It’s a ‘G’ Thing: City Sail program teaches kids leadership skills and how to navigate the water

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Oh, the soothing sound of the sea! Okay, well the Hudson River that is.

“You just feel free on the water,”  Sarea Shariff smiled.

That's what it's like for these kids on a sailboat.

“You’re not confined to just being on land and you have to do everything yourself,” Sarea said.

Serea started sailing more than four years ago and learned everything she knows from City Sail.

“It’s such a great organization and sailing is such a great sport,” she said.

“I’ve taught about 2,000 people how to sail," Andrew Zuber, an instructor, said. "And seeing that joy is pretty awesome.”

Part of the nonprofit, Hudson River Community Sailing, the year-round program teaches all types of skills.

“We made a homemade anemometer,” Abraham, one of the kids, said. "It measures wind speed.”

They create these tools from scratch and put them to the test.

“We figure out the distance that the once cup travels in one rotation then we multiply that by the number of rotations then we do some unit conversions," Zuber explained.

And it's those types of lessons that translate to land that are most beneficial.

“I’ve learned leadership,” Sarea said.

“Learn to take a step back and think about my actions," Jacob Levin, one of the kids, explained.

“One of the things they also take away is communication and learning how to listen,” Mwenye Seville, an instructor, said.

Instructors like 'River Rodeo' here keeps the experience fun and safe.

“We’re aware of what the dangers are we go out of our way to take the initiative to prevent those dangers,” Seville explained.

“How did it go out there?" I asked Harrison Ahlgrim, one of the kids, right after he got off the boat. "It was really fun! [The best part was] the tacking, tacking is when you go one way then and you turn around fast the other way.”

“When it was done I was like man I feel good about myself that was fun," Avery Ahlgrim, another kid, smiled. "That was thrilling!”

A thrill these kids say you can only get on a sailboat.

"Just try something new, it’ll be worth it," Jacob said.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi

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