By: The Langolf Crew
Key Takeaways we learned from kids across the nation that want to be more involved in keelboat racing.
Top 10 Ways to Get More Kids On Sailboats:
- “Snacks! Candy” - Set them up with snacks & drinks. Trust us your adult crew could use some gummy bears also.
- "Just Ask Us” - Kids want the opportunity to be a part of a crew. Skippers need to reach out and set a plan with the child. Be explicit about your crew expectations so the child can be successful.
- “Give me a job!” - Assign the child a buddy on board! As the buddy, encourage the child to ask questions! Nod and smile, even if the kids say something outrageous!
- “Make sailing fun” - Yep, it is fun to win but not at the expense of a tense experience. Leave the yelling for another day and keep the experience relaxed and positive.
- “Make it safe” - Look for grant opportunities soon from More Kids On Sailboats to outfit your “under 18” crew.
- “Keep it comfortable” - Set the kids and yourself up for success. These extras still weigh less than your beer. They will forget stuff, so throw a couple of freebie regatta sunglasses, some sunscreen, and hats to the kids. They love gear!
- “Make us feel valued” - Ask for the kid’s opinion on everything from sail trim/course to music selection. We aren’t saying you need to heed their opinion but asking goes a LONG way.
- “Gear us up” - Supply your regular kids with crew gear. Maybe someone size fits all items like hats, buffs, etc.
- “PLEASE STOP YELLING” - This literally takes the wind out of the sails for kids.
- “Capture it for us” - We are living in the digital world. The younger generation especially likes to share their experiences with their peers. Embrace it. This is free advertising for your boat, your club, your crew, and the sport.
#MoreKidsOnSailboats began as a fun way to collect and share kid's adventures has launched into 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Building Future Leaders Through Sailing.
Next time you are on the water take a picture of a kid on the water, working on a boat or having fun sailing and tag it - #MoreKidsOnSailboats
Learn more at www.morekidsonsailboats.org