Adventure Tracks are classified like ski runs—green, blue, and black diamond (e.g., basic, intermediate, advanced). Sailing Academy, a blue track, is all about adventure and thrill seeking. It’s designed more for older boys who are not focused on merit badges, but who are looking for an extraordinary experience. Sailing Academy can open the door to future sailing opportunities. A unit’s entire troop and their leaders (leaders sign up and pay a fee) are all encouraged to participate.
Sailing Academy teaches sailing and water safety basics and then gets the participants right out on the water. That’s two days of boats and water! Scouts are able to experience a freedom and connection with the water, wind, water craft, and fellow crew members that is truly extraordinary. Basic sailing skills are taught and practiced as they prepare to embark on sailing activities, improve current sailing skills, and open the door to future sailing horizons.
Troops that participated exclaimed that this was one of the highlights of their Scout camp week. I saw a lot of boys with big smiles walking around the waterfront this summer. They obviously had a blast and learned some awesome new sailing skills; and not just boys enjoyed themselves, but also leaders.
I asked one leader, who was bringing a sailboat back into the beach, about his experience. He got a big grin on his face and said the last time he went sailing was when he was 15 years old. “All of the fun and experiences came rushing back today. This was awesome!”
This experience rekindled his interest in sailing, something he enjoyed doing as a youth. Both the Scout leader and his boys said they truly had an exciting experience at Scofield Scout Camp and were very interested in pursuing future sailing activities back home.
The Utah National Parks Council has partnered with wonderful sailing families and our local Sea Scout group, which is sponsored by the Utah Lake Yacht Club. They graciously loaned us several sailboats this summer to use along with our Council boats, including Sunfish, Lasers, Coronados, and Catamarans.
For those boys and leaders that are interested in continuing to sail outside of their Scout camp experience they can contact the Sea Scout unit leaders (Sea Scout Ship 3), and the Utah Lake Yacht Club, who are based out of Utah Valley. They have monthly meetings and in-season weekly activities (sailing on Utah Lake).Contact Dan Maker, 801.691.6278 or Jim Daniels, 801.636.1803, for details. You can also check-out the Utah Lake Yacht Club website at: ULYC@gmail.com.
Author: Steve Sutherland | Camping Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. 801.361.2508