Sail Maine - spreading the good news about sailing

Summer sailing in Maine - setting a great example
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The US state of Maine, with its rocky coastline and picturesque waterways, is a sailing gem when it's warm enough. So one of the best things about summer in Maine is the chance to get out on the water, and there's a non-profit group in Portland is helping people do just that.

For the last ten years, Sail Maine has been offering sailing classes to kids and adults, letting them experience sailing at a bargain price. And for some of those kids, it's about more than fun. Sailing may be changing their lives.

They may just be high school kids. But they've learned some lifetime lessons here. On the water. In the wind. And sometimes, on their own. But then, Myles Everett's parents brought him to Sail Maine.

They teach kids and adults to lose their fear of the water, and learn the thrill of sailing.

'I was always a Legos kid growing up,' said Everett. 'I liked to build things and see how things work. And I think that plays into it.'

Sail Maine now have nearly five hundred grade school and high school kids in the program...and teach about 200 adults to sail each year.

Jeff Cumming, the Executive Director of Sail Maine says the program teaches sailing and self confidence. Cumming says he's seen it many times with brand new students.

And they also admit, there's something about challenging the ocean... being out there in a very small boat..learning what people have learned for thousands of years. Forcing you to face nature, and yourself.

Sail Maine says they also provide scholarships to the program, so sailing isn't just for rich kids. The program has a budget of nearly $500,000.

They say about sixty percent of that comes from fees, but the other forty percent comes from contributions and fund-raising.

What an example they are setting to other organisations in sailing nations across the world.

What opportunities are there, where you live, for kids and adults who would like to get on the water but just don't know how to go about it?