Brian and I were rendered just about speechless by day’s end today. Anyone who knows us would know that this situation is close to impossible. But we rode home from Camp Chingachgook in almost complete silence. We weren’t sure how to put into words what we learned today about the camp’s “Y-Knot Sailing” program for sailors with disabilities.
We spent three important hours this afternoon with a small group of people receiving training from two amazingly knowledgeable and caring individuals about this special sailing program. Keith, who is an expert sailor and boat specialist, and Billy who is the Camp’s Program director lead us through an overview of the program in a classroom setting, then took us to the new Y-Knot Sailing pavilion to rig up some sail boats, and practice getting each other into and out of the boats with a special lift.
The Y-Knot program began at Camp Chingachgook on Lake George in 1996 by a small group of sailors with physical disabilities who wanted to create an accessible sailing program in this area. The fleet of Martin-16 sail boats which are adapted for people with disabilities has grown over the years to six. A brand new Y-Knot sailing pavilion was built last year to enhance the program and improve the ease of access to the lake.
As volunteers, our training will continue in the field during actual sailing days in the areas of Dock Hand, Dock Assistant, Chase Boat Assistant, and Sailing Companion. Being a Sailing Companion requires some knowledge about how to sail, so Brian and I agreed that we won’t be raising our hand to help in that area…at least not right away. But we think we can handle being assistants in all of the other areas, and are looking so forward to our first Y-Knot sailing adventure.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than on beautiful Lake George, partnering with people with disabilities who refuse to give up on their desires to engage in a thrilling, exciting, and beautiful sport like sailing.
The insightful and dedicated staff at Camp Chingachgook have made this all possible.
Sail on…sail away…sail into the sun… sail out…sail, sail, sail.