Sunday, 01 February 2009 20:38

Leadership Development

Courageous Youth Program, (c) Russ Bolt 2008


We teach students to embody the values of our COURAGE curriculum, both on the water and off. As they learn to sail, participate in team-building activities and discussions, and engage in community service projects around the harbor, our students cultivate essential life skills including those in communication, teamwork and leadership.

What is Courage?

Courage is the quality of spirit that enables you to face difficulties with self-possession, confidence and resolution. COURAGE also represents a set of values which empowers people to become leaders in school, communities, and the workplace.




  • Definition: Works with others towards common goals.
  • Recipie: Communication • Compromise • Patience
  • Lingo: We can do this together. How can I help? We are a team.
  • Actions: Actively participates. Encourages others. Communicates effectively.




  • Definition: Listen's to others ideas; is willing to consider new ideas.
  • Recipie:Tolerance •Friendliness • Sportsmanship
  • Lingo: What do you think? I never thought of it that way. That's a good idea.
  • Actions: Considers others' input. Welcomes change.




  • Definition: Accepts others with tolerance and sympathy.
  • Recipie:Forgiveness • Communication • Sympathy • Good Listening Skills
  • Lingo: I see what you mean. It's okay to make mistakes.Let's try again.
  • Actions: Sees a situation from someone else's point of view.




  • Definition: Chooses between right and wrong; keeps their word.
  • Recipie:Accountability •Punctuality • Follow-Through • Trustworthy
  • Lingo: I will. You can count on me. That was my fault.
  • Actions: Arrives to class on-time. Brings all equipment on boat. Keeps boat clean.



  • Definition: Seeks out new experiences with enthusiasm.
  • Recipie:Effort •Participation •Dedication • Interest
  • Lingo: I'm willing to try.This is fun. Can I do that?
  • Actions: Tries something unfamiliar. Overcomes fear.




  • Definition: Looks for ways to positively contribute to their community and the environment.
  • Recipie:Passion •Hard Work•Stewardship • Generosity
  • Lingo: I want to do more.How can I help?
  • Actions: Picks up trash on the pier. Lends a hand when needed.




  • Definition: Undertakes projects with imagination and initiative.
  • Recipie:Motivation • Creativity • Imagination •Learning •Knowledge
  • Lingo: How does this work? I know I can do it. Let's try this.
  • Actions: Does not give up. Tries new approaches to problems.


Thursday, 08 January 2009 10:45

Impact Beyond Sailing

photo (c) Russ Bolt 2008


The Courageous Youth Program does so much more than just teach sailing.  At Courageous, we aim to transform kids' lives through the sport of sailing.  Our instruction team works to foster a love of sailing, adventure and the outdoors.  They give students the values, skills and confidence that they will need to thrive in their communities and their lives.

Leadership Training

We teach students to empldy the values of our COURAGE curriculum, both on the water and off.  As they learn to sail, participate in team-building activities and discussions, and engage in community service projects around the harbor, our students cultivate essential life skills including those in communication, teamwork and leadership.

Environmental Education

Courageous collaborates with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and Sailor's for the Sea to teach our students an active respect for the waters on which they sail and the surrounding ecosystem,  Students learn about the many organisms and natural resources of Boston Harbor and, under the guidance of our instruction team, initiate beach clean-ups, water quality testing, and other activities to help protect some of our city's most precious environmental treasures.

Professional Development/Job Training
Our youth students often advance to become Courageous employees, gaining valuable experience that gives them a jump start on entering the working world. Through our innovative Instructor-in-Training (IIT) and Continuing Education programs, staff members hone not only their sailing and boat maintenance skills, but also their skills in teaching, leadership and professionalism. [more...]
Saturday, 31 January 2009 11:59

Adaptive Sailing

Adaptive Sailing

Courageous is the largest organization of its kind in the Boston area to offer free sailing programs and activities to people with autism, developmental disabilities, blindness, and diabetes. These programs have produced regional, national and even world champions!  With Courageous, members of these populations (mostly youth and young adults), who regularly find themselves barred from sailing and similar activities, gain a variety of physical, social, and psychological benefits, many of which are unique to the experience of sailing itself. While sailing in majestic Boston Harbor, participants build skills in teamwork, physical coordination, self-reliance, abstract thought, and leadership as well as technical knowledge of a dynamic sport. These elements rarely coincide in other activities open to these groups.
At Courageous, the goal is not only to improve our existing opportunities for these groups, but to expand them as well. Courageous provides the special know-how, equipment, support, and understanding, while working to expand the breadth and depth of personnel training in these areas. In doing so, Courageous can continue to provide more and more people with blindness, diabetes, autism and other developmental disabilities with the opportunity to experience the unique joy and exhilaration of sailing.
Beyond offering the simple pleasures of the sport, the goals of Courageous Enabled Sailing programs are that our participants gain: (A) knowledge of sailing, the environment and leadership. (B) Intrapersonal strength, including self-confidence, self-esteem, well being and sense of adventure. For blind and developmentally disabled youth, taking the helm of a sailboat and navigating it is an incredibly empowering experience, one that instills pride, self-confidence, and a sense of capability. (C) Interpersonal skills, including teamwork, communications, conflict resolution, and sense of belonging. The experience of sailing with a crew and executing maneuvers as part of a team counteracts the feelings of isolation and loneliness that blind, developmentally disabled and autistic children are often subject to. (D) Close contact with and commitment to the natural environment of Boston Harbor. (E) Improved motor and coordination skills that the sport of sailing requires. (F) The calmness and confidence that sailing in such a beautiful locale instills in all those who do it, but that is most especially beneficial to autistic and other developmentally impaired individuals. The skills gained through our collaborative programs will remain with them long after they have stepped off the boat and become more closely connected to their families, classrooms, jobs, and communities.
The programs at Courageous primarily serve youth and young adults with disabilities ranging from intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism to blindness and insulin-dependent diabetes. We reach these populations through our partnerships with The Barton Center for Diabetes Education and their Summer Adventure Programs, Special Olympics of Massachusetts, The Carroll Center for the Blind and the Heart of Sailing Foundation.
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 00:24

Courageous IIT Program

Courageous IIT Program 

Through this 7-week summer job-training program, students make the transition from student to instructor, developing their abilities to teach, lead, and inspire the next generation of Courageous kids. Under the guidance of our senior instruction team, participants first attend a one-week, pre-season training sessions and then participate in six weeks of intensive professional training, covering everything from teaching theory and classroom management, to long-distance cruising, safe powerboat operation, race committee administration, and boat maintenance.


Satisfactory completion of Step 4 or equivalent and 15-years-old by July 5, 2016. Selection based upon application, sailing check, interview, and references. Program may be repeated, with students typically participating for 2 or 3 consecutive summers.


If you are a Boston resident who will be 15 years old by July 5, 2016 and want to apply for our Instructor-in-Training program, but have limited to no sailing experience, you should still apply.  You may still qualify to for a position in the IIT program. Please complete the application as soon as possible and email Ashton Smith, Youth Program Outreach Coordinator, if you fall into this category.

For New Applicants to the IIT program

Applications are due by Friday, March 11th, 2016! Based on applications, a select group will be called back for an in person interview and sailing test. Acceptance descisions will be made no later than April 1.

To be accepted into the 2016 IIT program, you must:

  • Be 15-years-old before July 5, 2016;
  • Have successfully completed a full session of Step 4 in 2015, or its equivalent

(Important: If you have not completed this course and would still like to be considered for the Courageous IIT Program, please contact the youth program outreach coordinator immediately; in 2016 this may not necessarily exclude you from becoming an IIT)

  • Obtain a current First/Aid CPR certification (Note: IITs areresponsible for covering the cost of their own certification, training may be held at Cour)
  • Complete the online IIT application form by clicking here (requires you to upload resume, cover letter, and application essay)
  • Wow the Program Director in an Interview
  • Ace a Sailing Check-Out
  • Commit to the full 7-week program, from June 27, until August 12, 2016

For 2nd Year or Returning IITs

If you have successfully completed the 1st year of the IIT program and wish to return for another year, please email Ashton Smith, Youth Program Outreach Coordinator, to notify her of your interest in being considered for rehire. If you do not notify her by March 1, 2016, you hurt your chances of being rehired. For those to wish to be rehired, an interview and sailing skills test may be conducted later in the spring, exact process and dates TBD.

For IIT Parents

If you are a parent or family member of a student who would like to become an IIT or return for their second season as an IIT, please click here for more information about the 2016 program, including elligibility, the application process, program dates, student expectations, compensation, and more. As there is a lot of good information in this document, it is probably a good idea for all IIT applicants to read it, too. 

For Boston Residents Only

Apply to the Department of Youth Engagement & Employment's Summer Employment program (formerly known as the Boston Youth Fund Hopeline Program). The 2016 online application period will begin early February.  For more details and to apply, click here: 

Teen Working Permit

Note that if you are a minor working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must obtain a working permit before beginning a new job. Completing this application takes time, and will require signatures from you school, primary care physician,a parent/guardianand your new employer. Don't try to apply last minute! Click here to start your application and here to find out more about Massachusetts regulations for teen workers.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:27

Quotes 7

“We were absolutely thrilled with the sailing program! The staff were exceptional! They were so enthusiastic about sailing that their attitude was contagious!”
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:26

Quotes 8

“I love sailing at Courageous because I had a lot of fun and I wish that sailing would never end.”
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:25

Quotes 6

"My kid had the best summer ever.  Thank you." 
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:25

Quotes 5

"I can't imagine my life without sailing.  I can't imagine my life without Courageous!!" 
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:24

Quotes 4

"This is an awesome program all around… My son is excited about sailing and highly engaged by the programming and the staff.   I can't say enough good about Courageous Sailing."
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 17:24

Quotes 3

“It's about sailing but it's so much more!"
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