4 teens get certified as sailing instructors | Lifestyle

Editor’s note: Jordan Baden participated in the recent training and is certified as a sailing instructor.

The Marianas Yacht Club in Piti is a hidden gem for sailing on Guam. Every summer, the club holds youth sailing camps that are instructed by U.S. Sailing-certified instructors, but people with these qualifications are hard to find on island.

Because of this shortage of instructors, the club brought out Morgan Collins, a U.S. Sailing instructor trainer and coach at the University of California, Berkeley, to teach and certify a group of sailors recently. Out of the eight sailors who received their certification, four were teenagers.

Collins has been training instructors, including teens, for 35 years. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for them. I meet a lot of teens who I think are great at this job. They love being with the kids, they love sailing. And they take it seriously enough that it’s safe,” Collins said.

“I think it’s one of the few jobs out there where you get a lot of responsibility with sailing. You’re asking someone who’s 16 or 17, or 18, to be responsible for the lives of 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-year-olds. I think people grow from that responsibility,” Collins said.

“If I was a teenager, and I was looking for a summer job, I’d rather be sailing than making hamburgers. Teaching sailing is a pretty super job,” Collins said.

Although Collins believes that teens can be great instructors, he understands that not all teens are fit for the job.

“I come across ones that definitely shouldn’t be doing this idea. They’re not responsible enough, or they don’t care. They’re just doing it because mom said, ‘You got to get a summer job’, and that’s a bad position,” he said.

The teens who were certified include Maeva Conroy, Tia Nelson and Patricia Cassidy. They all have a background sailing in the very summer camp they are interested in teaching.

Nelson, age 17, and Cassidy, age 15, attend Harvest Christian Academy, and Conroy, 15, attends St. John’s School.

Conroy has sailed for over five years at the club.

“I first got into sailing because my dad wanted me to since he sailed when he was younger. I started sailing when I was about 10 on Opti(mist)s and gradually moved on to Lasers (different types of sailboats),” Conroy said.

Cassidy has also sailed for many years, and already has experience teaching.

“My first class was here (MYC), when I was 6, and then I practiced on and off for a while. And then when I was around 10 or 12, I started on a Laser. Last summer, I sailed pretty much the whole summer and I was a junior assistant for a bunch of classes,” Cassidy said.

“This class was a unique experience, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because not a lot of people offer these classes especially on Guam. I’m very glad to be one of the people who took the class,” Cassidy said. Now that she is a certified instructor, Cassidy can lead a class instead of being an assistant.

Nelson has only sailed since last year, but she fell in love with the sport and was excited to become an instructor.

“I had a really great coach and I feel like I’ve done a lot of things wrong so I know how to see from my students’ perspectives and teach them better,” Nelson said.

There are many aspects to love about sailing on Guam, and they shared some of their favorites:

“I love being out in the water with my friends and sailing’s always been a fun summer activity that we do together and hang out,” Conroy said.

“I love spending time outside at the yacht club. There’s really nice scenery and I love going fast and hiking out (balancing the boat with your weight),” Nelson said.

“I like being on the water. I even like capsizing (overturning the boat) a lot. I like getting wet and the adrenaline of the journey,” Cassidy said.

The girls are hoping that they are able to teach the summer camp classes this June.

“I want to expose younger kids to sailing and for them to have such a good experience in summer camps and learn how to sail as I did so that there will be a new generation of sailors,” Conroy said.

“I just want to bring more people into the community since it’s pretty small. You join a class, and you get to learn skills with all your friends,” Cassidy said.

Collins advised those interested in sailing to find a club that takes sailing seriously but not so much that it is overwhelming.

At the Marianas Yacht Club, “they’re gonna infect you with that level of sail. And that’s what’s key,” Collins said.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *