Summer Program

The first year starts as a four-week summer program for upcoming 10th grade students. The purpose of this program is to provide the opportunity for students to empower themselves and learn survival skills that connect them to the natural environment through Wilderness Survival Training and Sailing Courses. The program builds trust, leadership skills, self-confidence and teamwork.


At the end of the four-week program, all graduates are offered an active mentorship program for one year. Professional mentors will be available 24/7 for all the students throughout the year. 


We partner with outstanding local organizations to provide our students the best professional guidance and enriching experiences; 


Island Sailing Club

Willamette Sailing Club




Stealth and Invisibility 

Survival Shelter building 

Identification of Wild Edible Plants

Wildlife Tracking 

Awareness and Resiliency Building 

Water Purification 

Friction Fire and Fire Safety 

Primitive Traps and Projectiles

Knife carving and Wood craft 


Swimming Lessons

Rescue Swimming

First Aid & CPR

Boat Safety Equipment

Personal Safety Gear

Emergency Procedures

Sailboat Orientation

Knot Tying

Parts of the Boats , Rigging, Sail

Point of Sail 

Tracking & Jibing

Man Overboard

Navigation Rules

Crew Coordination, Rules & Communication 

Weather Basics

Through hands-on activities and presentations, led by local USFS experts, students will gain an understanding of:

Leave-no-trace Ethics

Forest Fire Ecology

Bats of the Pacific Northwest

Wildlife Safety

Spotted Owls and other Endangered Species 

Native Plant and Tree Identification 

Oregon Fisheries

Geology and Hydrology

Archaeology/Native American History

Natural Resource Career Opportunities 


Our partners from Island Sailing Club and Willamette Sailing Club will teach all students the basics of sailing with the end goal of students being self-sufficient on the water in dinghy and other small sailboats. In our "Learn to Sail" class we cover points of sail, basic knots, parts of a sailboat, basic rigging, teamwork on the boat, and much more. Each day we begin with a classroom session to teach new concepts and review the past day, followed by as much on water time as possible. While there is a focus on education and safety there is no shortage of fun to be had. With day trips around Ross Island, sailing into downtown Portland and anywhere else you can travel to by way of water and wind.


Sail2Change will develop a mentorship program which will begin at the end of the 10th Grade summer program and will last for one year. This program is available for all students. Each mentor will be assigned to a small group of students who can reach out to the mentor whenever there is an urgent need.  Especially the 20 students that are selected to return the following year will be mentored on a regular basis in order to keep these students involved and prepared for the following year. The mentorship program will continue at the beginning of the third year for the returning students and will last until they graduate from high school.