STONINGTON, CT. New England Science & Sailing (NESS) Foundation is kicking off their summer season and celebrating 15 years of serving the community at their fifth annual NESS Fest on Saturday, June 24 (11am-3pm).
This free event will feature fun activities including sailing, kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding. NESS Fest participants are welcome to enjoy ocean adventure activities, tour the facilities, meet the staff, and learn more about NESS’s summer programs. No prior experience in water sports is necessary and participants will be supervised by trained and experienced NESS staff members. Baby’s Bonetown BBQ food truck from Providence will be onsite with food available for purchase.
This event is free and open to the public. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
This summer marks NESS’s fifteenth year of serving the community. As an ocean adventure nonprofit, NESS provides STEM-based education programs, on the water and off, for students from all walks of life. The organization uses marine science, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing as platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities.
NESS was created in 2002 by Spike Lobdell and members of the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club with the mission to develop sailing and educational programs that benefit the community at large. That first year, there were just 14 children, 8 tiny boats, and a big dream of being inclusive of those who love or want to learn about the water. Since NESS’s start in 2002, the student size and fleet have grown tremendously. With a fleet of 102 sailboats, 27 powerboats, 62 kayaks, and 36 windsurfers and SUPs, in 2016 NESS taught over 7,500 students ages four to adult (which amounted to over 100,000 hours of student learning).
As NESS Founder, President, and CEO Spike Lobdell explains, “There aren’t too many activities more empowering than putting kids in boats – sailing, kayaking, surfing, jumping off and snorkeling – many times digging deep to overcome fears and anxieties – then returning to shore – safe, and with a new level of confidence. Pushing students to step out of their comfort zones in a safe environment is what sets NESS apart and makes our programs so successful.”