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Boston's CBI recognized by US Sailing

by Jake Fish on 29 Mar 2011
US Sailing logo US Sailing.org . www.ussailing.org
As the oldest community sailing program in the country, Community Boating, Inc. (CBI) in Boston, Mass. has taught tens of thousands of people how to sail on the Charles River. In 2010, CBI reached new heights with their sailing education and instructor training programs.

Over 4,000 adults, 2,300 youth, and 140 sailors with disabilities learned to sail at CBI last year. The organization underwent significant improvements to their instructional model and these changes resulted in higher quality instruction for their sailors.

Community Boating received the Captain Joe Prosser Award in January at US SAILING’s 2011 National Sailing Program Symposium (NSPS) in Clearwater Beach, Fla. The Prosser is awarded to an organization which has made an exemplary contribution towards improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors.

'Receiving the Prosser Award is a real honor for the entire organization and truly belongs to our many committed staff and volunteers,' said Charlie Zechel, Executive Director of Community Boating. 'CBI has been able to look beyond 65 years of experience and integrate US SAILING models of instruction and training into our programs. As a result US SAILING has helped us achieve excellence in instruction and to become a stronger organization. CBI's experience with US SAILING should be an example for any organization getting started today.'

The rapid growth of their programs and steady increase in overall participation caused CBI to adjust their current instruction model. They needed to restructure their class schedules to give sailors the opportunity to advance beyond beginner levels. To accommodate the influx of new sailors, they filled class schedules with additional shore classes during their busiest times and on-the-water classes in the late afternoon before the entire fleet is needed. Community Boating leveraged Groupon (http://www.groupon.com/), a popular deal-of-the-day website localized to major geographic markets worldwide, to sell Introduction to Sailing memberships for adults.

Community Boating Operations Director Tom Moore said, 'We reinvested most of the gains from the Groupon sales into increasing the staff hours that were dedicated to volunteer and staff instructor training and feedback.'

Community Boating offers learn to teach seminars throughout the year for members who would like to become a member of the volunteer faculty or to simply improve their skills. The four part series of informal seminars is based in the US SAILING Level I Instructor curriculum and focuses on key components such as multiple pathway teaching, four-part class structure, effective communication, and tips and tricks for instructors.

Accessible Sailing Programs Director Marcin Kunicki said, 'The history and mission of the organization is founded on the power of volunteerism to enhance our community, and adult program volunteers are certainly one of our greatest resources. We have always been a member-teach-member program.'

Community Boating continues to employ only US SAILING Level 1 certified instructors for their Junior Program. In partnership with Courageous Sailing Center, CBI hosted an in-house Level 1 course to ensure opportunities for staff to acquire this important training.

The Junior Program curriculum was modified last year to allow more sailors to progress through the CBI rating system. As junor sailors pass different courses or tests, they are granted ratings which allow them to take out different boats in various conditions. In 2009, CBI realized that their second level classes were constantly full, parents and children were frustrated with their inability to sign up for this class, and higher level classes were often under-enrolled because kids couldn't get past that second level.

Community Boating Youth Program Director Amy Lyons explained, 'We were faced with a tough decision - keep having lots of Learn to Sail classes to get as many kids out on the water as possible, or have fewer Learn to Sail classes and more of the second level class to allow a slightly smaller number of children to progress further through our program. In the end, we opted to expand our second level class. We made the class longer and we offered it more frequently. We believe that the impact of this change will be felt for the next several years and will eventually lead to a more invested and educated membership, a bigger and stronger race team, and highly qualified sailors to hopefully work at CBI in the future.'

The Universal Access Program (UAP) for people with disabilities continued to thrive in 2010. The UAP strives to make sailing accessible to those who require special assistance with sailing, whether physical or cognitive, all for just $1 per person. Reservations can be customized to the participants’ needs and goals, whether they are learning how to skipper a 23’ Sonar or simply enjoying a therapeutic boat ride.

Kunicki mentioned, 'Participants were excited to learn more and spend more time on the water, with some earning sailing ratings equivalent to those in the other junior and adult programs.'

The number of lessons given in the UAP increased from 400 to over 700. Thirty percent of the UAP members sailed at CBI at least once a week for the duration of the program. This program also experienced success due to a more dedicated and organized staff that was trained to work with sailors with disabilities. Due to a major reconstruction project of the dock facility this winter, CBI plans to increase the hours offered for this program and continue to hire a more specialized staff to meet demand.

In closing, Moore explained, 'I wouldn't recommend that smaller clubs copy our instruction model exactly, but rather use it for inspiration for methods that might work for their club. If you are running into any sort of capacity issues, look to us for ideas on how to do more without decreasing quality. For us, when we have a quality volunteer instructor training program, recruiting and retaining those volunteers keeps getting easier, and the quality students they turn out give us even better instructors down the road.'

CBI’s 2010 Programs Report can be found by clicking here As the oldest community sailing program in the country, Community Boating, Inc. (CBI) in Boston, Mass. has taught tens of thousands of people how to sail on the Charles River. In 2010, CBI reached new heights with their sailing education and instructor training programs. Over 4,000 adults, 2,300 youth, and 140 sailors with disabilities learned to sail at CBI last year. The organization underwent significant improvements to their instructional model and these changes resulted in higher quality instruction for their sailors.

Community Boating received the Captain Joe Prosser Award in January at US SAILING’s 2011 National Sailing Program Symposium (NSPS) in Clearwater Beach, Fla. The Prosser is awarded to an organization which has made an exemplary contribution towards improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors.

'Receiving the Prosser Award is a real honor for the entire organization and truly belongs to our many committed staff and volunteers,' said Charlie Zechel, Executive Director of Community Boating. 'CBI has been able to look beyond 65 years of experience and integrate US SAILING models of instruction and training into our programs. As a result US SAILING has helped us achieve excellence in instruction and to become a stronger organization. CBI's experience with US SAILING should be an example for any organization getting started today.'

The rapid growth of their programs and steady increase in overall participation caused CBI to adjust their current instruction model. They needed to restructure their class schedules to give sailors the opportunity to advance beyond beginner levels. To accommodate the influx of new sailors, they filled class schedules with additional shore classes during their busiest times and on-the-water classes in the late afternoon before the entire fleet is needed. Community Boating leveraged Groupon (http://www.groupon.com/), a popular deal-of-the-day website localized to major geographic markets worldwide, to sell Introduction to Sailing memberships for adults.

Community Boating Operations Director Tom Moore said, 'We reinvested most of the gains from the Groupon sales into increasing the staff hours that were dedicated to volunteer and staff instructor training and feedback.'

Community Boating offers learn to teach seminars throughout the year for members who would like to become a member of the volunteer faculty or to simply improve their skills. The four part series of informal seminars is based in the US SAILING Level I Instructor curriculum and focuses on key components such as multiple pathway teaching, four-part class structure, effective communication, and tips and tricks for instructors.

Accessible Sailing Programs Director Marcin Kunicki said, 'The history and mission of the organization is founded on the power of volunteerism to enhance our community, and adult program volunteers are certainly one of our greatest resources. We have always been a member-teach-member program.'

Community Boating continues to employ only US SAILING Level 1 certified instructors for their Junior Program. In partnership with Courageous Sailing Center, CBI hosted an in-house Level 1 course to ensure opportunities for staff to acquire this important training.

The Junior Program curriculum was modified last year to allow more sailors to progress through the CBI rating system. As junor sailors pass different courses or tests, they are granted ratings which allow them to take out different boats in various conditions. In 2009, CBI realized that their second level classes were constantly full, parents and children were frustrated with their inability to sign up for this class, and higher level classes were often under-enrolled because kids couldn't get past that second level.

Community Boating Youth Program Director Amy Lyons explained, 'We were faced with a tough decision - keep having lots of Learn to Sail classes to get as many kids out on the water as possible, or have fewer Learn to Sail classes and more of the second level class to allow a slightly smaller number of children to progress further through our program. In the end, we opted to expand our second level class. We made the class longer and we offered it more frequently. We believe that the impact of this change will be felt for the next several years and will eventually lead to a more invested and educated membership, a bigger and stronger race team, and highly qualified sailors to hopefully work at CBI in the future.'

The Universal Access Program (UAP) for people with disabilities continued to thrive in 2010. The UAP strives to make sailing accessible to those who require special assistance with sailing, whether physical or cognitive, all for just $1 per person. Reservations can be customized to the participants’ needs and goals, whether they are learning how to skipper a 23’ Sonar or simply enjoying a therapeutic boat ride.

Kunicki mentioned, 'Participants were excited to learn more and spend more time on the water, with some earning sailing ratings equivalent to those in the other junior and adult programs.'

The number of lessons given in the UAP increased from 400 to over 700. Thirty percent of the UAP members sailed at CBI at least once a week for the duration of the program. This program also experienced success due to a more dedicated and organized staff that was trained to work with sailors with disabilities. Due to a major reconstruction project of the dock facility this winter, CBI plans to increase the hours offered for this program and continue to hire a more specialized staff to meet demand.

In closing, Moore explained, 'I wouldn't recommend that smaller clubs copy our instruction model exactly, but rather use it for inspiration for methods that might work for their club. If you are running into any sort of capacity issues, look to us for ideas on how to do more without decreasing quality. For us, when we have a quality volunteer instructor training program, recruiting and retaining those volunteers keeps getting easier, and the quality students they turn out give us even better instructors down the road.'

CBI’s 2010 Programs Report can be found by clicking here As the oldest community sailing program in the country, Community Boating, Inc. (CBI) in Boston, Mass. has taught tens of thousands of people how to sail on the Charles River. In 2010, CBI reached new heights with their sailing education and instructor training programs. Over 4,000 adults, 2,300 youth, and 140 sailors with disabilities learned to sail at CBI last year. The organization underwent significant improvements to their instructional model and these changes resulted in higher quality instruction for their sailors.

Community Boating received the Captain Joe Prosser Award in January at US SAILING’s 2011 National Sailing Program Symposium (NSPS) in Clearwater Beach, Fla. The Prosser is awarded to an organization which has made an exemplary contribution towards improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors.

'Receiving the Prosser Award is a real honor for the entire organization and truly belongs to our many committed staff and volunteers,' said Charlie Zechel, Executive Director of Community Boating. 'CBI has been able to look beyond 65 years of experience and integrate US SAILING models of instruction and training into our programs. As a result US SAILING has helped us achieve excellence in instruction and to become a stronger organization. CBI's experience with US SAILING should be an example for any organization getting started today.'

The rapid growth of their programs and steady increase in overall participation caused CBI to adjust their current instruction model. They needed to restructure their class schedules to give sailors the opportunity to advance beyond beginner levels. To accommodate the influx of new sailors, they filled class schedules with additional shore classes during their busiest times and on-the-water classes in the late afternoon before the entire fleet is needed. Community Boating leveraged Groupon (http://www.groupon.com/), a popular deal-of-the-day website localized to major geographic markets worldwide, to sell Introduction to Sailing memberships for adults.

Community Boating Operations Director Tom Moore said, 'We reinvested most of the gains from the Groupon sales into increasing the staff hours that were dedicated to volunteer and staff instructor training and feedback.'

Community Boating offers learn to teach seminars throughout the year for members who would like to become a member of the volunteer faculty or to simply improve their skills. The four part series of informal seminars is based in the US SAILING Level I Instructor curriculum and focuses on key components such as multiple pathway teaching, four-part class structure, effective communication, and tips and tricks for instructors.

Accessible Sailing Programs Director Marcin Kunicki said, 'The history and mission of the organization is founded on the power of volunteerism to enhance our community, and adult program volunteers are certainly one of our greatest resources. We have always been a member-teach-member program.'

Community Boating continues to employ only US SAILING Level 1 certified instructors for their Junior Program. In partnership with Courageous Sailing Center, CBI hosted an in-house Level 1 course to ensure opportunities for staff to acquire this important training.

The Junior Program curriculum was modified last year to allow more sailors to progress through the CBI rating system. As junor sailors pass different courses or tests, they are granted ratings which allow them to take out different boats in various conditions. In 2009, CBI realized that their second level classes were constantly full, parents and children were frustrated with their inability to sign up for this class, and higher level classes were often under-enrolled because kids couldn't get past that second level.

Community Boating Youth Program Director Amy Lyons explained, 'We were faced with a tough decision - keep having lots of Learn to Sail classes to get as many kids out on the water as possible, or have fewer Learn to Sail classes and more of the second level class to allow a slightly smaller number of children to progress further through our program. In the end, we opted to expand our second level class. We made the class longer and we offered it more frequently. We believe that the impact of this change will be felt for the next several years and will eventually lead to a more invested and educated membership, a bigger and stronger race team, and highly qualified sailors to hopefully work at CBI in the future.'

The Universal Access Program (UAP) for people with disabilities continued to thrive in 2010. The UAP strives to make sailing accessible to those who require special assistance with sailing, whether physical or cognitive, all for just $1 per person. Reservations can be customized to the participants’ needs and goals, whether they are learning how to skipper a 23’ Sonar or simply enjoying a therapeutic boat ride.

Kunicki mentioned, 'Participants were excited to learn more and spend more time on the water, with some earning sailing ratings equivalent to those in the other junior and adult programs.'

The number of lessons given in the UAP increased from 400 to over 700. Thirty percent of the UAP members sailed at CBI at least once a week for the duration of the program. This program also experienced success due to a more dedicated and organized staff that was trained to work with sailors with disabilities. Due to a major reconstruction project of the dock facility this winter, CBI plans to increase the hours offered for this program and continue to hire a more specialized staff to meet demand.

In closing, Moore explained, 'I wouldn't recommend that smaller clubs copy our instruction model exactly, but rather use it for inspiration for methods that might work for their club. If you are running into any sort of capacity issues, look to us for ideas on how to do more without decreasing quality. For us, when we have a quality volunteer instructor training program, recruiting and retaining those volunteers keeps getting easier, and the quality students they turn out give us even better instructors down the road.'

CBI’s 2010 Programs Report can be found by clicking here http://www.community-boating.org/images/stories/CBI_Annual_Report_2010.pdf

Learn more about US SAILING Captain Joe Award - Prosser .http://about.ussailing.org/Awards/Training_Awards/The_Prosser.htm
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