Interview by: Andy Sangster
Founded: 1910 in Raymond, ME
Address: 33 Wawenock RD, Raymond, ME 04071
When did you begin to incorporate sailing or water sport activities into your camp program?
With Wawenock being located on Maine’s second largest lake and the camp founded by an Inland Fisheries and Wildlife researcher, Canoes were part of our program from the start, then sailing canoes and finally sailboats were added. We are in our third generation of sailboats now.
What type of boats or paddleboards did you buy from Zim Sailing?
The FJ’s purchased from Zim Sailing are college style with no spinnaker. We chose the FJ’s because we were replacing old FJ’s and the hulls are well-suited to large lake sailing, as they cut through the waves well.
What are some of the goals and objectives of your camp involving sailboats or paddleboards?
We teach girls ages 10 through 16 how to sail. The program is progressive, with campers first getting comfortable in the boats and working towards becoming a competent crew member – able to trim the jib and balance the boat. Next they work on skippering skills, further understanding of points of sail and rules of the water, and improved communication within the boats. As campers return they are introduced to Racing Sailing concepts via the Junior Racing program and then are invited to join the Racing Sailing group – attending regattas and refining their skills, first as Racing Crew and then as Racing Skippers. We have a high camper to staff return rate and those who have pursued sailing as campers are excellent teachers within our system.
How has Zim Sailing helped you achieve those goals or objectives?
Zim’s pricing was very competitive, enabling us to order two boats each year, rather than one. Also, Zim offered custom rigging options that meant our new boats matched our old ones and this meant less confusion between campers and staff who would sail both new and old boats each week. They also were able to adapt the hardware of the new boats to allow them to be kept on moorings, partially rigged - rather than docked or beached after each class, improving turn-around time between classes and increasing on the water time for all. Though our campers have often taken the skills they gained at Wawenock and gone on to race in college, the new boats are now identical to those of many college programs. This will help give our campers and staff the confidence they need to be competitive in the world of Sailing outside of camp!
How many students participate in your program during the summer? (Youth and adult)
Are there any major future plans or upcoming milestones you would like to share with us?
We celebrated our hundredth year in 2010 so that milestone has passed. We are now able and planning to host mini regattas with our matching fleet of modern FJ’s!