Learning to Sail

Even though they were eager to learn to sail, Janelle and Samantha’s first experience on the Hartley did not go so well!

They were frightened of how much faster and harder the bigger boat was to control. They tried to get back on course for a few minutes, and then I volunteered to jump in the boat with them to give them a little more help. They agreed and we were off.

At first, they were still confused about how to operate the boat, but after a few directions, Janelle and Samantha became naturals. They tried harder and harder challenges with great enthusiasm. I especially liked when Samantha exclaimed, “Can we Jibe?!”—which is a trickier technique for sailors. After the program was done, they told me that they were so much more confident in the Hartleys and they had a lot of fun.

Days after, the students wrote stories about why they loved their middle school, and when I read Janelle’s, I was filled with joy to see that she wrote about our experience in the Hartley. She explained that the reason she loved her school was that she now loved to sail. I have since worked with Janelle and Samantha on other programs, and they continue to be eager learners and a blast to work with.