Giles Lemmon’s summer of service

Sail Newport was founded in 1983 and is a non-profit organization. Sail Newport is New England’s largest public sailing center. Sail Newport’s strives to promote affordable sailing opportunities to attract new sailors to the sport. Sail Newport is located in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Easy and affordable access to sailing are provided by them. The location of Sail Newport is perfect. It is situated in a sheltered cove, not far from the open ocean.

Beginning at age 8, I have enjoyed sailing at Sail Newport every summer. Sail Newport is, and always has been a major part of my life. It opened up new windows into a sport that I would have otherwise overlooked. I do not come from a sailing family. My family does not own a boat, so my parents could not have taught me anything about sailing themselves. My family is also not a member of a yacht club. Yacht clubs are the traditional place to learn how to sail. They are very hard to get into, and are usually incredibly expensive. I was able to learn to sail, despite all of these things however. Sail Newport does not require a membership or exclusive application process. I was able to go to a fantastic facility as nice as any yacht club and learn to sail from talented coaches. I believe that sail newport has touched me in a very personal way. They gave me an opportunity to learn to sail, a sport that would have otherwise been denied to me. I felt that I should put something back into the organization that has been so wonderful, so I decided to spend my time this summer helping out there.

During my time at Sail Newport, I helped with many activities. I was a sailing assistant, helping out an older, more experienced instructor. I worked with children that were around age 8-9 getting out on the water for the first time. The boats that they sailed were small, made of plastic, and about 8 feet long. Each morning, I helped them to set up their boats correctly. Setting up the boat is a very complex process, as the boats have many complex parts, and complex settings that need to be adjusted. At the beginning of my time there, the kids knew almost nothing about sailing, as they were just starting out. At the end of the session, the children were sailing around courses set in the harbor. It is another testament to sail Newport’s success that these children were able to learn to sail in such a short period of time. I also helped demonstrate the correct method for certain things, as the coaches were too large to fit in the boats. I also helped them the correct technique for launching boats from the boat ramp. It as a very interesting experience to teach people who are just starting to learn to sail. I, myself have memories about being taught by sailing assistants. Sail Newport is, and always has been a major part of my life, and it was a pleasure doing my community service there this summer

Acknowledgments: None

pictures were taken by me, and the satellite photo came from google earth

2 thoughts on “Giles Lemmon’s summer of service

  1. This is just wonderful, Giles. I love that your not-fully-adult size gave you the unique capability to help out with those small boats in a way that the older instructors could not! Sounds like you were very busy in a very useful way. Does this organization mostly draw from the local community? Are they able to reach out to young people beyond the immediate local community? I appreciate learning about this project from your post.

  2. Giles,
    Your reflection took me back to when I first learned to sail. I learned in an Opti. Like you, if I hadn’t been exposed through a program offered in my community, I would probably never have learned how much I love sailing. I’m glad to see you choosing to give back to a program that means so much to you.

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