Sailing is not a pleasure that is typically afforded to kids that live in the city. I was fortunate enough to have been introduced to it through Courageous Sailing in more ways than one. First, my initial contact with sailing when I was 8 years old in their youth program, then yet again once I became a freshman at Boston Latin School, finding out that maybe I wanted to try doing it at a competitive level. There were rough patches (including my almost being asked to leave the team) initially, but by my junior year I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue seriously; so I did.

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The 9th annual Richard B. Ross Memorial College Bowl will be sailed in Boston Harbor on October 5, 2013 out of Courageous Sailing in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The regatta was established in 2004 by Judi Ross Zuker to commemorate the life of her husband Richard Ross. A passionate sailor and a believer in the transformative power of education, Richard took great pleasure in cultivating a love for sailing in others. Though his life was tragically lost in the attacks of September 11th, 2001, his family continues to honor his zeal for sailing and education by providing generous support to the Courageous Sailing Youth Program in his name. Since 2009, the Richard B. Ross Memorial College Bowl has been a fixture of the New England college-sailing circuit, and draws some of the areas top teams.  For 2013, teams from Harvard, Tufts, Roger Williams, Brown, Northeastern, UNH, Brandeis, Williams and Bentley are already confirmed.  The one-day event is sailed in the same Rhodes 19's keelboats that serve as the core fleet for the Courageous Summer Youth Program.

Registration for the 20 boat fleet is still open to all NEISA sailors The winning boat will have their names inscribed onto the Richard B. Ross Memorial Trophy, which hangs in the Courageous Sailing Boathouse for perpetuity. Past winners include 2012 - Roger Williams University; 2011 Williams; 2009 & 2010 Roger Williams University. Up to 6 boats will be available for alumni to race. A suggested donation of $100 per alumni boat will help support 2014 Summer Youth Programs at Courageous. Spectators are welcome to view the regatta from the end of Pier 4.

Those wishing to register for a boat should contact Dave DiLorenzo at (617)242-3821 or dave@courageoussailing.org

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On behalf of all our athletes, Unified Partners, Coaches, and families, let me express our great and sincere thanks to Courageous for hosting another wonderful season, and to you, Nate for that enjoyable end-of-season cookout last evening! I don't have to tell you how much everyone appreciated the event . . . . and your great grilling, Nate!

Towards the end, when we were thanking you, it was clear from the tears running down, that you were very moved by that appreciation (or maybe, just perhaps. . . . by the grill's smoke!).

It was a perfect evening, with some terrific sailing with good strong winds plus shifts. Another benefit of your cookout was it gave us all a chance to socialize together - which is not the norm in our weekly practices - people tend to arrive somewhat randomly, get out in their racing crews, and leave to get home, with conversations pretty much only within each boat. Thank you for making that happen, too!

Finally, let me repeat our huge and heartfelt thanks to the entire Courageous organization for the welcome you have continued to give us in hosting our SOMA Sailing Program each Wednesday for so many years. You have a wonderful venue, with a fleet of boats that are perfect for our athletes, and again, such a welcoming and supportive staff. We really appreciate it.

The bottom line for you, and for us, is in the progress all of our athletes have made. All have grown in sailing ability, and even more importantly, in self-confidence and self-esteem, as they've learned to manage the wind, waves, and tides, and to work together as a team. Prime examples are two of our athletes (and their crews) who have progressed from being absolute rookies with no sailing experience whatsoever, to participating and earning medals at the Special Olympics World Games, and who are now skippering their own Level III boats - that's with 3 athletes, and 1 partner (who can only coach but cannot so much as touch a sheet without disqualifying the boat!).

You all can join us in taking great pride in the accomplishments of our athletes! Thank you again, and please pass on our appreciation to your entire Courageous Team, and your Board.

Most sincerely, Jeff

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One of the most rewarding experiences for me as an environmental educator this summer was working with the Instructors in Training (IITs).  At Courageous, the IITs are high school students who have attended the summer youth program for many years or are interested in becoming a sailing instructor.

The environmental aspect of the IIT program has two main components: learning more about environmental science and learning how to teach environmental science.  Each week, on Tuesday afternoons, I facilitated a mini-lecture on the week’s topic (mammals, crustaceans, sharks, etc), then the IITs participated in hands-on activities or experiments to further understand the subject.  These lessons were appropriate for high school level learners, using proper vocabulary and themes.  However, the hands-on activities were always fun and allowed the IITs the chance to immerse themselves in the learning in a fully enjoyable way.

On Thursday afternoons, the IITs and I worked on how to teach environmental topics to their future sailing students. These lessons often involved half of the group of IITs pretending to be beginning sailing students and the other half of the IITs facilitating an environmental activity for them.  Sometimes the lessons focused more on how to talk to students about nature and the outdoors while sailing.

I had a great time working with the IITs this summer.  Their energy and willingness to learn were a true inspiration.  I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to lead future instructors in becoming more environmentally aware and  more eager to teach environmental education to their students.

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This summer, Courageous had the opportunity to provide reuseable water bottles to all of our young sailors.  Fitting perfectly with our Waste Free Wednesdays and commitment to heightened environmental awareness for our sailing center as a whole, the water bottles provided us the chance to significantly minimize waste. 

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