SAIC ’17

June 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

It was fun to visit with old friends attending the Sail America 2017 meeting, held recently in Milwaukee. It’s always a pleasure to exchange ideas about ways to help more people find sailing and then make it part of their whole lives. My job was to ask adult women why they are excited about learning to sail and sharing it with friends and family. This great panel made the work easy.

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While I don’t think there was a recording, here are the slides from my panel preceding talk.

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What a Sailing School Can Be

March 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

Family SailingMy latest in Spinsheet challenges schools to include the whole family, and families to include sailing as the thing done together.


Taji Jacobs was always on the look-out for fun outdoor activities that might be done as a family.

She thought sailing might be fun for everyone, though she was a bit apprehensive herself. Would she feel scared? What if she didn’t understand the lingo and made a mistake that caused trouble? Would the kids think it was boring? Would Paul be interested?

Then she saw a Facebook post about a new kind of sailing program, discussed it with the family over dinner, and they decided to give it a try. Read more:

Every year Zephyr 2.0 seems to have more sailing fun

January 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Dave Erwin and friends on Team Zephyr 2.0 star in their own sailing movie. Nobody has more fun than this crew in New Orleans. #gosailing.

Video >> David Erwin, NOYC
Music >> Terry McDermott Music

“What pushes middle school students…

October 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

…is the unexpected experience of someone taking them seriously.” – Paul Tough

This simple but clear idea is one of many nuggets in a terrific book that I recommend to anyone interested in mentoring or making a difference with young people. Teachers, sailing school and junior program directors would be well served to read How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough. Get it here:

Kids become what they do

April 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

If you’ve participated in a Saving Sailing town-call, you’ll recall talking about how sailing (and other important outdoor experiences) suffer under the media avalanche that buries most kids. Of course, the problem transcends sailing. Schools, family and neighborhoods have been crushed too.

I’ve started a new blog called FamilyNeighborhoodSchool.com to study the problem and discuss solutions. I hope you’ll follow it too.

 – Nicholas Hayes, Author of Saving Sailing

Have you ever witnessed a kid fast forward through the previews on a rented DVD, or call out Britney Spears swigging a Pepsi as a ploy to get you to consume more corn syrup? Not all kids know advertising to be propaganda, but taking the lead from an adult, some do. Credit the young mind with the ability to grasp symbols and metaphor and see through distortion or exaggeration. When abstract thinking develops, bright colors and catchy music might still attract attention, but a kid can understand that it might be toward something being sold. Kids are smart.

To be clear, advertising messages do shape public opinion, especially those of the impressionable or the emotional. But like emotions, messages and public opinion are fleeting; they are just words, pictures, and fads that fade or shift with time. The impressionable grow up. The emotional find new cares.

Measured in durability over years, messages pale in comparison with experiences in defining who we are, what we believe, and how we act throughout our lives.

Kids don’t become what they see on TV or the Internet. They become what they do. Read more.

Kids and video games

Working to play

March 16, 2013 § 2 Comments

Working to play

Working to play

We don’t aspire to work,

we aspire to play.

When play is easy and everywhere,

it’s just time passed,

and work is something to avoid.

When play is challenging and rare,

it creates something new,

and work is vital.

saving hawaiian style | Sailing Anarchy

February 15, 2013 § 1 Comment

SA is reporting on “Saving Sailing” in Hawaii, happening right now…

Every year Hawaii Yacht Club and Waikiki Yacht Club, and their sailing directors Scott Melander and Guy Fleming make available their boats, and their yacht club facilities to high school kids on Oahu, and have an amazing season with two divisions of Varsity Sailing, and JV. Hundreds of kids are introduced to the sport, or continue their Junior development. Talk about “Saving Sailing”…these guys live it every day. Photo: Guy Fleming, Waikiki Yacht Club.

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Read more: saving hawaiian style | Sailing Anarchy.

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