Local DC Sailing Organization First Ever to Win US Sailing Award
DC Sail’s New Schooner Program Serves Inner City Youth. The program curriculum teaches students the basics of sailing and navigation during a week long camp aboard the schooner American Spirit on the Potomac River.
Washington D.C. (May 28, 2012).- DC Sail, a community organization to encourage disadvantaged youth and others to learn the skills and joy of sailing, won US Sailings Outstanding New Program award for its Schooner Program. US Sailing’s Community Sailing Council made the award last month.
This is the first time an organization in the Washington DC metropolitan area has won the award since its inception almost 20 years ago. Most sailing programs use small craft to teach sailing. DC Sail does that but has expanded its reach by incorporating a 65 ft. schooner in its fleet. For more information visit www.dcsail.org or call 202-547-1250.
Stu Gilfillen, Sailing Programs Administrator, US Sailing, presented the award to Jim Muldoon, Chairman of DC Sail, “This award specifically recognizes the Schooner Program of DC Sail, which has helped to create a bridge between small boat programs and tall ships,” he said.
“The ability to provide a platform that allows the development of teamwork skills while providing an education on seamanship, local history and marine science is quite remarkable and also a model for other programs throughout the United States,” he added.
In accepting the award Muldoon said, “This program was born out of the generosity of Arthur Birney, who gave us his beautiful schooner, American Spirit. We have been able to bring sailing to inner city youth who would not have been as successful in a traditional learn to sail program.”
Muldoon continued, “American Spirit provides a dynamic learning environment and educational platform for students throughout the national capital area. She functions as a learning museum, presenting the critical role that sailing vessels played in the development of America through hands-on experiences.”
The US Sailing Outstanding New Program Award is given annually to a program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing in its first year. In many cases, the award is given to a new organization, but it can also be give to a new program within an organization as it was this year.
Muldoon concluded, “Our program revenue and member donations make it possible for DC Sail to preserve opportunities for the youth of our community to learn how to sail. The goal of our youth programs is to teach young people the skills they will need to be successful sailors, the educational components behind how a boat functions, and lifetime skills such as teamwork, decision-making and respect for our environment.”
US Sailing is the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing. Its mission is to provide leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. The organization works to achieve this mission through a wide range of programs and events, geared towards providing an equal level playing field for all sailors. http://www.ussailing.org/
DC Sail, is a program of the National Maritime Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is the only community-based non-profit sailing organization in the District of Columbia. It is the fastest growing sailing community in DC, actively targeting underserved youth participants, providing sailing opportunities for over 500 young people every year. It operates sailing programs for youth as well as extensive adult program. All profit goes towards subsidizing Kids Set Sail after-school and summer activities. Their programs focus on STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, math) education, safe boating practices, environmental awareness, leadership development & physical fitness. DC Sail utilizes the nationally recognized US Sailing curriculum in all of its youth and adult education programs. The organizations goal is to put at least 50% of participants through the programs on scholarship. Visit their web site for programs for youth and adults. www.dcsail.org.