Sailing camp back for another year

The BC Optimist Summer Sailing Camp returns to Fort St. John this year so children can learn to sail in a safe and fun manner.

Presented by the BC Sailing Association, The Mobile Optimist Sailing School (MOSS) has professionally trained and certified instructors who teach safety and responsibility on the water. Children ages six to 15 are invited to get their feet wet and learn the basics of sailing and kayaking.

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"I learned a lot. You sail really fast and it's really fun," said nine-year-old MaKayla Todd, who experienced the camp last year.

Although it was stormy last year, Todd raved about the time she had.

"You can meet new friends there and they have theme parties where we dressed up as pirates!"

Sailing takes place on a seven-foot sailboat called The Optimist, which is made with children and learning in mind. It's safe and designed not to flip, although MOSS advises that children be at least comfortable with water.

The program also uses two-person kayaks as well as games and activities on and off the water to teach kids terminology and skills such as knot tying. Coaches aim to make the experience positive, informative and fun.

This is a not-for-profit camp. Registration costs $250 and extra money is given to the community of Fort St. John. Once enough funds have been collected, the money is used to buy Fort St. John its own sailboats so the city can start its own sailing camp.

The BC Optimist Summer Sailing Camp takes place in Beatton Provincial Park on Charlie Lake from July 12-16.

At the time of this article, only seven spots remain but there is also a waiting list if registration goes higher. Interested parents can register their kids either online at moss.bcsailing.bc.ca

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