As a child, I spent my summers on Cape Cod. I took swimming lessons on the beach. My mom said that all year we used our brains in classrooms, so during the summer we should use our hands outside. Across the parking lot, there was a new sailing school.
The next summer I was signed up with one of my little sisters. We were hooked. This program was called Bourne Community Boating. It was a half day, 4 week program, and one day a week was dedicated to science. We went on field trips to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and to Massachusetts Maritime Academy and to investigate local marine species and ecosystems.
This summer camp has changed my life and the lives of others who attended the camp. One camper turned counselor spent a semester at sea and sailed to Fiji. Others joined sailing teams (Bourne HS joined with the next town) and continued to sail in college. Kids went on to study marine biology and environmental policy, things they were exposed to at BCB. My sister’s major is Marine and Fishery Sciences. I was first a camper, then an instructor in training, instructor, then head instructor. Over my 9 years there, I grew immensely. I discovered my love for teaching and practiced lesson planning and being flexible because sailing is so weather dependent. I met people with incredible stories, such as a family who hadn’t set foot on land in a year. I made lifelong friends who I didn’t see during the school year, but when we came back each summer, it was as if no time had passed at all.
Very similar to HRMM’s sailing program, this was a community based program. We had barbecues, and there were scholarships available. We started an adaptive sailing program for individuals with physical or mental impairments which would make it more difficult for them to assess the water. We partnered with local veterans groups. It was awesome how this program was not competition focused, but promoted seamanship, caring for and understanding the environment around the water, and included people from all walks of life.
I’ve been sailing for a number of years, but it wasn’t until I came to Kingston that I discovered the history around sailing. The Hudson River Maritime Museum is an awesome resource to find out how people have been interacting with the river for hundreds of years.
The people I met at HRMM and in the Kingston Sailing Club are so welcoming and fun.
This program is unique because we learn all of the things around sailing such as repairs/ woodwork. We learn the applications of sailing such as sail freight. There is such focus on environmentalism, and HRMM is actually doing something about improving the marine environment with Solaris and partnerships with Sloop Clearwater and Apollonia.
If you would like to get connected with our amazing sailing community at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, visit our website, https://www.hrmm.org/sailing-school.html to learn more about sailing opportunities for youth and adults.
Staff and volunteers of the Hudson River Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat School and Sailing & Rowing School.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
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The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.