Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three GSSJC Girl Scouts teach Red Cross Basic Sailing

The RCBS class works together to move sailboats from
the storage rack, rig the boats in preparation for sailing
and to then move the boats into the water. Here a crew
of RCBS students moves a boat into the water. The three
sailing instructors supervise from the background.
 
It’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon on Galveston Bay. The sun is bright, the water is warm and the wind is perfect for sailing. For Girl Scouts in the GSSJC Mariner program, it’s the ideal carefree afternoon on the water they dream about.

Behind-the-scenes, it takes a lot of hard work, preparation and dedication to sail like an expert. That’s something Senior Rachel R., Ambassador Christine G. and Ambassador Chelsie B. know well from their years in the Mariner program. However, it’s a whole new challenge to teach girls how to sail – a challenge these three Girl Scouts took on by leading a Red Cross Basic Sailing class at Camp Casa Mare in April.

To become instructors, each girl had to complete a variety of trainings, including taking the Basic Sailing Instructor course through the Red Cross and obtaining a Texas Boater’s License.

“The hardest part was finding time to make it all happened,” said Rachel. “It was my senior year in high school and I had a part-time job, so working around all of that was challenging. It was worth it though!”

The girls then scheduled a Red Cross Basic Sailing class and, with Mariner volunteers supervising the course, led a group of Girl Scouts in learning the ins and outs of sailing.

“Teaching a sailing class to fellow Girl Scouts was an amazing experience,” said Christine. “I got to share my love of sailing with other girls. Teaching the exact same class that taught me to sail was a very special experience as well. Mariners have taught me more than how to maneuver a boat; sailing has taught me leadership, self-reliance, responsibility and strength, and it was an honor to pass those lessons on to younger girls.”

All three girls joined the Mariner program at early ages. Following attending the resident camp session “Taste of Sailing,” Rachel and Christine both decided to give sailing a try. Chelsie joined as a fun way to spend time with her friends.

They all agree their sailing experiences have had a huge impact on their lives. With the leadership skills learned through their role in the RCBS course, these three young ladies now know how to step up to a challenge and conquer it.

“I’ve learned so many things that have helped me throughout life, it’s unexplainable,” said Chelsie. “I have friends that are like my sister because of the program. It has given and taught me qualities and skills that I have been able to use outside of the program to help make a difference. I have another family because of the Mariners. This program has changed my life and saved it at the same time. I would put every girl with a passion for water in this amazing program if I could.”

For more information on the Mariner program, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or mhardy@sjgs.org.