Campers Make Great Strides at Young Mariners Foundation – (Reach Program Metrics at YMF)

Photo Credit: Young Mariners FoundationBy: Marilyn Shapiro, Executive Director, Young Mariners Foundation

Almost 70 campers attended both the Blue Water Bound Summer Sailing Camps and the Greenwich Young Mariners Sailing Program this past summer. They not only learned how to sail, but also received academic enrichment utilizing the Reach Curriculum for Middle Schools. This resulted in a significant and sustained boost in their knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects relating to sailing, according to Young Mariners Executive Director, Marilyn Shapiro.

“Many of the parents attending the camp graduations told me their camper learned a great deal this summer. I think that speaks volumes about the quality and effectiveness of our camps in preventing summer learning loss among under-served and at-risk children,” she said.

The five-week Blue Water Bound Summer Sailing Camp ran from June 30 to August 1 and the Greenwich Young Mariners Summer Sailing Program was held from August 4 to August 22. Both camps provided students with three hours of academic enrichment and three hours of on-the-water time each day. There were also field trips and activities like painting, swimming and pick-up soccer games.

“The kids learned more and worked harder than they ever have,” said Peter Gunn, Program Director of the Young Mariners Foundation. “And they had plenty of good role models to look up to among the staff and returning interns. This was absolutely the best summer to date. “

Pre-and post-test academic results for campers at Blue Water Bound were also outstanding. Youngsters were split into four academic tracks this year. First-year campers were given a science-based curriculum and achieved a 77% increase in test scores. Second-year campers were given a math curriculum with some review of science material from the previous year, and had a 64% increase in their test scores. Third-year students were placed in a research-intensive program based on the Connecticut State Standards in Social Studies and had a whopping 153% increase in their test scores. Fourth year students completed a pilot curriculum heavily based on

US Sailing’s Reach program, which was integrated with the Common Core Standards recently adopted by the State of Connecticut. The fourth-year group test scores increased by over 90%.

Hats off to everyone who supported our camp programs and gave students such a powerful summer experience!

For the last 18 years, the Young Mariners Program has offered after-school enrichment and summer sailing programs to over 2,300 underserved and at-risk learners in the Stamford and Greenwich Public Schools. Its mission is to create a world class educational program for children from low income families, built around sailing and the sea, uniquely designed to influence children’s growth to become responsible citizens, with care for themselves, respect for the environment and for all living things. For more information about the Young Mariners Foundation, please contact Executive Director, Marilyn Shapiro, at or visit their website directly

More Results of 2013-14 Young Mariners Afterschool Enrichment Program, Blue Water Bound Summer Sailing Camp and the Greenwich Young Mariners Program

126 first year fifth and sixth graders graduated from the Young Mariners Afterschool Enrichment Program in Stamford and Greenwich.
130 fifth and sixth grade students learned how to swim and be comfortable in and around water.
98% of YM students passed their knot-tying tests.
80% of YM students passed their test in navigation and map symbols.
70% of first year BWB students completed their US Sailing Small Boat Sailor Certification.
89% of second year BWB students completed their US Sailing Small Boat Sailor Certification.
87% of third and fourth year BWB students passed their US Sailing Boat Performance Sailor Certification.
12 students returned as summer interns or Junior Instructors and effectively utilized the “Train the Trainer” learning method as they taught younger campers about sailing and the sea.


Marilyn Shapiro
Executive Director
Young Mariners Foundation
Stamford, Connecticut