Life skills sure, but also more than that, Fort Worth Boat Club's Junior Sailing Director Scott Lindley said of the club's summer sailing camps.
“We have a lot of fun out here certainly,” Lindley said. “Kids who are interested in learning to sail or race sailboats that's what we're set up to do with U.S. Sailing certified coaches on hand to teach and manage all the activities.”
The camps, open to Fort Worth Boat Club members and non members, run the gamut from beginning recreational sailing to more advanced training.
Camps are available for kids ages 4-7 and 8-17 though the club offers classes for adults as well.
“In my mind the benefits are endless,” Lindley said. “Especially since so many kids were stuck inside during the pandemic. We get them outside for activities that get them individually into boats and back into a social group setting.”
The mission of the camps, according to the FWBC website, is to “develop knowledgeable youth dinghy racers and everyday sailors” by providing a safe, fun environment allowing sailors to “refine their skills, learn good sportsmanship, build lifetime friendships and compete at the highest level of sailing.”
Lindley, who began running the camps seven years ago, said he and the instructors get as much out of them as the kids do.
“The sport of sailing is a great sport, an Olympic sport,” Lindley said. “It's always great for us to see how the kids gain confidence and self esteem from learning to sail. By operating their own boat, going out and having fun, that's a really big boost to kids, learning how to go out and do that on their own.”
There are multiple camps offered for kids of all ages and experience levels.
Those camps include Little Dogies Camp, an introduction to sailing and water sports for kids 4-7 employing games, activities and other instructions to “prepare them to be confident when entering the mainstream FWBC Summer Sailing programs.”
The Opti Learn To Sail Camp, for kids ages 8 to 17 who weigh 120 pounds or less and “just want to have fun.” The camp covers sailing fundamentals. The Sunfish Camp covers the same for kids 120 pounds or more.
The club's Adventure Camp covers a bevvy of water and nature activities.
“That's designed to really show kids the many benefits of Eagle Mountain Lake,” Lindley said. “It takes in all the things you can do out here from hiking, fishing, exploring, sailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. They also learn the benefits of everything the FWBC has to offer. It's a popular class and a lot of fun.”
Also offered is the Race Team Camp.
“That's one of the more advanced classes,” Lindley said. “The FWBC has a sailing team that travels around the country and that's a special camp in summer for our racing kids.
“We actually have classes year round though usually more intermediate and advanced classes outside the summer sessions. The summer camps are popular because we spread them out so that kids can sign up for more than one if they want and to help families with planning vacations and other things.”
The FWBC's summer camp sessions rank as “one of the most sought after summer sailing programs for kids,” according to the club's website, and provide “the finest instructors and coaches from around the globe to provide a world class sailing experience.”
For information on the FWBC Summer Sailing Camps, or the FWBC, visit fwbc.com or call 817-236-8393.
The Fort Worth Boat Club is at 10000 Boat Club Road on Eagle Mountain Lake.