Since 1985, the Brendan Sail Training Program for Youth with Learning Differences has aimed to build confidence in children with learning differences through the sport of sailing. It gives each child the tools necessary to have a safe and fun time on the water. Registration is still open for this summer’s Brendan sailing programs in Annapolis.
Two sessions will be held at the Annapolis Sailing School June 19-30 and July 3-14. The day camps are for 11- to 14-year-olds and cost $500 for a week long program. Sign up at brendansailing.org/registration. Because Brendan does not turn away students based on financial backgrounds, scholarship information is available at brendansailing.org/scholarships. There is also a Brendan camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland July 19-28 that offers day and overnight sailing camping.
This year, the Brendan Program’s Camp Executive Director is Ms. Charlie Arms, a US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor Trainer with many years of teaching youth, college students, and adults. She has recently updated the Brendan Sailing curriculum to align it with the National On-Water Standards.
The Annapolis camp is led by US Sailing Certified Instructors who work with individual students discovering their learning style, covering parts of the boat, maneuvers, navigation, and rules of the road. Using a hands-on approach to learn sailing and seamanship, the emphasis is on confidence building as well as skill mastery. Campers also have time for games and no prior experience is required. This program is taught on Bembe Beach on Topaz sailing dinghies at Annapolis Sailing School.
Since the program was conceived, more than 600 young people, ages 11 to 18, have been introduced to the joys of sailing, and, in the process, improved relationships with their peers and built self-esteem, confidence, and maturity. To further assist the students, the Brendan program also uses US Sailing-certified curriculum and instructors at the camps.