Friday, June 03, 2005

On the Sound: Keeping Kids Happy During a Nor'easter

From Emily Kingsley, aboard the SoundWaters during last week’s nor’easter:

As crew on Schooner SoundWaters, we take groups of 30 to 40 students out for three-hour sails on Long Island Sound. On beautiful sunny days, kids and teachers are eager to climb on board. Calm waters and warm breezes make for easy days. The cold and rainy weather of the last few days has presented us with challenges which take an enormous amount of positive energy and sheer determination to overcome. When woken by the sound of heavy downpour on the hatches, we know that we've got our day's work cut out for us.

By the time the kids arrive, we've completely soaked ourselves readying the boat for the sail. The first five minutes set the tone for the entire sail, so it's essential that we start out by putting a positive spin on the day. "You are all so lucky! Yesterday it was just too hot! And you didn't even have to wear sunscreen today!"

Teachers and students warily board the boat dressed in a wide variety of rain gear and polar fleece. As rain continues to fall and we hit bigger and bigger swells, we continue trawling, teaching and sailing, constantly reminding the kids how much fun they are having. It's when we see them wholeheartedly agreeing, despite their bedraggled and wet appearance that we realize
we're actually having fun ourselves.

(Thanks to Emily and also to Shane Walden, captain of the SoundWaters, who recruited Emily to send this in.)


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