By Emily Hart, 2014 Environmental Education Program Coordinator:

I’m excited for my first summer at Courageous as the Environmental Education Program Coordinator. We’ve had a great first week!

We have two initiatives this summer to encourage staff and students to take positive actions on environmental issues: Meatless Monday and Waste-Free Wednesday. On Mondays, students in each step will receive one point for a lunch without beef, pork, poultry or fish, and on Wednesdays, students will receive one point for a lunch that produces zero waste (reusable containers, real silverware, cloth napkin, lunchbox or canvas bag). Waste and pollution from livestock production contributes to global climate change and damages ocean ecosystems, so we’re excited to help students learn how they can make small changes that have big impacts on their own health and the health of the oceans. Waste-Free Wednesday is in its second summer and it’s great to continue the conversation on how trash from land ends up in the ocean.

This week in the summer youth sailing school, we talked about crustaceans and jellies! We played crab tag and Invasive Species Web of Life to learn more about how the invasive Asian shore crab is affecting ecosystems here in Boston Harbor. In the Summer Learning Program, we explored the simple machines on sailboats, made windmills and used energy from the sun to cook s’mores in solar ovens! Imagine smiling faces and sticky chocolate fingers. I’m excited to work with the Instructors in Training (IITs) to give them a broad base in environmental issues (this week we learned about waste!) and to develop a related service-learning project over the coming weeks. 

in Green

By Judith Krimski

Ladies in da House! This intrepid reporter, AKA Master of the Obvious has noticed that WOAH! THE LADIES are dominating Corporate Challenge 2014.

We racing sailors are all cognizant of the fact that sailing is a male dominated sport. I am reminded of this every time I go to a Laser Masters regatta and I'm the only woman competing. Recently, as a joke, I page through the June issue of Sailing World magazine counting men to women pictures. Granted I didn't get beyond page 3 (all those ads in the front - so boring) and I didn't count pictures of people when they were too small to discern the sex of the person. Still, my tepid attempt at scientific process yielded a ratio of five men to one woman. Pretty darned pathetic if you ask this lady sailor.

But that means nothing in the face of THE LADIES conquering the Corporate Challenge. Most notably one lady representing Fidelity boat two. "I'm just a mom." That was the response I got when I spoke to Kristina Stooken of after racing Monday night. As it turns out the "Just a Mom." raced 470's. Mark Lindsay was impressed. "That's a very technical boat." Technical or not Kristina shows her chops on the water with consistent top finishes. It's a rare person who can make a tubby boat like the Rhodes 19 go but she does it well for "just a mom." Here's hoping she shows up all the fellas and takes the big prize. My money's on that filly.

Everyone who sails the Corporate Challenge knows by now that funds raised go towards providing scholarships for Courageous kids. We've been fortunate over the weeks to have several of our "Courageous kids" racing. As someone who's been affiliated with Courageous over the years, working first as an adult instructor and later as racing coach in the youth program, I've had the privilege of coaching and working with many of the kids. I can say without hesitation that our Courageous kids are, by far, the finest people. Monday night I watched Jack Flaherty—one of my coaching "prodigies" and now a member of the BC sailing team—sailing around the race course. I felt like a proud mama. I first coached Jack in 420s when he was in 8th grade. Jack was a lively child. Still is. "You were the most annoying nice kid I ever coached." I say that pretty much every time I see Jack. He always smiles.

Then there's Ben Ringrose - one of the two Bens who sail for the Boston Public Schools sailing team. Ben R. and I worked Courageous frostbiting race committee this winter. We spent Saturdays together driving around in an Eastern moving marks and yelling at sailors when they tried to out run the good ship Odyssey. We commiserated on how miserably cold we were, saying stuff like, "This sucks." and "What were we thinking?" Standing on the cold deck of the motorboat watching the snow swirl by with every weekend getting colder. Ben, with his great conversation and ready laugh, made it all bearable. I have finally blocked out memories of the cold, the freezing rain, the icy needles of snow piercing my face as I drove around the race course. I will never forget the fun I had with Ben.