Nov 29, 2023
By Katherine Stone
I could go on forever with the benefits of teaching children to sail at a young age. There is a fabulous program called Wet Feet, designed for children ages 5-8. Your child will learn terminology, balance, basic boat handling, knots, and so much more opening their lives to the joys of “messing around in boats” in a carefully supervised game-oriented environment. If your child spends any amount of time on the water, they will learn to love it, and we protect what we love. They could be making positive decisions toward keeping our waters healthy.
In the Can Sail 1-4 Sail Canada programs you will see your child at the helm and they often lose track of what direction they are heading. There is a steep learning curve when learning to sail and your young child will learn responsibilities that are often reserved for much older kids. It enforces right-of-way rules, sportsmanship, and marine safety. Lessons that train them to assemble complex sails and rigging. Sailing solo in the Optimist Prams or ILCA single handed boats you will see more ownership of their own learning.
When taking a family cruise of chartering you will spend a great deal of time together and everyone will have to learn to talk with each other. The electronic devices are turned off and the conversations begin.
Your kids will learn to give as well as take orders. They will learn to work under pressure, be patient and properly communicate. Learning to anticipate and see beyond the next tack, they will gain confidence having the foresight to anticipate the next moves and gaining confidence in so much more than just keeping a heading. Sailing with kids eventually becomes sailing with a few co-captains.
Don’t feel confident enough to sail as a family? The Ontario Tall Ships Adventures www.tallshipsadventure.org might be the way to go. It might just change your teenager’s life. This program sails tall ships on the Great Lakes and your child can go on for a month or the entire summer. The crew becomes your second family, as you learn to look out for one another. It will make them grow, boost confidence and learn what they are really capable of accomplishing.
Still not convinced? Let’s add more skills that they will master: Physics, mechanics, geometry, teamwork and that mind matters over strength. The game of chess on the water changes constantly and they will learn to trust their judgement, by taking them out of their comfort zone.
Don’t lose out – registration for most programs start in January!