So Cal went sailing last week. It was a wonderful experience for him on many levels, and one that I wish he'd had the opportunity to take advantage of earlier (as in, a few years ago). Thing is, this program didn't exist until recently. Sail Nauticus, run by our neighbor Bill, is new to Norfolk and is already taking our sweet city by storm.
The summer program works by combining open enrollment campers (like Callum) with city groups that support disadvantaged youth between the ages of 10-14. Its mission is to not only get kids on the water, but to use maritime skills, sailing and plain old science to help these kids gain leadership and life skills. It's pretty laudable, actually, and we've been impressed from top to bottom.
For Callum, it was all about the water. He says he could stay on the water all day. This has always been true for our boy, and I believe it even more so now. The camp consisted of half days on the water and half days doing other stuff, and when he wasn't in the boat, Cal was itching to be back there.
On the last day, parents were invited to come down to the waterfront to watch their kids out on the water. It was like a Pirates of the Caribbean battle with water guns, coolers and hoses! We ran into one of the camp volunteers there, a young man named Brandon, who had such a light and shining spirit. I felt that if these were the men and women my son was spending the week with AND he was learning to sail, well, this was nothing but a good thing.
And if it helped my son; if he came out of those boats so much more confident, how can it not help but do something for the kids who are starting with so much less? I hope so. What a difference it could make.