Sailing into Summer – YSF Community Sailing of Vero Beach

YSF Community Sailing of Vero Beach Sailing Camp is off to a flying start with over twenty-five children per week taking to waters of the Indian River Lagoon during the months of June and July.  

About 210 campers from Indian River County and across the United States enjoy a fun-filled week of  experiential learning at its best. Sailing requires physical and cognitive agility. A sailor has to stay focused  or he or she may find themselves swimming instead of sailing. Traditionally twenty percent of the sailors  are children visiting grandparents, many of whom have fond memories of their summer sailing camps.  

A staff of twelve highly trained professional US Sailing Certified instructors teach a curriculum that balances technical training and fun in the water. They use sailing as a medium to teach perseverance, resilience, sportsmanship, and other basic building blocks for a successful life. Between drills, the Lagoon provides a natural playground for having fun in the water. 

Thanks to generous grants from Quail Valley Charities and the Wheels & Keels Foundation YSF can provide  needs-blind admission to summer camp. Eighty-three (83)scholarships with a total value of $28,235 have been  awarded to date. This represents 40% of all those attending camp. Children from across the socioeconomic  spectrum come together to learn from one another in a safe and fun environment.

Each one-week camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 2 PM. Campers are issued a t-shirt on Monday  and enjoy a Chick-fil-A lunch. Transportation is provided for those who need a lift. The sailors are divided into  beginner and intermediate classes. One-third of the campers have prior sailing experience in YSF’s after-school  or summer camp programs. The camp generates $80,000 in economic impact with 75% going to paid staff and  25% to local vendors. Seven of the staff are YSF sailors who grew up in the program learning to sail and going  on to earn the rigorous US Sailing Level One Certification to become professional instructors. These young high  school and college-age instructors gain valuable leadership and teaching skills while earning money in a job  they love. 

Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to eliminating cultural  and financial barriers to sailing. Please contact Executive Director Chris Drake at: or  772-925-2521 if you would like to learn more about YSF’s free sailing programs.

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