Taking the Tiller: Young Sailors Gain Confidence and Self-Esteem

This June marks the eleventh year that OCSC SAILING will play host to a group of students from the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp.

OCSC Ailey Camp

The America's Cup Finals this September promise to be up close and personal, with near-shore courses and media coverage that will make viewers feel like they, too, are part of the action on San Francisco Bay.

For a group of 50-plus middle-schoolers the experience will feel a bit more true-to-life.

This June marks the eleventh year that OCSC SAILING will play host to a group of students from the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp. The nationally acclaimed tuition free summer dance camp, conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and produced locally by Cal Performances in Berkeley, California, teaches dance and life lessons to underserved 11 to 14 year-olds.

The camp is supplemented with weekly educational and recreational field trips. Setting sail with the instructors and staff at OCSC SAILING is one of the program’s most eagerly anticipated events.

“Most campers have never been near the water, much less on a sailboat,” explains OCSC SAILING founder and president Anthony Sandberg. “We suit them up, teach them about safety, and hand them the tiller.”

Needless to say, the excitement (and anxiety) is audible. But nervous chatter gives way to boisterous high-fives as the students learn to navigate their way through the waves and work as a team.

“OCSC SAILING’s mission is to make sailing available to everyone with the desire to learn,” says Sandberg. “It is a privilege to introduce a new generation to the sport while teaching them that San Francisco Bay is a precious resource worth preserving and protecting.”

For more information about OCSC SAILING and its ongoing sponsorship of the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, visit www.ocsc.com.