Inc. Chaperones, OWSA Skippers & Crew, and our fantastic boat owners, who made these two events a huge success.
Photo credits to Dena Kent, May 12th and Doreen Wynja, July 21st

AventureSail® July 16, 2011 Portland, OR
Host: Oregon Women’s Sailing Association (OWSA)
Event Chair: Judi Davis, Davisja1@comcast.net

On July 16th, Oregon Women Sailing Association paired with Girls Inc. of NW Oregon (a non-profit that helps young at-risk girls) to bring this exciting adventure to Portland, Oregon for the first time.

The event was held at Rose City Yacht Club on the Columbia River. The nine girls, ages 11-13, and first time sailors came with Girls Inc. chaperones to pair with the OWSA mentors to give each girl a 1:1 adult ratio. There were five boats with experienced OWSA women skippers at the helm. The skippers also had OWSA members to serve as crew so that the chaperones & mentors could focus on giving the girls their full attention.

The day started with dark clouds and a constant drizzle but before any of the outside activities got underway, a gentle breeze arrived with a bright, warm, sun & scattered clouds. This really helped to ease the anxieties of Judi Davis, OWSA Adventure Sail Chair, and all of the chaperones and mentors.
 

A brief gathering in the clubhouse started the day. The girls met their OWSA Mentors, Skippers and Crew. Next came some sailing basics and safety followed by learning a few sailor knots. Each girl received a folder with hand outs from the Lower Columbia Estuary and learned a bit about the responsibility of Environmental Stewardship. Just before leaving for the On the Water activity the girls were fitted for their lifejackets and given awesome sport bags donated by Nike and filled with goodies from OWSA.

Out on the river, the sailors enjoyed a variety of experiences from raising the main, talking on the VHF, hoisting the jib, learning a few knots & getting time at the helm.

After returning to the RCYC dock, all were treated to a delicious BBQ & picnic, a wonderful “sailboat” cake and spent time celebrating their successes!

During the picnic, everyone was entertained by stories from two OWSA members who’ve turned sailing into a part-time job & spend time traveling the world delivering boats & furthering their sailing education by becoming licensed captains.

As goodbyes were given, there were big smiles on each face and the one question asked, over and over again, was “When do we get to do this again?”

Judi Davis: OWSA AdventureSail® Chair
Photos: Dena Kent & Judi Davis


 

 

AdventureSail® June 11, 2011 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Susan Epstein, sjeppa@aol.com
Additional funding provided by Boston Private Bank & Trust Company

It was a cool, damp and drizzly day in Charlestown when the 19 pairs of “sisters” – big and small – arrived from the Big Sister Organization of Greater Boston. AdventureSail® Chairwoman Susan Epstein – staying dry under Courageous Sailing’s tent – started the day with a knot tying lesson. Demonstrating that knowledge shouldn’t be compartmentalized, she showed that the basics for tying a square knot are the same as for perfectly tied bow

ties, tying ones shoes, and putting two lines of like diameter together for making a very long jump rope. If the shoelace bow does not lay flat and straight across on the shoe, it is not a square knot and probably will end up as a hard to untie “granny” knot. Figure eights or “stopper” knots were mastered in short order, and then it was time to change activities. Having almost a dozen volunteer women sailors for one-on-one assistance increased confidence early and in short order the little sisters were excitedly showing their newly acquired knot tying expertise.

The rain lifted and Susan assigned a set of two sister pairs, each to a boat with skipper…10 boats in all. After being fitted for life jackets, the girls listened intently to the safety instructions of Dave DiLorenzo of Courageous Sailing, before heading out with their skipper for a relatively dry sail around inner Boston Harbor. Adding to the excitement was the myriad of other craft sailing in the harbor: a large tanker, several harbor ferries, lots of sail boats, and tourist “buses”.

Shortly before noon the boats returned to the pier and were met by Kate Henderson and others of the Courageous staff who put away the boats while the newly minted “sailors” headed for the barbecue grill and warmer territory. Soft yellow AdventureSail® t-shirts were a welcomed treat, adding a little reminder of sunshine, as they fit quite well over the girls’ clothes. More compliments were heard from the AdventureSail® volunteer skippers on the good work of the teams of big and little sisters.

Again, the rains came bringing more dampness into the tent. The day ended early, but not before the traditional group photo. Smiles all around indicated that the weather had had no affect on the enjoyment the girls had on the water…Might also be because the girls knew that Courageous would welcome back anyone who was interested in more sailing!

AdventureSail® 2010 Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI
Host Facility: Racing Yacht Club, Racine, WI
Event Chair: Amy Cermak, acermak@gmail.com

Fifty-nine girls from Girls Inc at the YWCA attended the 11th annual AdventureSail® event at the Racine Yacht Club on August 10th. Dense fog, little or no wind and extreme heat best described the day.

Junior leader, Kaisa Herrmann, age 13, led the girls and spectators in the National Anthem followed by a lesson on knot tying. Because of the fog and lack of wind, Kaisa turned the adventure into kayaking, canoeing, and rain gutter sailboat racing. The Sea Scouts, Emma Paulson and Lauryn Berger assisted as water patrol.

As noon approached, the fog lifted enough for all of the girls to board theRacine Yacht Club member’s sail boats for a motor tour of Racine’s beautiful harbor. Some toured through the Main and State Bridge learning about bridge commands and times of operation.

No wind and fog also kept the catamaran racers competing in the 2010 Catamaran Championships on the beach, which provided a fabulous opportunity for the girls. U.S. Olympian and four-time world champion sailor, Carrie Howe, shared her love of sailing with the girls, the challenges she faced and the friends she has made along the way. Carrie encouraged the girls to try all sports and find a sport that they enjoy. Carrie finds it exciting to be going 30 mph on the catamaran. She encouraged the girls to learn more about sailing, indicating the team work aboard a sail boat is phenomenal. Sailing is one of the only sports where someone 80 years old and 12 years old can enjoy together, and it is truly a life long sport.


June 26, 2010 Grass Valley, CA
Host club: Gold Country Yacht Club
Event Chair: Tish Buti

GCYC 2010 Friendship Club Day by Lynn Buchanan

Thank you GCYC members: Hugh and Nicki Talman, Joe and daughter Jacqueline Day, David Niedziejko, Chip the dog and Susan Murphy, Don Hare, Jerry Lewis and Bryant Cockcroft. They all volunteered their time as skippers and the use of their sailboats on Saturday June 26th for a great day of sailing with Nevada County’s Friendship Club girls and chaperones. Cindy Pekarek, Dale Buchanan and yours truly helped out with setup, kitchen and clean up duties.

The Friendship Club girls and chaperones arrived at 11:30 and after introductions and gift packages that included an official “Adventure Sail” t-shirt donated by the National Women’s Sailing Foundation, off they went for a sail on Scotts Flat Lake. Sailing, water cannon fights and some swimming were wrapped up by 1:30 to have everyone return to the dock. A hot dog BBQ was held for all the participants and then of course the official commemorative picture of the group was taken.

2010 Gold Country Yacht Club and Friendship Club Sailors

For more information about the Friendship Club, check out www.friendshipclub.org. Participating club members expressed the joy they felt being able to share a love of sailing, with girls who had never experienced this activity. Our members are already plotting and readying for this 2011 event.

 


June 12, 2010 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Dar Collins industrialtech@comcast.net
Additional funding provided by Boston Private Bank & Trust Company; Stop & Shop

This event always is a favorite for the girls from the Big and Little Sister Association of Greater Boston. However, mother nature had her own ideas. The day was overcast, no wind and then the rains came. Having to be towed in may not be our idea of fun, but it gave the 11 girls and their big sisters a new experience of life on the water.

Once in, the grill was going. Everyone was treated to hamburgs and hotdogs. Afterwards, Susan Epstein lead the workshop in knots and how we use them in our daily lives. Jumping rope took on a new meaning. Word search games on the nautical theme was also fun.

We are grateful to Courageous Sailing Center for the boats and the use of the facility. We hope for better weather next year.


July 10, 2010 Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, ckagel@town.southampton.ny.us

AdventureSail® – July 11, 2009
Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, ckagel@town.southampton.ny.us

 

 


June 27, 2009 Grass Valley, CA
Host club: Gold Country Yacht Club
Event Chair: Tish Buti

 

This picture tells the whole story about Friendship Club Day 2009! We had a very small group of girls from the Friendship Club this year, but that definitely did not reduce the amount of fun we had. Thanks to Jerry Grant, Jerry Lewis, Scott & Debbie Mack, David Niedziejko, Howard & Donna Hendrich, Hugh & Nicki Talman and of course, my husband, Wayne, we had more than enough boats and skippers (and water guns!) to make it a really nice day for everyone. The girls really seemed to enjoy getting to drive the boats and playing like bow ornaments. Some of them even played like fish on the end of a line!

The wind and weather cooperated and we had an absolutely picture-perfect day. The Women’s Sailing Foundation sent plenty of AdventureSail® tee-shirts and fanny packs to take home and GCYC provided our specialty – a hot dog lunch for all the skippers and girls.

Thank you to all of you who took time out from your busy schedules to help out with this special day!
Tish Buti, Secretary


June 13, 2009 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Dar Collins industrialtech@comcast.net and Susan Epstein sjeppa@aol.com
Sponsor: Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
Food and Beverage Sponsor: Stop N Shop

June 13th marked the 13th AdventureSail® Boston. Sixteen girls from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston arrived at Courageous Sailing Center ready for a fun filled day on the water. They were not disappointed. The sun shone brightly, and given the summer we have had, we were very lucky. Women volunteers were waiting to greet the girls, hand out AdventureSail T-shirts, outfit them with life jackets and assign them a woman skipper.

The morning began with rigging the Rhodes 19s, getting basic safety instructions and then casting off for an enjoyable sail in Boston Harbor. The girls were so excited to be out on the boats and enjoyed every tack! Each girl had a chance to take the tiller and experience the thrill of steering the boat.

Upon their return, the girls were ready for the barbeque being cooked up by the land team. Still eager for more, the girls engaged in an active knot-tying session with Susan Epstein co-chair of the event. Who knew that tying one’s sneakers was really a square knot! Some of the girls did word searches of boating terminology as well.

To cap off the day, the captain of the US Navy ship that was tied up o the other side of the pier, invited the girls aboard for a tour of the ship. Several of the matches accepted the invitation with much enthusiasm.

AdventureSail® is always one of my favorite days of the summer. To see the excitement on the girls’ faces as they sail off in Rhodes 19’s is worth more than you can imagine. We are fortunate to have Courageous Sailing Center as a host for the event and our two sponsors who make the t-shirts and food possible.

August 3, 2008 Grass Valley, CA
Host club: Gold CountryYacht Club
Coordinator: Tish Buti – tbuti@yahoo.com
Contributing sponsor: Sebago, Inc.

On August 3, the Gold Country Yacht Club (GCYC), in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, hosted the local Friendship Club for a day of sailing on Scotts Flat Lake. Tish Buti, GCYC Secretary, lead a hand-on session on the basic knots used around boats – the bowline, cleat knot, and square knot. As the girls were unfamiliar with boating of any kind, a few minutes was devoted to basic boat safety. It was important to let them know they were not going to sink if the boat tipped! The day was perfect with gentle and consistent winds, allowing “tiller time” for each girl. As the girls got more comfortable on the boats, they engaged in “Water Wars”, always a part of the activities for the day. They were scampering about the decks with water guns aimed and ready for any one daring to get close. The day concluded with a swim in the cove that is reachable only by boat, and a hot dog luncheon at the Clubhouse provided by GCYC. For about the past 10 years, the members of the Gold Country Yacht Club have enjoyed providing this day of distraction for these delightful young ladies.

Founded in 1995, The Friendship Club is a prevention program designed to reach at-risk girls before they engage in unhealthy behaviors. They teach the girls life skills, personal responsibility and the value of hard work through a year-around program of educational activities, emotional support and community involvement. The mission of The Friendship Club is to integrate disadvantaged adolescent girls into the community, teach them important life skills and empower them to complete their education and lead responsible lives. For more information about The Friendship Club, please visit their website www.friendshipclub.org


July 8, 2008 Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, ckagel@town.southampton.ny.us

 

 

 

 

 


Little Flower Childrens Services, Big Sisters, Girl’s Inc.
June 14, 2008 Charlestown, MA
Sponsor: Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
Food & Beverage Sponsor: Stop & Shop
Contributor: Sebago, Inc.

16 Big and Little Sisters pairs were treated to a morning of sailing at Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown, MA The weather sunny with a gentle south west breeze was just right for the novice sailors. The girls picked up their AdventureSail® t-shirts and headed to the Courageous counter to be outfitted with life jackets. The water traffic in Boston Harbor gave the girls an appreciation for keeping an eye to weather at all times while trying to steer the Rhodes 19.

When the girls returned to shore, the grill had been fired up and it wasn’t long before the lunch bell rang. Following lunch, the girls learned several knots and their practical application, like tying your shoes and jump rope.

 

June 9 2007 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Susan Epstein sjeppa@aol

Although the weather was dismal, 17 young girls between the ages of 9 and 13 arrived with their big sisters at Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown, MA, to experience a day of sailing or better said sailing-related activities. While waiting for the storm to pass, and it never did materialize, the girls were treated to the songs and stories of Donna Lange, a recent solo circumnavigator from Bristol,RI. Donna, a grandmother of four, told how so much of what she learned from as early as grade school on through college came together as she set sail across the Atlantic. Commented event chair, Susan Epstein, “I think Donna got across to the girls that keeping the door open for new experiences now may make a difference in their lives many years later. Donna was very inspiring and we were very pleased that she could join us.”

he girls then had a session on knot tying before putting on life jackets and heading to the dock and Rhodes 19s. It took a few minutes to get their balance on the small boats. The girls put to use their new skill of knot tying as sails were raised and sheets were trimmed, all at the dock. Up on the pier, women were heating up the grill for lunch. The USS Constitution was making its annual turnaround just in time for a backdrop for some photos. Bryan Peugh, associate executive director, invited the group back on a better day.

This was the 11th year that the AdventureSail® event has been held at the Center with the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.


June 16, 2007 Grass Valley, CA
Host organization: Gold Country Yacht Club
Event Chair: Tish Buti

Although NWSA had been out of touch with this group for several years, Tish Buti has been running an AdventureSail anually. We were able to send them the banner in time for this year. The girls eagerly look forward to the day.

Beyond AdventureSail®

MAKING CHANGES COME ABOUT

August 2006 Racine, WI. Brandi Duckworth, age 12, and Tyla Tatum, age 10, enrolled at the Racine Yacht Club for one week of beginner sailing. Classes were held in Optimist Prams Monday-Friday 8:30- 11:30 a.m.

Tyla attended the AdventureSail® event at RYC last year where she sailed aboard a large boat on Lake Michigan. “She loved it and was eager to learn to sail” says Amy Cermak, the event coordinator for the AdventureSail® event at RYC.
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Brandi had never been on a boat, yet expressed an interest in learning. Brandi, a natural for the sport.

Each day the instructor chooses one person to receive the “Sailor of the Day” trophy. The winning student may take home the trophy overnight, but it must be return the next day.

Tayla was chosen on the second day. Tyla was the most improved sailor. She did an excellent job trimming her main sheet.


July 8, 2006 Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, ckagel@town.southampton.ny.us

Southampton West Newspaper, July 13, 2006, Sports & Outdoors
Testing Out Uncharted Waters
By Cailin Brophy

This past Saturday was far from a typical one for the more than 30 girls who took part in the Adventuresail program at the Breakwater Yacht Club in Sag Harbor.

Outfitted with life jackets and brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity, these young teens came from groups across Long Island such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Little Flower—a children’s home in Wading River—to peer over the fence at a side of the world that has never been accessible to them.

Several members of the club volunteered their time, knowledge and vessels to give the girls a taste of sailing, participating in a race in the nearby waters while giving the teens a brief introduction to sailing terminology and operating a sailboat. But even if the girls don’t remember the difference between starboard and port or bow and stern, it was obvious by the expressions on their faces and the excited chatter on the docks after the race that it wasn’t an experience any of them would soon forget.

“My favorite part was crossing that finish line,” 15-year-old Nicole D’Agostino of Wantagh said after the race. Nicole and several other girls had the privilege of racing aboard Fred Stelle’s boat ACE, a perennial winner during the Wednesday night racing series at Breakwater. D’Agostino and the rest of the crew playfully taunted their peers on the sail back to the boat slips after the race, which ACE won in convincing fashion.

During the second leg of the race, with the wind dying down significantly, Stelle let crew mates Jack Reiser and Chris Dowling take the wheel while he spoke to the girls about sailing and his own personal experiences. D’Agostino said both she and her peers were particularly interested in hearing about Stelle’s recent participation in the Newport to Bermuda race, where both he, Dowling and several other crew members raced from Rhode Island to Bermuda over the course of four days.

A young girl named Talia, also on board ACE, said she was interested in hearing about the race as well. “It was cool that they went there nonstop,” she said. “At the beginning of the race, I was a little bored, but after we were talking, I got into it.”

Talia was given the all-important task of raising the mainsail, done with a simple push of a button, which she carried out flawlessly, a broad grin on her face the entire time.

Winning the race gave Talia a thrill as well, perhaps the most of all her fellow peers.

“I can’t believe we took first place!” she said breathlessly after the race. “We beat everybody. And I got to put my feet in the water.” Nicole excitedly mentioned her delight at the sights during the course of the race.

“We saw a seal sitting on the rock and lots of jellyfish.”

Knowing how big of a difference these simple pleasures—ones that most Sag Harbor and part-time summer residents take for granted—mean to these girls is what has kept director Charlene Kagel devoted to bringing Adventuresail to the Breakwater Yacht Club for the past seven years.

“It’s for at-risk girls, to introduce them to a non-traditional female sport,” she said. “Everyone always has a great time.”

Kagel, the Southampton Town Comptroller, became interested in the national program after seeing an article in Sailing Magazine. She then contacted president of National Women’s Sailing Association, Val Cook, who has coordinated Adventuresail programs in Wisconsin, Boston and other areas and shared her desire to offer the opportunity to underprivileged girls across Long Island.

The program received a big boost after the first year when it was offered a $1,000 human services grant from Southampton Town. Kagel said she wasn’t even aware that the program would qualify for such a grant until Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney saw a photo from the event on her desk at work, asked her about it, and told her to apply for the grant.

“We receive the grant every year and it’s great because it covers the cost of food and the trophies,” Kagel said before Saturday’s race. “Before that, we really had to scramble for money and donations.”

Kagel added that the Bridgehampton National Bank has been a generous supporter, providing gift bags for all participants.

While for many of these girls, those few hours on Saturday will be their only experience with sailing, Kagel said that opportunities do exist for those who take a particular liking to the sport and would like to get out on the water more than just once a year, thanks to the open-minded mentality of the Breakwater Club. Kagel said the club is willing to extend its scholarship for weekly sailing programs to any of the girls. Those wishing to apply for the scholarships must submit a letter detailing why they are interested in sailing. The letter, combined with the specific financial needs of the applicants, determine who receives the scholarships.

In addition to possible scholarship opportunities, Stelle—the commodore of Breakwater—discussed the possibility of offering a week-long sailing program to several girls from Little Flower this summer. While details have not yet been worked out, Kagel said the girls from Little Flower would be good candidates, given the fact that the children’s home would provide transportation to and from the program each day, which is often the biggest hurdle in getting the girls out on the water.

With the numbers of the participants having grown every year, it certainly seems like a realistic possibility that one or perhaps several of these young girls could jump at the chance for such an opportunity. When asked if she’d ever be interested in sailing again, Nicole had a reaction that was not uncommon among her peers that day. She nodded her head up and down enthusiastically while saying, “I would love to go.”

July 2006 Salem, MA. Four girls from the Girl Scouts of the Spar & Spindle Council in Eastern Massachusetts spent a week aboard the Schooner Fame as part of a week-long program, Camp Schooner. The funding came from the Women’s Sailing Foundation and a grant to the Foundation from the Corinthian Sailing Foundation.

Neyat, age 11, said “My favorite part was when we had a timed contest to learn all the different parts of the boat. I think it was a good experience for me because not many people get to go sailing. I always liked boats and I really had fun.”

And Raquel, age 10, said “I learned how to make friends and get along with others. My favorite part was going out on the water and getting to ride the boat. It was a good experience because I had fun.”

     

 

August 24, 2005, Marblehead, MA
Host club: Corinthian Yacht Club
Event Chair: Pat Dieselman, starfire3737@yahoo.com

Sixteen girls from the Lynn and Salem Girls Scouts of the Spar and Spindle Council were treated recently to an afternoon of sailing, swimming and lunch as participants in the AdventureSail® program hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead.

The girls were on five different sailboats owned and helmed by women of the Blue Water Sailing Club and Corinthian Yacht Club. The boats headed out of Marblehead Harbor for Misery Island under sunny skies. At Misery Island, the women picked up moorings and then ferried their girls to shore. Before lunch, the girls enjoyed a refreshing swim at the beach. Following lunch and in dry clothes, the group divided up once again for a return trip to their sailboats. This time there was enough wind to put up sails, turn off the motor and let the wind move the boats along. Fortunately, only a few raindrops fell, but the spirits were not dampened.

Indeed there was adventure in the day. The girls steered the boats by Eagle Island, Children’s Island and into Marblehead Harbor. One of the boats ran over a lobster pot just outside of the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. The pot had gotten stuck in the propeller. So, the woman were stuck on the pot line and had to call Sea Tow for assistance to dive down and cut the line and was then towed into the harbor. Another boat had engine difficulty. Rather than motor to the mooring which the other boats were doing, the boat had to come to its mooring under sail, all at the mercy of the wind.

According to Pat Dieselman of Ipswich, “A couple of the girls did get a bit seasick, but once back on land, their smiles and color in their cheeks returned. I think they only remembered the good parts of the day.” Other women boat owners who skippered their boats were Pat Marshall, Sue Patton, Vicki Pasquale and Grace Blanchard. They were assisted by Dorothea Rennicks-Cormier, Lisa Pasquale, Linda Allen, Betsy Fermano, Sheila Cran-Barry, Joan Thayer and Sue Corl, the national NWSA AdventureSail® co-coordinator.

Spar and Spindle Program Specialist Becky Riley also participated. “In Girl Scouting we strive to provide girls with unique opportunities to learn more about the world around them. The women from the AdventureSail® program were great at involving the girls in every aspect of sailing a boat. It was amazing to watch the girls try new things and learn new skills such as knot tying, navigation, raising the sails and taking the helm. I appreciate the time and effort the women put into providing such a great experience.”

Funding for the lunches and T-shirts was made possible by a grant from the Corinthian Sailing Foundation and Boston Private Bank & Trust Company. Lifejackets were loaned by the Girl Scout Camp and the Corinthian Yacht Club.


August 2, 2005, Racine, Wisconsin
Host club: Racine Yacht Club
Event Chair: Amy Cermak acermak@gmail.com

The sixth annual Adventure Sail® was held on August 2, 2005 at the Racine Yacht Club. Once again the Racine Yacht Club partnered with the Racine YWCA, the National Women’s Sailing Association, and West Marine to host Adventure Sail®.

Thirty-one girls ranging in ages from 9-17 attended this year’s event. The program consisted of water safety, knot tying using line donated from West Marine-Racine, sail boat familiarization, on the water sailing and eating pizza. Nine Racine Yacht Club members donated their time to take the girls sailing aboard their boats. The temperature was in the 90’s with the wind was blowing 10 knots out of the south east; perfect conditions for a beautiful sail on Lake Michigan. The girls helmed the boat, some using a tiller and others using a wheel. They trimmed the sails and watched the compass. They found that traveling 5 knots /hour can be exciting when you are out on the water. The girls enjoyed looking back on shore and identifying the buildings. They also learned about the Racine Reef light located 2 miles off shore and the harbor entrance lights. Now as they stand on shore and look out on Lake Michigan the girls won’t need to imagine how it would be to sail. They have already done that. Hopefully the girls will return next year and bring a friend.

I am very grateful for all of the people who volunteered their time to make this event a success. Thank you,

Amy Cermak
Adventure Sail® Coordinator
Racine Yacht Club


July 9, 2005 – Southampton, N.Y.
Hosted by: Breakwater Yacht Club
NWSA Coordinator: Valli Cook
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, CGKPCA@aol.com

The sixth annual Breakwater Yacht Club AdventureSail® took place on Saturday, July 9th. Young girls from the Girls Scouts, the Big Sister Association and local churches participated in a first-time experience of sailing on Long Island Sound. NWSA thanks the Breakwater Yacht Club for its continued support and enthusiasm.

Kudos go out to Charlene Kagel and Carol Morse who continue to spearhead this important activity. The members of the Breakwater Yacht Club AdventureSail® include the following individuals:

Charlene Kagel – Chairperson
Carol Morse – Race Coordinator
Sharon Horn – Food
Laura White – Gift Bags
BYC Commodore – John Newinhous
BYC Vice Commodore – Bruce Tait

BYC and NWSA would like to thank the owners who loaned their boats – Bellatrix, Jezebel, Red Bird, Satori and Target.


June 18, 2005 – Charlestown, MA
Hosted by: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Susan Epstein

As first order-of-the-day, 18 Big and Little Sister matches received AdventureSail® t-shirts, and then were fitted to lifejackets. Susan Epstein of Sharon and Hull, chairman of the event, briefed the girls on the basics of boats, sailing, and safety at sea. Two pairs of big and little sister matches were assigned to an experienced female skipper who would coach them through the 2-hour hands-on sailing session on Boston Harbor. It was a very busy day on the pier with the the Navy celebrating history with a visit by a destroyer. Speeches and music filled the air while the girls were on the water. The grill was fired up by volunteers on shore. After lunch the girls were engaged in land activities, such as knot tying, navigation, word games and introduction to code flags. The day was picture perfect – gentle breezes and just the right amount of sun.

Once clear of the pier and mooring area, each girl was given the chance to take the helm, to be the “Skipper”, and to be in charge! The girls soon lost their fear of heeling when they learned that the mainsheet could control that action. They sailed up and down Boston Harbor all the while keeping an eye on the larger vessels and the harbor ferries that came from all directions. .

 

 

2003 AdventureSail

Sarah Pederson was the host for the Racine Yacht Club when it joined with the local YWCA to hold its fifth AdventureSail® program on July 25th. A beautiful day for everyone. Each girl received a handsome Certificate of Participation.

  


July 11, 2003
Liberty Classroom aboard Liberty Tall Ship
Boston Harbor
co-chairs: Sue Corl and Joan Thayer
sponsorship: Boston Private Bank & Trust Company

33 girls from Girls Inc. of Lynn had the opportunity to sail on the 125’ Tall Ship, Liberty, as part of the Liberty Classroom, an educational program conducted on board and under sail. The girls hoisted the sails and steered the ship along with other basic seamanship training while touring Boston Harbor. Despite the rain and fog, the girls toughed it out just as sailors had to do many many years ago. AdventureSail® T-shirts became turbans as protection against the weather. Large black garbage bags became rain coats. The girls were able to warm up and dry out below when they had lunch before helping to lower the sails before returning to the dock.

The girls are participating in Eureka, a science, math, technology and sports summer program sponsored by Girls Inc.

The Liberty Classroom, a program in its second year, offers local youth groups the rare chance to sail as student trainees on a three-hour educational sail aboard the 125’ Tall Ship Liberty. “We are very excited about offering this unique opportunity for girls to learn about sailing.” said Patricia A. Driscoll, Executive Director of Girls Inc. The Liberty Classroom seeks to introduce young people to the value and excitement of the sailing experience. Said Captain John Wigglesworth, “We were delighted to have the girls with us. We are pleased that the program is growing with new groups such as AdventureSail and Girls Inc.” “And that makes us all happy.” Said co-chair Sue Corl.

Girls Incorporated of Lynn became involved with the Liberty Classroom through its participation with the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) and its AdventureSail®, a mentoring program for young girls at risk. This is the second year that NWSA has teamed up with Girls Inc for an AdventureSail® event. Sue and Joan were joined by Sally Lunt of Cambridge, also a member of NWSA and on the board of directors of the Liberty Classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


June 28, 2003
Hosted by Courageous Sailing Center
Charlestown, MA

The 7th AdventureSail® in the Boston area was held at Courageous Sailing Center on a sunny, light-winded Saturday. Fourteen matches of Big and Little Sisters from the Greater Boston Big Sister Association arrived and were given bright pink AdventureSail T-shirts and assigned a boat. Two matches and a skipper sailed on Rhodes 19s for about an hour and a half. The girls returned to the Center at noon where other volunteer women were cooking up hot dogs and hamburgs. After lunch, the on-shore program included sailing anagrams, learning code flags and finally a knot tying session. Even the volunteers were learning a knot or two. Several girls expressed an interest in returning to Courageous for further sailing lessons, which are free to any child in the Boston area.

  

July 27, 2002 -Sacramento, CA
Hosted by: Sacramento’s Catalina 22 Fleet 4 Association
Coordinator: Phil Agur, pjagur@directcon.net

Total number of participants: 64.

Jacksonville Florida 2001

Hosted by Rudder Club and Northeast Florida Women’s Sailing Network
Coordinator: Denise Smith, dannteach@aol.com

The Rudder Club of Orange Park opened up its club for 34 Big and Little Sisters of Northeast Florida for a day of sailing. Ten captains, all members of the North Florida Cruising Club, volunteered to take out the girls on the St. Johns River. Prior to departure, women from the Northeast Florida Women’s Sailing Network gave a presentation on boat safety and a quick lesson on boat parts. All girls received AdventureSail T-shirts and Sailing Smart. The day concluded with a big spaghetti dinner and an awards ceremony with participation certificates.

June 24, 2017 AdventureSail® – Courageous Sailing Center, Boston, MA
Co-chairs: Joan Thayer and Pat Dieselman
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

Partnered with Big Sister Association of Greater Boston Rain rain go away and it did! Saturday June 24th at the 20th AdventureSail® event at Courageous Sailing Center there was much discussion about whether we could sail or not due to the rain and thunderstorms coming behind it. After the 18 sets of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston arrived, checked in with Pat Dieselman and Jen Chaisson and picked up their t-shirts from Flossie, Jen Bodde, of Courageous, gave a safety talk, and assigned the pairs to volunteer skippers. Four skippers including Jen herself were from Courageous. Stephanie and Rebecca from the Big Sister Association were pitching right in with coordinating the girls, assisting with life jackets and the shore activities.

By the time we had finished rigging the boats, the rain had stopped and a gentle breeze with a few puffs came in. We ventured into Boston Harbor and wended our way around the ferry boats, larger sail boats and power boats. The girls jumped at the opportunity to steer the Rhodes 19.

We returned to shore where the grill was fired up and hot dogs and burgers awaited the hungry sailors. Following lunch there was a brief review of the parts of the boats (very well done for the amount of new terminology the girls had tossed at them), we launched into three commonly used knots: the figure eight, the square knot and the bowline. The skippers went around giving one on one assistance. Sometimes the girls caught on so quickly, they were teaching the other girls themselves. Nice plan. Having learned that that two lines could be tied together, the girls were soon out in the sun jumping rope.

We ended the afternoon with a group photo on the pier and many smiles and thank yous.  A fabulous day for all.

We are grateful for the support of Courageous Sailing Center and particularly to Jen Bodde and the Courageous skippers.     


June 10, 2017 AdventureSail® – Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association, New Orleans, LA
By: Debbie Huntsman

AdventureSail® Jump Starts the Summer at New Orleans Yacht Club

June 10, 2017 – New Orleans. “You can do anything,” said US Coast Guard Captain Lucinda Cunningham, commanding officer of Coast Guard Base in New Orleans. Her resounding message to the fourteen Girl Scouts who participated in the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association’s (LPWSA) AdventureSail® event at the New Orleans Yacht Club (NOYC) perfectly embodied the mission of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA). The picture-perfect sailing day featuring all female skippers on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain enriched the lives of these young girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. AdventureSail® participants learned how sailboats work and then skillfully mastered raising and trimming sails, taking the helm, safety practices for sailing and man-overboard duties. The young sailors also tried their hand at radio communications, quickly adopting the protocols of hailing and proper use of terminology such as “over” and “out.” AdventureSail New Orleans 2017 “Introducing local children of all backgrounds to the fun they can have on the lake will certainly bring good things to sailing and the greater New Orleans community,” said Debbie Huntsman, Coordinator and National Women’s Sailing Association Board Member. Huntsman worked with the Girl Scouts of Louisiana East to engage girls who would not otherwise have a chance to go sailing. “The high level of interest shows there is a need for such programs,” said Huntsman.  It was easy to tell by the smiles that the AdventureSail® experience was fun for everyone, not just the girls. The four boats, a Cape Dory 27 (Muse), a J/80 (LL Cool J), a J35 (Footloose) and a 42’ cruiser (Starchaser) glided along the flat water in the steady south breeze along the shores of the lake giving the girls and chaperones a thrilling morning on the water. The lunchtime pizza party included impromptu sailing quizzes and prizes offered by NOYC members and some America’s Cup action on the club’s TV. AdventureSail New Orleans 2017The girls dazzled club members with their knowledge retention and enthusiasm. This year’s event brought two return sailors from the Pleasant Zion Troupe including two scholarship recipients, Kyla and Karma. Karma, who attended AdventureSail® 2016, is an outstanding example of the leadership and sailing skills the NWSA aims to instill in young girls. “It was clear during the sail that Karma is good role model for the other Girl Scouts. She retained a lot of what she learned a year ago.” Karma will attend sailing camp at the NOYC later this summer under a scholarship from LPWSA, along with Kyla who is a Women’s Sailing Foundation AdventureSail®scholarship recipient. Both girls are very aware of and excited about the doors that have opened to them because of the AdventureSail® program. The second AdventureSail® event, scheduled for August 5, is already booked to capacity.

 


July 8, 2017 AdventureSail® – Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY Val Cook and Charlene Kagel


July 13, 2017 AdventureSail® – Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI Amy Cermak


August 5, 2017 AdventureSail® – Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association, New Orleans, LA Debbie Huntsman