Charleston Community Sailing Opens One-Week Sailing Program for Kids with Autism

Charleston Community Sailing introduces Camp Cool, a new summer sailing program for kids with high functioning Autism. The camp offers a one-week sailing program to learn basic on-the-water skills and experience adventure-packed days on the Ashley River and surrounding waterways.

While located on the coast with numerous waterways, Charleston has many residents who have never experienced what the city’s shores can offer. Camp Cool aims to bring on-the-water opportunities to children (ages 8-17) and teach the numerous life lessons of sailing, including tackling new challenges, teamwork, self-confidence, and leadership.

"I know sailing helps with confidence, team work, and offers an exceptional environment for hands on learning,” Scott Herman, a local sailor and father who created Camp Cool, said. “As the father of an Autistic son, I see him struggle with confidence and the ability to succeed with social interactions within a team. I am confident sailing and our camp will offer the kids an opportunity to build these skills and hopefully a lifelong love of sailing."

From June 24th to 29th, Camp Cool will enable children to discover a love for being on the water, meet new friends, and create lasting memories. The program, which aims to empower children, will cover general sailing knowledge, including instruction on:

  • water safety rules
  • wind direction
  • points of sail and sail trim
  • boat parts
  • current and tide conditions
  • weather
  • knots
  • rigging/de-rigging

In addition to on-the-water sailing, campers will engage in land-based activities based on STEM education and nautical games and crafts, with a focus on team building activities when sailing may not be an option due to weather or wind conditions.

Camp Cool will run Monday-Friday, 9 am to 12 pm. Camp Cool is funded by generous community donors and businesses, allowing sailors to participate at no cost this year. For more information, visit Charelstoncommunitysailing.org.

About Charleston Community Sailing

Founded in 1999, Charleston Community Sailing’s mission is to promote waterfront access, facilities and sailing instruction to all, regardless of socioeconomic background, skill level or physical ability. Camp Cool is the newest program offered through the organization, which has taught more than 7,000 children, produced 10 scholastic sailing teams, and includes a STEM Education outreach program, Women on the Water (WOW), partnerships with the SC Special Olympics Team and a full-time director with staff.

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