Seven weeks of Sailing Summer Camp at St. Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) kicked off on June 22 and finished on August 7, with 122 spots filled with beginner and advanced students ages 7 to 16 years old. It was a great success, the organisation said!
Seven spots were sponsored by donations made by members at the club’s annual general meeting (AGM) in July, giving kids that normally wouldn’t be able to, a chance to experience sailing.
“The response to our camp was tremendous and we were fully booked all summer along with a waiting list. Our Sailing School was very fortunate to be able to host our popular camp during these trying times of COVID-19, offering children of St. Maarten a healthy outdoor sport to be part of.
“For many kids, it was their first experience out on the water in a sailboat and their introduction to sailing. For others, they were able to improve their skills while also displaying and sharing their abilities with fellow campers.
“The students sailed in our RS Quests under the supervision of our assistant instructors, in addition to sailing our Laser Pico’s and Opti’s. Some weeks they were able to sail all the way to Phillipsburg and back when the weather permitted, which was definitely the highlight of their week at camp!” SMYC said.
Besides sailing, the kids also took part in weekly informative environmental workshops by Tanya Power-Stevens of EPIC. They toured FKG Marine every week, giving them a first-hand look at a marine service business; practiced rope-work; built their own boats out of recycled materials; swam in the waters off Simpson Bay beach, towing out inflatable raft and paddle boards; participated in sailing scavenger hunts; picnicked at Explorer Island; and toured the Coast Guard boat, Puma.
Every day was different for lunch, including trips to Lagoonies, Dinghy Dock, Sint Maarten Yacht Club Restaurant, pizza from Domino’s, sandwiches by Zee Best for picnic’s, and pasta at Topper’s. Snacks were provided by Divico and fresh fruit was offered every day. When in Phillipsburg, they had frozen fruit smoothies by the Honhonhon Bar.
“It has been so rewarding to see such excitement in the youths out on the water while introducing the sport of sailing to so many new youngsters. Many newcomers will be enrolling in our lesson programme which starts in September, now that they have had their first taste of sailing. And this makes us happy!”