In cooperation with the Tradewinds Foundation, a non-profit organization founded solely to benefit children and adults with special needs, and the United Cerebral Palsey Foundation of Southern Maryland, the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation is developing a basic boating program to benefit this special needs population.
The basic boating program will consist of short classroom sessions to teach basic boating skills followed by one-day boating trips in which several participants from the Cerebral Palsey Association are taken out onto the Bay in volunteer boats. These excursions serve as more than a recreational activity-they are designed to stimulate, motivate, and broaden the horizons of the participants. This is a very successful educational tool, and we plan to make it available to other organizations in the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County area.
In the future we will expand the program, with the Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation Department, to include approximately 420 children from their summer day camp program. All of the children have various physical or mental disabilities and participate in a special needs day camp program run by the county for six weeks each summer. Again, the concept is to broaden the horizons and stimulate an interest in boating that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.