The August 3rd issue of The Epoch Times has an interesting article by Jan Jekielek entitled Sail Training, Small Scale, Brings Hope and Responsibility to Troubled Youth about a small boat program in Poland.
“I don’t know a more effective method of teaching young people,” says Adam Falkiewicz, the lead Sail Trainer at the club.
“They have to learn how to do hard work, and to listen. They must learn to manage others. They learn how to trust each other, as well as themselves, at sea. Overall, they become responsible. In the end, they are whole people.”
There are so many interesting youth sail training programs all over the world. In the United States we have a number of similar boat building and sailing programs for at-risk / under-served youth and one of my favorites is Rocking the Boat in the Bronx, NY. Be sure to watch this video on their website; while its a couple years old, it still captures the art and magic of their program.
These programs give young people life skills way beyond the knowledge of sailing or boat building. The sea is such a great teacher of so many subjects and often the most important is knowledge of and confidence in ourselves.