Making our way down to the docks last year for our first day of the adult sailing class, my partner Marcie asked if I thought we would get wet and whether the boats had bathrooms. I assured her the boats would not have bathrooms and we would not get wet. Well, I was half right, which would be great if we were trying to hit a baseball. The very first thing we did after introductions was a caspsize drill/swim test! We learned how to tell wind direction, tie some key knots, how to right the boats after a capsize, and how to sail at least as fast as the person next to you, which happened to be our neighbor Dale. Regardless of my false assurances, it was one of our most adventurous and fun weekends all summer.
Because of excellent cooperation between the Vashon Park District and Quartermaster Yacht Club, the 24th Annual Junior Sailing Program will be offered again this summer beginning the week of July 14 With cuts in Vashon Park District funding, the Sailing Camp, along with many other summer camps, faced cancellation. Working together, the staff and board of the Park District, and the sailing committee and the board of the Yacht Club were able to create an arrangement for the Sailing Camp to be again offered this summer—for juniors and for adults!
The sailing program is one the most popular summer programs offered on the island. During the past 24 years over 2,000 island youngsters (and a few adults) have learned how to sail, and over 100 island young adults have learned the responsibilites of being certified sailing instructors. To ensure the Junior Sailing Program continues to be offered in the future, we started a fund raising effort to create an Opportunity Fund to support the sailing program. This fund will support scholarships for the program, upgrade safety boats and the sailing fleet as needed, and provide an emergency fund to allow the program to continue to operate into the foreseeable future. If you would like to contribute to the Sailing Program Opportunity Fund, you can send donations to the Sailing Program Opportunity Fund, PO Box 2917, Vashon, WA 98070.
Junior sailors (age 11 and over) spend four days on the water with Sail USA Certified Instructors learning to sail. Junior programs are limited to 20 sailors and run from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at Quartermaster Yacht Club. Beginner sailors (age 8 - 10) enjoy one instructor for every four sailors as they learn how to safely be on the water. Adult sailors also are paired with an young instructor. Beginners learn the basics of handling a boat, basic sailing techniques, basic water safety, and basic marine ecology. Beginner camps are limited to 12 sailors and run from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The adult camps are conducted on a weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Weekly classes start the week of July 14th and run through the week of August 15th. Each week offers one Junior camp for 10-year-olds and older, and one Beginner camp for 8-10-year-olds. Adult classes are offered by demand. Class fees for this year are the same as the past -- $220 per student per week until June 23 and $245 per student per week after June 23rd. Scholarships are available through Vashon Park District. You can register at the Vashon Park District Swimming Pool or by calling the Vashon Park District at 206 463 9602.