Chase Kelley loves being out on the water in his Sunfish.
The Westmont Elementary School pupil was one of 12 children that participated in the Augusta Sailing Club's junior camp program.
"It's been lots of fun and I'm getting better everyday," Chase said.
But things were a little shaky for him in the beginning.
The five-year-old program is designed to teach campers learn water safety, how to control the boat, right of way etiquette, tacking drills and a variety of other sailing commands, camp Director James Holder said.
The only prerequisite for this camp is swimming. Once campers pass a swim test, they board a Sunfish and are flipped.
"That's the first thing we teach them in the water," Holder said.
"They have to be able to get the boat back upright."
Sailors must be able to swim under the boat, retrieve their center board and slide it back through the boat. The sailor then uses their weight to tip the boat upright.
Photo by Kevin Martin
For most campers that's an easy task. But for Chase, it was a little more difficult.
"If the boat tips over, I don't weigh enough to get it upright by myself," he said.
But with a little help from his fellow sailers, they get the job done.
"Sailing teaches these kids to work together while becoming self-reliant," Holder said.
When Joan Walker signed up for sailing camp she knew she would have fun.
What she didn't know was that she would be learning some life lessons while on the water.
"It really teaches you patience, because sometimes you have to wait for the wind to blow before you can go anywhere," the North Augusta teen said.
Justin Helman, 12, is a camp veteran. He and his two brothers have participated in the camp for several years.
"It's a lot of fun, but you really have to pay attention out on the water," Justin said.
Slots are still available for the July 8-19 sessions.
For more information contact Holder at 651-0587.
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