In an effort to teach safety to area children in a Beaufort surrounded by water, the YMCA of Beaufort County is hosting its 2017 Youth Boating Program and Adult Power Boating Class for the fourth season. Offered in partnership with the Spirit of America Foundation, America’s Premier Youth Boating Education Program, this is the only program of its kind in Beaufort County.
This one-week program teaches rising 7th-10th grade students the skills required to become safe, successful mariners using STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, math) practices, safe boating environment awareness, leadership development and physical fitness. The non-traditional classroom setting of our local waters provides both encouragement and inspiration, helping to reverse the decline of outdoor recreation among our youth and fostering a lifetime love of the outdoors and appreciation of our Lowcountry wildlife, ecology and natural surroundings.
The program not only emphasizes safety around the water and in using (5) different types of watercraft but students take the SC DNR Boating License class and exam. During the camp, students also learn life skills like teamwork and good decision-making, acquiring a strong sense of accomplishment and confidence, not only in the boat and on the water, but within themselves as well.
This hands-on camp will be led by YMCA Boating Director Paul Spencer with assistance from a team of certified staff and volunteers. The first Youth Boating Class will be during spring break, April 10-14, 2017 with the rest of the dates falling within the summer: June 5-9 and 19-23 and July 10-14. Registration is currently open and an application must be completed by each student and submitted for review. Class size is limited and students will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. the YMCA will offer financial aid to those who may not otherwise be able to participate.
Just as in previous years, the first part of the youth program is taught at the YMCA in Port Royal (1801 Richmond Avenue) and the on-water, hands-on instruction is taught at the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center dock (310 Okatie Hwy, Okatie).
The Adult Power Boating Program is a two day course for adults (age 18+) and consists of one 3-hour evening class covering South Carolina DNR education at the YMCA in Port Royal and a second 4-hour class using hands-on instruction at the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center dock, in Okatie. The adult program is being offered throughout the year, on April 19th & 22nd, May 10th & 13th, September 13th & 16th and October 4th & 7th.
If you are interested in more information about either of these programs please contact Paul Spencer at the YMCA, at 843-522-9622.