Relaunched Schooner Has Wind in its Sails
Two years after becoming a signature program of the New Haven Land Trust, Schooner Camp is planning to double in size, a remarkable turnaround for the popular sailing and coastal exploration program.
|Campers in the Schooner Camp Sound Explorers program learn the fundamentals of sailing. Photo Credit: Ian Christmann|
Two years after becoming a signature program of the New Haven Land Trust, Schooner Camp is planning to double in size. The growth represents a remarkable turnaround for the popular sailing and coastal exploration program. Financial difficulties nearly shuttered Schooner before a merger with New Haven Land Trust injected new life into the day camp that has introduced generations of city kids to the open water.
"In many cases in New Haven we forget we live on the water, and so many New Haven residents have never set foot in Long Island Sound. Schooner summer camp opens the door to explore the wealth of environmental opportunities that exist here," says New Haven Land Trust Executive Director.
Under the Land Trust's new direction, the 43-year-old camp kicked off a fundraising campaign last year with an initial grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The successful effort helped the camp build up its curricula, establish new partnerships and offer scholarships for 240 campers.
This year, the camp is working to double its camp participants to a total of 80 per week. It is also adding intermediate sailing sessions, a leadership program for 13 and 14-year-olds, and a "sea sprite" session for 4 and 5-year-olds.
The camp has set a goal of raising $100,000 this year to support scholarships for half the campers.
The merger has also strengthened the New Haven Land Trust, which has a mission of creating opportunities for people to engage with the land through education, stewardship, and cultivation. The hiring of a full-time camp director has allowed the Land Trust to expand environmental programming at its nature preserve during the school year.
Did you know?
The New Haven Land Trust, founded in 1982 was Connecticut's first urban land trust
This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.