What is Spirit of America?

Spirit of America is the premier youth boating education program. It has been operating in Beaufort for the past 5 years as the YMCA boating program, but it has recently been transferred over to Beaufort Community Sailing & Boating (BCSB).

The program is an innovative year round opportunity and STEM educational experience for middle school aged students, 11-15 years of age, that combines a summer-camp atmosphere with classroom discipline. Each program participant is exposed to sail, power, paddle, personal watercraft, and large vessel disciplines, rules and practice. In addition, the students spend time in the classroom passing their state boating education course, in the controlled environment of a pool, and in natural settings to build up their confidence and competency.

The program is offered at a very low cost and is supported by grants, sponsorships, volunteers, and donations. Tuition for the week long program is $50. Families who cannot afford that cost can apply for scholarships to further reduce the cost. The point of this program is to expose ALL children to safe boating and to grow their knowledge and confidence.

What types of volunteers are we looking for?

Boaters! Spirit of America volunteers teach the students about boating safely on kayaks, SUPs, canoes, power boats, sailboats, large vessels, and personal watercraft. Instruction is provided in the classroom, pool, and on the water. Sail, paddle, and power volunteers accompany the students and lead them through the waterways surrounding the Port Royal Maritime Center.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers can do anything from accompanying students on power boats, teaching classes, checking students in, demonstrating paddling strokes, and teaching sailing, to exhibiting proper self-rescue techniques. Since each power boat and sailboat need an adult on board until the students receive their boating licenses, volunteers are particularly in demand for the on the water ses- sions. We are also in need of volunteers who are willing to setup and launch the equipment, retrieve the equipment, and maintain the building and equipment.

Ready to Make a Difference?

If you are interested, please fill out our Volunteer Questionnaire and Waiver.  The form collects emergency information, a liability waiver, your preferences for volunteering, and your availability for classes in 2018. Even if you are not ready to commit to days in 2018, please fill out the volunteer form so we can have your information and put you on our list of interested volunteers.