STAR/PAL Youth Sailing Day
Making ChangesTue, 30th Aug 2011
By Sean Smith
On Saturday August 27th, 2011, four skippers in San Diego volunteered their sailboats to be used to connect inner-city youth with the local law enforcement in a positive fashion. It is not uncommon for youth to develop a negative association and fear of Law Enforcement Officers, but a local nonprofit organization called STAR/PAL teamed up with a Sailing group called Bold Endeavors this past weekend to do something about the trend. There were Four sailboats used on this day trip, each filled a with group of 8 to 12 students as they set off for a tour of San Diego Bay out of San Diego Yacht Club. The boats included a J-120, a Beneteau Sense 50, and a 40 foot cruising catamaran that were followed around the San Diego Bay by one of the new Firestorm 36 response boats from the San Diego Harbor Police. As the children experienced the joy of sailing with wildlife all around for the first time, they could also feel a positive presence from the Harbor Police who were in the water right next to them.
The group headed out to Ballast Point before running down to the Coronado bridge. The kids were excited to wave to eachother as the boats passed one another down the bay. The kids even had the chance to take the helm. Most of the kids on board were barely as tall as the wheel, but that did not stop them from giving it a try. The kids were shadowed at the wheel by their skippers who taught them a little about points of sail and the rules of the road. The kids were blown away by the feel of the wind as it caused the boats to heel, increasing their heart rates...
The adventure ended at back at the San Diego Yacht Club where a BBQ dinner and bounce house awaited the group. The event fully engaged some of our inner city youth with members of our local law enforcement from the harbor police. It was great to see the harbor police striving for mentorship with youth in the city. More information about STAR/PAL and Bold Endeavors can be found at their respective websites, http://www.starpal.org and http://www.boldendeavors.net/.
This article was posted on Tue, 30th Aug 2011