As a parent who is about to send their young adult on a trip of a lifetime, so many questions lead to stress. Will they fit in, will they be safe, will they wear sunscreen, will they drink water?
The answer to all of those questions is yes. They will do everything that we typically do, and they will flourish. They will have a great experience, and they will come back as changed individuals.
That doesn’t make it any easier to drop your kid off at the airport for a 2-week sailing adventure but it does prepare you for move-in day as a freshman in college. When your high school senior embarks on a two-week sailing program, it may seem like a simple adventure, but the experience offers much more than just a scenic voyage on the open water. Beyond the thrill of sailing, these programs instill invaluable life skills that can significantly benefit your child’s transition to college and the challenges that come with being a freshman away from home.
American Sailing School Sail Caribbean has been sending young people on ocean adventures for over 40 years. They have perfected the art of transformation. When a young adult leaves the dock for the first time they are a blank canvas, a moldable piece of clay. When they return to the home base they have gained leadership skills, social skills, seamanship, and the art of self-reliance.
Parents have asked me countless times about how to involve their kids in sailing, and my answer always includes on-the-water programs that help young adults capture the essence of the sailing lifestyle.
I should note that these courses are also an excellent way for college students to garner the skills required to face the challenges of entering the workforce or taking on the challenges of graduate school. The Echo 14 course is open to high school seniors and college-aged individuals looking to challenge themselves and experience a learning adventure.
These five reasons are why you should consider a sailing adventure with Sail Caribbean.
Upon returning from these trips my own children had a sense of direction in their actions. A key take away from a sailing program is the development of strong leadership skills. Sailing requires teamwork, communication, and the ability to make decisions under pressure. As your young adult learns to navigate the waters, they also learn to navigate group dynamics, taking on leadership roles and understanding the importance of cooperation. These skills are directly transferable to college life, where collaboration and leadership are crucial for success in group projects, extracurricular activities, and social engagements.
Sailing programs foster a unique social environment. Dropping off my college freshman, I had far less anxiety knowing that he had already had to navigate the social dynamics of living on a boat with strangers for two weeks. Living in close quarters with fellow participants, your young adult will develop interpersonal skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution, and the ability to work harmoniously with diverse personalities. These social skills are instrumental in creating a positive college experience. Tasks such as forming study groups and making new friends, as well as the ability to connect with others, are essential for thriving in the college community.
Sailing requires a degree of self-reliance and independence and with that comes confidence. Young adults on a sailing program learn to trust their judgment, make decisions on the fly, and take responsibility for their actions. This newfound independence becomes a cornerstone for college freshmen as they navigate a world away from the safety net of home. From managing their schedules to making important life choices, the lessons learned at sea lay a solid foundation for facing the challenges of college life with confidence. The situations such as learning to live with a new roommate and understanding your own nutrition when in the dining hall, these decisions come easier when you are confident.
Sailing, with its ever-changing conditions and unexpected challenges, teaches resilience and the ability to perform under pressure. These skills are invaluable when entering the high-pressure environment of college. While dealing with exams and deadlines to social and personal challenges, the ability to stay calm under pressure is a critical asset for any freshman. Adapting to your environment and embracing change is one of the best skills you can acquire from a sailing program.
Of course, your child will learn to sail! Their seamanship skills will shine through after returning from a sailing program with Sail Caribbean. Beyond the metaphorical connections to college life, the practical skills gained during a sailing program can prove beneficial. Learning to navigate the sea and handle a sailboat imparts a sense of responsibility and adaptability. Your student will learn about navigation and weather while having to prepare meals and set itineraries. The students handle every aspect of the sailing journey. These qualities are crucial when faced with the challenges of adapting to a new academic environment, managing time effectively, and overcoming obstacles that may arise during the college journey. As parents who love to sail, we gain a first mate and eventually a skipper that we can trust in all conditions and situations.
A bonus in this sailing Program is that completion of Sail Caribbean’s Echo Program qualifies students to participate in a future Mate-in-Training program. Similar to an internship at sea for rising college sophomores (or gap year equivalent) with dynamic leadership abilities, this program provides the opportunity to shadow and be mentored by our qualified staff and directly impact our students’ personal growth.
Why Sail Caribbean?
Sail Caribbean, an American Sailing School, a leader with 43 years of experience, stands out in the sailing industry. Their commitment to excellence is evident in a rigorous two-week staff training program, ensuring safety and comprehensive student care. Notably, they operate their own dive company with specialized boats, offering exclusive experiences before the journey to the Leeward islands. Sail Caribbean’s dedication to safety, training, and experience in delivering unforgettable sailing and diving experiences makes it a trusted choice for a well-rounded on-the-water education program.
This course is designed for high school seniors, college students or gap year students.
- Program Dates: January 2, 2024 – January 15, 2024 (14-Days)
- Tuition: $5,795
- Departure/Arrival Point: BVIs
- Destinations: BVI & Leeward Islands
- Enrollment Period: Until capacity is reached
- Program Focus: Sailing, Leadership Development
- Optional Courses: ASA 101, 103, 104 – PADI Discover Scuba Diving, Recreational Diving – all included