Hello PLSS Fans!
We're trucking along this winter and have been keeping very busy! We're just a few days away from finalizing all of our class offerings and pricing for the 2015 Season!
In late January, I was able to attend US Sailing's National Sailing Programs Symposium - this year held in New Orleans, where I've presented for the second year in a row. It's a very cool event in which sailing coaches, directors and supporters from around the United States are able to get together and figure out the best ways to help grow the sport of sailing. This year the event was on the tail end of the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Sailing Conference, so there were delegates from all over the world coming in to check out what we do in the states. It was great to be able to see what tactics for teaching are employed by organizations around the world.
Over the past almost decade that I've attended this conference, I have noticed that the topics have shifted from a lot of high-end racing programs to more community sailing centers and accessibility. The trends in the sport of sailing are making a movement from the elite and high level racing, to getting as many people out on the water as possible.
One of the ways that we're hoping to increase the level of participants in our program is to go beyond sailing and delve further into education. The STEM Program (Science, Technology, Education, Mathematics) or US Sailing's REACH Program helps us do that. I took the 8 hr. course prior to the conference to become a certified STEM Educator and it was an awesome experience! US Sailing has 10 modules developed that cover a number of topics ranging from calculating sail area, buoyancy, wind speed, block and tackle/purchase, and studying our environmental impact. The program started out as a "no-wind day" activity and developed into something where fifth graders from local schools come to facilities around the country, and (while they might not see it at first) get a better understanding of STEM through the sport of sailing and other hands-on activities (no boredom here!). We are trying to start the program in our area first with St. Anthony's and Kettle Moraine schools.
Some of the other topics I attended were about getting the most out of your practices and drills, how to incorporate stand up paddle-boarding, kayaking and windsurfing into your program, keeping sailing staff motivated (we have a great staff so all of this info was just a bonus!), building a 21st century sailing center - from fundraising to blueprints, and many more. The topic which I presented on was "developing programs for non-racers." I presented with some awesome people from the New England Science and Seamanship Center, Hoover Sailing Club and Baltimore Community Sailing Center. Needless to say, I'm super jazzed about all of the cool stuff I learned!
Stay tuned for Summer 2015 Brochure/Application coming out SOON!
MYST (High School Sailing) Meeting on Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30pm at Harken.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,