Kids Learn to Sail on Lake Champlain

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 07/24 2014 11:02PM

Updated 07/24 2014 11:21PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Parents- are you looking for something fun for your kids this summer? Well you can sign them up to learn the ins-and-outs of sailing on Lake Champlain.


“It's my lucky life jacket,” said Joseph Koussi. The ten year old is one of many kids who are learning how to sail this summer.


“At first it's hard because you are getting used to it because the steering is the opposite and then after like a day you're kind of used to it and it gets really fun,” said Nora Engisch, age 10.


 “First of all you have to tighten the sail sometimes, then you have to steer it by the steering this on the back,” said Koussi.


“It’s hard for me to drive because you have to like turn and you don't want to like tip over,” said 8-year-old Rafael Calderon.


It's all a part of a one week or two weeklong camp offered in the summer by the Community Sailing Center in Burlington.


“The priority of the sailing center and all of our programs is to harbor some sort of feeling of respect for the lake, build some stewardship and also show them a really good time on the lake,” said Ryan Robinson, the Education Director at the Community Sailing Center.


Robinson says the kids start small by getting used to the water and their instructors in smaller boats called bics.


“In the bics we did a capsize and recovery drill and they just had a capsize and recovery race - like whoever could capsize the fastest,” said Peyton Jones, age 10.


But that's not all, the camp also gives kids the chance to try all different kinds of water activities.


“I love when we went kayaking,” said Calderon.


“My favorite part was sailing with my friends because I like going on the big waves cause then you go high up in the air and the water gets splashed on your face,” said Engisch.


Robinson says the camp not only teach kids how to sail, kayak, or paddleboard; but also helps build their self- esteem.


“The first day half of the kids were not engaged they didn't want to be here, today we paddled all the way to north beach and they all did it. And they were having the best time of their life. I had to kick them out of here today because they didn’t want to leave,” said Robinson.


Organizers with the Community Sailing Center say they offer scholarships to help families pay for these types of camps; to make sure everyone who wants to participate, can.


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