Sharing the Love

In Youth by Ashton Smith

During session 1, I worked for a few days with the kids in step 1 along with my fellow IITS, Alex and Jeremy. This was the first time that I was working directly with the kids in the boat, and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous.

These kids were my responsibility and had to make sure they were safe at all times, while still having fun. I thought back to when I was in step 1 in JP, and how the instructors managed to keep us entertained. This was where I first discovered my love for sailing, and I decided that my philosophy for working with the kids would be to show how sailing is enjoyable, and to hopefully cause them to love sailing as much as I do. So when I was with step 1, I tried to be as fun as possible, while at the same time explaining the boat parts and introducing them to the roles and responsibilities in sailing. There was one kid in my boat that was initially reserved about skippering the boat, and she was afraid about hitting another boat but I kept asking her to try, even if it was for a few minutes. Eventually she did try, and she realized how much fun skippering actually was, and she asked me if she could keep doing it. Her saying that to me made me really happy because I helped her realize that she enjoys a part of sailing. At the end of the day, she told me she had a great day and looked forward to coming back to sail again. I am glad that I am able to work with kids and pass on my love of sailing. -Michael

About the Author

Ashton Smith