When visiting the Port of Silverdale, you can often watch local youth learning to sail, thanks to the Kitsap Sailing Foundation. This non-profit’s mission is to teach the art of sailing and rowing to Kitsap’s youth while building leadership, teamwork, and decision-making skills.
“Learning to sail opens up a whole new world. It is a world of almost limitless opportunities for fun, adventure, exploration, and self-achievement,” says Windermere Broker Mark Danielsen, whose kids developed a deep love for sailing. In fact, his son and his niece took lessons and became youth sailing instructors. The foundation has impacted so many kids’ lives, so we’re shining a light on this wonderful organization.
In 2006, a group of volunteers formed the Kitsap Sailing and Rowing Foundation to support youth programs in Kitsap County. The foundation’s volunteers assist in running programs, maintaining equipment, and coordinating boat acquisition. The Port of Silverdale and the Kitsap Sailing Foundation (KSF) partnered to continue the program. Clam Island Rowing became its own non-profit as interest in rowing grew. The Kitsap Sailing Foundation continues to provide training, mentorship, and summer camp programs while helping the port acquire new sailboats and equipment and expanding its existing curriculum.
Summer Sailing Camps for Kids and Teens
KSF offers a variety of programs, including summer sailing camps for kids and teens. No prior experience is needed. STEM education has also been incorporated into the sailing curriculum to provide an even more in-depth learning experience. The Youth and Teen Sailing Summer Camps provide an excellent opportunity for youth to learn about marine life in an unrestricted outdoor classroom. While building friendships and learning to work as a team, kids learn about topics like wind power and water quality.
Summer camps are daily and last for one week. They will be offered this summer starting June 21, 2021 and ending August 6, 2021. Youth camps are from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM while teen camps are from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Five-day camps are $150 per session, and four-day camps are $120 per session.
Impacting Youth in Many Ways
Getting kids and teens involved in outdoor activities can help them in so many ways. They learn to appreciate nature, stay physically active, and participate in experiential learning activities. “One of the things we have learned from the Covid-19 lockdown is how important it is for our youth to be engaging with others and staying active. We are very pleased to be able to offer sailing as an outlet for the youth to be outside, off their screens, and engaging with others,” says John Bouck, President of the Kitsap Sailing Foundation.
“The Kitsap Sailing Foundation high school sailing team program has also been important to the Bremerton Yacht Club,” explains Mark Danielsen. “High school sailors from Silverdale who develop their skills and become certified instructors often teach summer sailing camps at Bremerton Yacht Club as well as the Port of Silverdale.”
These programs can offer long-term benefits as well, sometimes even impacting students’ educational and career trajectories. “My daughter joined the Central Kitsap Sailing Team. She developed new friendships, enjoyed racing with her team throughout the PNW, and became a U.S. Sailing certified instructor,” says Julie Wurden Jablonski, Windermere Broker, and Kitsap Sailing Foundation Treasurer/Board Director. Julie’s daughter has “taught youth camps at the Port of Silverdale and volunteers to help coach the team. Many sailors go on to race in collegiate programs, and some have gone on to sailing and recreation careers.”
Support through Kitsap Great Give or Get Involved
If you’d like to support KSF, it is the perfect time to do so since Kitsap Great Give is going on now through April 20, 2021. Kitsap Great Give celebrates our community’s spirit of generosity, supporting our local nonprofits, like the Kitsap Sailing Foundation. Sponsors boost local donations so your donation could even be doubled. Donate to the Kitsap Sailing Foundation before April 20 to make an even bigger impact.
If you’d like to support the foundation at a different time, you can make a donation on their website. Additionally, businesses can become a sponsor and have their name on the side of a sailboat. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 447-8520.
Also, the foundation welcomes community involvement. They seek certified sailing instructors for coaching, boat repair skills, and fundraising event assistance. They are also open to new community members joining their board of directors.
For more information on this year’s events, follow their Facebook page.