What better way for your kids to spend their summer than on the water learning to sail? Edison Sailing Summer Camp in North Fort Myers on the Caloosahatchee River gives children the opportunity to develop a love for nature and be in contact with Southwest Florida’s natural surroundings.
For over 30 years, Edison Sailing Center (ESC) has been offering summer programs for kids ages 8-15 that not only teaches the basics of sailing or powerboating, but also reinforces life skills of cooperation, teamwork, and communication. Sailing instruction is offered at all levels: from beginner to advanced, with special emphasis on beginners and safe boat handling skills.
In the summer classes, campers will learn to handle sails, boat parts, gear, wind, knots and major maneuvers: turning, to navigate through (perpendicular to the wind), upwind (into the wind), downwind (with the wind) and gibing (turning downwind).On the first day, each participant is assessed on basic skills, including swim test and capsizing, then sailors will be placed into an appropriate instructional group and boat. Among the sailboats used in their sailing lessons are Optimist, Laser and 420 boats. Students must be able to swim and should bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and a hat and/or sunglasses. Campers should also wear clothing – and shoes – that can get wet, but no sandals or flip-flops.
Another benefit for kids learning this sport is gaining self-assurance and confidence, says 16-year-old Sydney Monahan, former camper turned camp instructor. Moreover, sailing is one of the few sports where boys and girls compete on equal terms.
All gear and vessels are provided and best of all, children can go in with no sailing experience and by the end of two weeks are proudly taking their parents out on the water on Parent Day during their last day celebration.
This summer, ESC will be offering four 2-week half-day (8:30 a.m. – Noon) sessions. Sessions run from June 5 – August 4, 2017 (view schedule). Cost is $200 per session, per child and food is not provided. Summer camp registration opens late March each year. Sessions 2-4 are still currently open for new camper enrollment.
For another summer camp that takes advantage of local Florida beaches, check out HelloSWFL’s Sanibel Sea School introduction.