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Seventh-graders enjoy international youth sailing week at Menominee Park

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News reporter Jennifer K. Woldt posted an article for Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com on June 3, 2014 about a student sailing program in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The program is sponsored by Lourdes Academy. According to Woldt “The program provides a day-long opportunity for students to learn to sail and participate in other water sports.”

During the program, students learn how to safely sail and handle a variety of watercraft, including the O’pen Bic sailboats, catamarans, kayaks and paddleboards. It’s also an opportunity to connect topics students learn in school — such as science, math and meteorology — to real-life applications, according Steve Eliasen.

“You have a day on the water doing new things, like sailing and paddle sports,” said International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh co-founder/co-director Steve Eliasen, who is also a member of the Oshkosh school board. “In so many schools, we see so few kids who have sailed or had these types of experiences even though they reside so close to the lake.”

According to Jennifer K. Woldt, “There wasn’t any wind and Lake Winnebago was as flat as glass. However, for seventh-graders from Lourdes Academy, it didn’t matter. They still piled into kayaks, tried out paddleboards and hopped onto a catamaran or O’pen Bic sailboat to try out their hands at sailing and other watersports.”

Camron Kelly, a 13-year-old student enjoyed the event. “It’s pretty fun, we get to go sailing, kayaking and paddle-boarding with all of our friends.”

Established seven years ago as a unit for the 60 students in the Oshkosh school district’s ALPS Charter School, the sailing school has grown over the years. This year, 2,000 students will go through the program, either as part of their school or through local organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club or Christine Ann Center, according to Woldt.

In addition, Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, every fifth grade student in the Oshkosh school district will go through the program, Eliasen said.

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