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Our pilot year began on June 29th, 2019 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.


Students passed the required 50 meters swimming test before the program began,  which was necessary to participate in both the sailing portion and supplemental recreation opportunities in the area.  


The Wilderness Experience and Survival Camp portion were hosted by the US Forest Service at Trappers Creek Campground on Odell Lake.  Through hands-on activities and presentations, led by local USFS experts, students gained 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.  

Following wilderness training, students separated into two smaller groups, each with two qualified instructors, to begin navigation from Odell Lake to the wilderness. With the guidance of instructors, each group had the opportunity to plan their route- based on group ability.  Each group was responsible for packing their food (provided by the program) and equipment.  

Programs and events will be available to youth throughout 2019 to keep the participants connected to the Wilderness and Sailing community.  All participants are offered an active mentorship program for one year. Professional mentors will be available 24/7 for all the students throughout the year. 

"I try really hard to give my children different experiences; however, the experience that he had with Sail2Change, the ongoing and everlasting relationships that he will continue to grow, is unmatched. My son received an experience that he will never forget, lessons of camaraderie and unity. He learned survival skills, such as how to swim, how to start a campfire and what life in nature is made of. He learned so much and at the cost of nothing to my family. Had Sail2Change assessed tuition and fees for the all-inclusive camp, my family would likely not have been able to afford it. I am forever grateful for the opportunity afforded to my son, through the Sail2Change program."


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Our partners from Willamette Sailing Club taught the basics of sailing with the end goal of students being self-sufficient on the water in a 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.




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