Camp is filled with activities that allow you to learn new skills and test your limits.
Perhaps one of the most unique activities here at Camp Starlight when it come to having a blast and building character is sailing.
Sailing teaches many skills; how to tie nautical knots, understand the weather, and control a boat with nothing but the wind to guide you. But like any camp activity, the most important lessons being learned are team building, communication, and the power of believing in yourself!
Sailing is a team activity, so learning to work with your “crew” is critical! Whatever style of boat you happen to be sailing, campers are constantly practicing team building skills with other campers on the lake.
- Campers listen closely to what the rest of their crew is telling them, responding clearly and quickly to commands and questions. If you’re sailing solo, you will still have to communicate with other sailors on the water — so it’s lucky that all the sailing terminology is totally fun!
- Sailing teaches you to trust in the skills of your crewmates (even if the worst that can happen is getting wet!) You won’t have time to check that every knot is tied correctly, so you’ll soon learn to trust that your friends will stay on top of their duties while you’re on the water, so long as you’re holding up your end of the bargain.
- When you’re sailing, there’s a job for everyone on the boat. You and your fellow campers will quickly learn to identify situations where you can jump in and help each other.
It’s normal to feel a little hesitant your first time out on the lake. However, with practice you’ll develop your skills and, along with them, self-confidence.
Creating small, measurable goals such as learning new knots can slowly increase your confidence. Small setbacks (like having trouble steering!) followed by successes (catching the wind at just the right angle) teach the importance of bouncing back in the face of discouragement.
Organization and Planning
Managing any boat, even a single-person craft, requires organization and planning. You have to assess multiple factors such as the weather, obstacles in the water, and the lay of the shoreline to navigate your boat to your destination. You also have to keep your sails and lines organized for quick course changes — easily the hardest part of the sailing activity!
Sailing also taps into leadership skills, requiring campers to create a plan and divide responsibilities between the crew. Campers quickly learn to recognize crewmembers’ talents and divide the sailing tasks between everyone aboard accordingly.
Ready for anything
While you’ll learn plenty of physical skills while sailing the camp lake, you will also be practicing important life-skills that can help you at camp, in school, and everywhere else that teamwork and communication are important to success.
The secret to sailing is striking the balance between having a detailed plan and being adaptable when conditions change. Come to think of it, that’s a pretty good strategy for most everything at camp — and life in general!
So have a blast on the lake this summer. May the winds always be at your back!