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Youth Summer Sailing Programs in the Southeast

Laser fleet preparing for the start sequence at the Boomerang Regatta. Photo by Terry Boram
Laser fleet preparing for the start sequence at the Boomerang Regatta. Photo by Terry Boram

Whether your child wants to learn to sail, enhance skills, just learn to kayak or even windsurf, there is a Youth Summer Sailing Program right in your backyard. Some of them include:

Virginia: 
Hampton Yacht Club. One week basic Explorer sessions, 2-8 wk Level 1 and 2 Opti and 420 and three-day Sonar Keelboat Sail Adventures. Ages: 6-18. www.hamptonyc.com

Seaford Yacht Club. Level 1-4 classes building on skills from previous classes. 420 session for advance sailors. Ages: 8-18. www.seafordyachtclub.com/

North Carolina:
Little Washington Sailing School, Washington. Teaching sailing for kids ages 10-18 in one-week sessions throughout the summer using Vanguard 420 sailboats, with focus on self-reliance, awareness of safety, sportsmanship, teamwork, self-confidence, and respect for others. www.littlewashingtonsailingschool.org

Carolina Yacht Club, Wrightsville Beach. Weeklong camps from learning to sail to advance race techniques. Ages: 7+. www.carolinayachtclub.org/jrsailing.html

Bow to Stern Youth Sailing, Oriental. Weeklong sessions for beginners to advance. Also Keel Boat Cruising and Counselors in Training Programs for ages 14-16. Ages: 7-16. www.towndock.net/youthsailing

Outer Banks Community Sailing, Manteo. The 14th year of sailing from the boat shop at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum, beginner to intermediate, on Optis, Sunfish and 420s. Ages 8-16. www.townofmanteo.com (departments/maritimemuseum)

N.C. Maritime Museum, Beaufort. This exciting program teaches the arts of rigging, sailing and seamanship, and introduces the students to maritime traditions and history all while learning basic sailing skills. Ages: 8+. www.ncmaritimemuseums.com/beaufort.html

Camp Seagull (for boys) and Camp Seafarer (for girls), Arapahoe. A comprehensive four-week seamanship camp with both sail and powerboat certification courses. Campers have more time to build seamanship skills, gain new confidence, and strengthen their character. Other sessions available from day camps to sailing on board a 70-foot schooner. Ages: 6+. www.seagull-seafarer.org/

South Carolina:
South Carolina Yacht Club, Hilton Head. Four levels of instruction offered from Guppies to Racing. Discounts for multiple sessions and children. Ages: 6-18. www.scyachtclub.com/

Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. Besides the Learn to Sail Sessions, BYSC also offers a Summer Camp, which includes fishing, kayaking, swimming, tennis and more. Ages: 9+. byscnet.com/

Charleston Yacht Club. Partnering with the Charleston Community Sailing to offer programs from Guppies (age 5-7) to advance racer. Ages: 5-18. www.charlestonyachtclub.com

James Island Yacht Club. Sailing and Water Sports Camp that incorporates sailing of all levels, marine eco system exploring, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Ages: 7-17. www.jiyc.org/

Georgia:
Savannah Sailing Center. “Catch the Wind” are weeklong full-day sessions from June-August. Taught at the Chatham County Recreation Department’s Lake Mayer Boathouse. Age: 8+. savannahsailingcenter.org/index.php/programs/

Florida:
The Rudder Club, Jacksonville. The Joel Shannon Sailing Camp was founded 18 years ago in memory of this local sailor who wanted young people involved in the sport of sailing. Four one-week sessions offered in June and July. Ages: 8-15. www.rudderclub.com/camp.html

Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County, Vero Beach. This non-profit organization operates a sustainable sailing program for the benefit of local youth. Now in its third year this program now has 28 donated Optis. There are six week-long learn to sail Summer Camp sessions. Ages: 7-15. www.ysfirc.org

Calema Windsurfing and Watersports, Merritt Island. Sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. Windsurfing, Watersports, Kayaking/SUP and Sailing camps from Memorial weekend through August. All camps held at Kelly Park. Ages: 8-17. depending on the camp calema.com/for-kids/

The US SAILING Center of Martin County Inc., Jensen Beach. USSCMC’s goal is to challenge children to learn to sail and race in a safe and sportsman-like manner. Little Skipper half-day sessions available for kids 5-7. Ages: 5-17. www.usscmc.org/

Shake-A-Leg Miami. Opportunities for children, youth and adults with or without physical challenges to experience beautiful Biscayne Bay. A variety of Summer Camp options including Water Sports, Island Adventure and Summer Outings. Ages: Varied. www.shakealegmiami.org/

Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Beginners begin in the Prams and work their way up to Optimist and Sunfish. Two-week camps with a dedicated fun day each week. Ages: 7-14.

Coral Reef Yacht Club, Miami. From beginner sailors to advance racers CRYC prides itself on their low sailor-to-instructor ratio, fresh cooked meals and individualized instruction. Ages: 8-17. www.coralreefyachtclub.org

Upper Keys Sailing Club, Key Largo. Mark Sorenser Youth Sailing Program offers weeklong sessions throughout the summer. The goal of the program is to get kids sailing, and then to teach them how to race a sailboat to prepare them to join green fleet. For kids who have aged out or weigh too much for the Opti, a Catalina 12.5 is used. Ages : 8-18. www.msysp.org

Naples Community Sailing Center. Weeklong camps will teach kids basic sailing skills, capsize recovery, knot tying and confidence sailing their own Optimist dinghy. Special Open sessions for older youths include Opti, Laser, Sunfish and 420s. Ages: unspecified. http://ncscnaples.blogspot.com/

Edison Sailing Center, Fort Myers. There is something for every interest. Sailing, powerboating, windsurfing, environmental marine science, and fishing. Ages: 8-17. www.edisonsailingcenter.org.

Sarasota Youth Sailing Program, Sarasota. Begun as strictly a summer program which turned into year round sailing. Summer Camp brings close to 500 children a year with special sessions for pre-beginning sailors (Tadpoles ages 5-7) through Level 2 420s. Ages: 5-18. www.sarasotaysp.com

Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Clearwater. Little Puffs for ages 5-7, Prams, 420s, Water Adventure, Windsurfing and Camp Awesome for high functioning kids with special needs are all offered throughout the summer. Ages: 5-17. www.clearwater communitysailing.org

Emerald Coast Sailing Association, Fort Walton Beach. A non-profit association formed in 1992 when a group of Okaloosa County sailors realized a need for an organization to foster local sailing. Two week camp with your choice of morning or afternoon sessions. Camp held at Fort Walton Yacht Club or Blue Water Bay. Ages: 8-17.

Pensacola Beach Yacht Club. A unique opportunity for juniors to experience monohull and multihull sailing. One week only. Participants must be at least 7 and know how to swim. Ages: 7+. www.pensacolabeach-yc.org

Alabama:
Mobile Bay Sailing School. Classes in Optimist and 420‘s for beginnings to advance. There are eight one-week sessions offered throughout the summer. Ages: 8-18. www.mobilebaysailingschool.com/

Fairhope Jr. Yacht Club. An extension of the Fairhope Yacht Club on Mobile Bay. www.fairhopeyachtclub.com/YouthSailing/Juniors.htm

Mississippi:
Biloxi Yacht Club. Junior sailing lessons for beginners to advance. Camp is Monday-Thursday with Friday night racing. Ages: 7-18. www.biloxiyc.org/

Bay-Waveland Yacht Club. Four two-week sessions with a huge regatta and banquet in late July. Sessions are Tuesday-Friday. Ages: 8+. www.bwyc.org/sailing/sailingcamp.html

Louisiana:
Pontchartrain Yacht Club. Four 2-week camps throughout the summer. Open to members and non-members. Ages: 7+. www.pontyc.org

Texas:
Houston Yacht Club. A 10-week schedule of beginning, emerging and racing instruction on Optimists and Lasers. Special sessions for 5-7 years old first time sailors. June-August. Ages: 5+. www.houstonyachtclub.com

Seabrook Sailing Club. The Youth Program is structured around “sail and learn” sessions in which kids get hands-on sailing experience under supervision of an instructor and parent helpers on Saturday mornings during the summer. For the kids that have the basics of sailing down, reach races will be held off the club pier with parents cheering them on. Ages: 7+. www.seabrooksailingclub.org/training.html

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