Love this place. Well run. I can't believe I have gone from always wanting to sail, to be able to sail in one summer. Can't get over how much I learned. The enrichment programs are great for us loners whose spouses or kids have no interest, we get to race, or just do a nice sailing day and are assured of getting on the water. MCSC has made sailing accessible to many, from accessibility to affordability, as well as quality instruction from people who care about their members.
A friend asked me to assist him in updating his resume back in 1991. At the very bottom of his page, under volunteer activities, he had written: Volunteer Board Member for the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center. When next I spoke with him, I asked him about that group. He told me about his work with the group. A non-profit community sailing center open to all adults and youth. People pay a low-cost annual membership fee, which gives them free access to a variety of boats for two hours at a time seven days a week, without needing to own their own boat. People can sail with others as crew, or pass sailing tests which allows them to be rated as a light, medium, or heavy wind skipper.
Classes are held year-round, both on water and on land. Classes are offered for all age groups, grade school through adults. Special classes and programs are held for people with disabilities, also.
All of this information prompted me to contact staff at the Milwaukee Community Center in May 1991, and after a brief conversation, I signed up for the next available beginners class. I was hooked.
Our class that year was known as the class that lucked out -- many classes on the water were cancelled due to stormy weather. Or no wind! Both banes of sailors.
Gratefully, our instructors offered make-up classes and make-up on water practices, and we all completed the classes satisfactorily and received our ranking as light sailors.
That summer of 1991 I was free enough to go sailing for the two allotted hours almost every single day. I spent three weeks as part of my doctoral studies in Seattle, Washington, and spent several of those days with friends who live in Seattle and own a sailboat. They invited me to sail with them several times, and offered me the privilege of skippering the boat on Puget Sound, on a gloriously sunny day in August of 1991.
Over the past 23 years, I advanced to medium rating, and have taken classes for heavy rating. Unfortunately, testing dates, weather, and my own schedule have not coincided for me to take that test. In the meantime, I have skippered boats with crew made up of family, of friends, of co-workers, and occasionally even of strangers, as part of the Spinniker Club.
My husband and I enjoy sailing together on lazy summer afternoons. We have enjoyed the Full Moon and Blue Moon cruises with other sailing center folks, those who own large sail boats and willingly donate the use of these boats to the Sailing Center for these special events. Our family has enjoyed participating in Sailing Center activities, too. One of our sons took part in the youth sailing classes when he was in high school and enjoyed it very much. One year, my mother and daughter and I spent a Fourth of July at a picnic sponsored by the Sailing Center, and then enjoyed an evening of fireworks while seated in a sailboat anchored in the harbor watching this spectacle over Lake Michigan, a very special time for all of us. Our extended family has gathered on the sailing center grounds on other Fourth of July occasions for picnics and fireworks.
Members of our family also volunteer at many of the events held at and/or by the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, including some open houses, other special events, and for a number of years, at the Annual Lobster Boil.
All of these activities help invigorate current members, introduce new folks to the highlights of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, and most importantly of all, raises funds for important Sailing Center programs.
Two of the very best of these programs include those programs that focus on youth, offering classes and sailing opportunities for children who come from poor and disadvantaged families, often through neighborhood community groups, and those programs that provide a sailing experience for children and adults with significant disabilities of all sorts: cognitive, emotional, medical, and physical.
Sailing soothes our souls, provides a time for family enrichment, a time for sharing with long time friends, and an opportunity to meet new friends. Sailing offers a way, too, to connect with our environment is a manner that leaves a very small footprint on our ecosystem.
All this, because I asked what someone meant by his reference to his work as a Board Member almost 25 years ago.
I highly recommend the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center for this award.
Member of and volunteer at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center since 1991
When I was a young man of 58, I met a few MCSC sailors at a party. We talked.
The next day I signed up for a class at MCSC. That was July of 1996. Still sailing.
My life has become deeply enriched by fellow members, our staff, and of course, Lake Michigan.
MCSC's extensive community outreach programs, year-round educational opportunities, and sponsorships, have earned international respect and recognition.
With an exemplary staff and corps of volunteers, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center continues to be a rich and deep fabric of our community.
The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center provides the Milwaukee metropolitean region with access to day sailing and sailboat racing on Lake Michigan. Classes are available for youth and adults so a person doesn't need to be a sailor to participate. The MCSC provides events for disabled individuals. The staff are friendly and helpful. The MCSC provides e-mail updates as well as Facebook and Twitter links so that sailors can learn about events and the weather conditions.
I have served as a skipper providing sailboat rides to disabled individuals - rewarding experiences for all.
The organization is inclusive and friendly. Whether introducing community members to Lake Michigan, teaching new sailors to sail, or providing opportunities for handicapped sailors to get out on the lake, everyone from volunteers to professional instructors to boatyard staff have a smile and something good to say to everyone. I feel like I belong.