Freedom Accessible Camp
The Downtown Sailing Center's (DSC) Freedom Accessible Camp utilizes non-capsizable 23' Sonar keelboats and Access 303W dinghies to teach beginning, intermediate and advanced sailing skills to 8- to 16-year-olds with disabilities. Each day includes on-shore and on-the-water activities, with an emphasis on enabling each camper to make and achieve their own goals in terms of skill and autonomy. On the large boats, teamwork is essential, with each camper performing a specific and essential task on the boat — including steering the boat and trimming the sails. On the small boats, sailors are able to manage an entire boat — even with limited mobility, enabling enormous freedom on the water.
The 1:1 staff to student ratio allows an individual lesson plan be tailored to each participant's needs, and safety to be our primary focus. Our ultimate goal is to allow each sailor to explore their abilities through a sailboat. In the past, participants have shared with us that sailing is the activity that they feel most personally free while doing. We want to share this feeling of freedom with as many people as possible.
All activities are held at our facility at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Each day is divided between land-based and on-the-water instruction, with the emphasis being on the water. Students, grouped according to age, experience and learning ability, participate in navigational scavenger hunts, round-robin racing and land-based activities to enhance their sailing skills.
Safety is taught at every level. All participants (and instructors) are required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD), which the DSC provides. The boats we use are renowned for their safety and stability in a breeze and their responsiveness on light air days. Each of the larger boats comfortably carries up to 3 participants plus three US SAILING-certified instructors/counselors. The smaller boats hold one or two people in stable, non-capsizable safety — enabling either one-on-one sailing time, solo sailing, or two campers sailing together.
The cost for a five-day session is $550.00. The total balance is due by the first day of camp.
For parents' convenience, we offer extended day programs from 8:15-9 AM and 4-5 PM. Each morning or afternoon of extended day care costs an additional $10 per camper.