the right thing
We have featured a number of community sailing organizations, and here is another stellar group. Let us know what’s happening in your community…
Here’s another youth sailing group that all SA readers should be aware of. Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association (SBJSA) has been teaching kids and adults sailing, swimming and environmental awareness on the south shore of Lake Ontario since 1956. SBJSA is a not-for-profit, educational, community based sailing school based on Great Sodus Bay in upstate New York. SBJSA teaches kids from ~8 to adult beginning and advanced sailing. All the students are also encouraged to move on to the learn to race (LTR) programs both on Great Sodus Bay and at interclub and regional regattas. All our students are also taught all 7 levels of American Red Cross certified swimming.
The SBJSA fleet is made up of Optis, Lasers, 420s, Lightnings and J24s. The fleet currently has over 60 boats and 130 – 150 students actively sailing for the multiple session, season each summer. Above all our goal is to instill "Teamwork, Sportsmanship, Responsibility, Leadership and Environmental Awareness" in all our students. Our motto is , "Sailing is Fun! It builds self-reliance, physical strength, quick thinking and a love for the environment".
SBJSA offers scholarship assistance to students through the generosity of many local families and organizations. The school is run by a volunteer board and volunteer help from parents. This bunch of "mis-fit, do gooders" volunteers their time and energy just to see the smiles on kids faces the first time they figure out how to control wind, waves and fiberglass, and are truly in command of their own vessel.
The Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association alumni have moved on in all aspects of sailing and water safety. There are SBJSA alumni who have sailed and raced in regional, collegiate and national campaigns. Others have raced internationally and even sailed on Americas Cup campaigns. Students have also gone on to careers in ocean research and naval architecture.
Three years ago SBJSA built a new 3500 sq. ft. teaching facility through the help of a multitude of contributors and volunteers. Many donated money. Some donated material and several donated their time as a labor of love of sailing. Sodus Bay Junior Sailing owes them and all the volunteers over the past 53 years a great debt of gratitude. We have high hopes that through all their efforts we will be teaching kids sailing and swimming well past our 100th anniversary in 2056.