We live in serious times, with serious problems that need serious solutions.
Or, maybe not.
Because sometimes the best solution to the most pressing problem is to have the most fun.
That is the logic behind SoundWaters commitment to small boat sailing. Through sailing, students develop mastery and get out and HAVE FUN on Long Island Sound. And with that fun comes something a bit more serious: a connection and commitment to Long Island Sound.
Fun translates into experiences which translates into meaning. We know this from personal experience. We know this from observing our students in action. And, we know this from recent research. Last week a researcher in Canada, Professor Catherine Broom, published a study of university students and their attitudes towards the environment. Her findings? “Developing positive experiences in nature at a young age can influence our attitudes and behaviours towards nature as adults,” says Broom. ”
At SoundWaters, where we are busy now readying our fleet for after-school sailing and science, we know that connecting students to the natural world is critical. This is especially important in our region, where access is limited by both geography and affluence. Long Island Sound is the greatest natural resource in our region, but it usually takes proximity and money to get kids connected to it.
That’s where SoundWaters steps in: in spring, summer and fall we offer the highest quality sailing and programs at reduced costs (often free) to all students.
Of course, its not only about fun. Professor Broom notes that positive experiences are not enough: “these may not be sufficient unless programs are building knowledge and self-awareness of environmental stewardship.” And SoundWaters programs combine teaching about the environment (tides, habitats, human impact) alongside teaching about sailing. The impact is our legacy: developing the next generation of environmental stewards.