The Brendan Sailing Program for Youth with Learning Differences (Brendan Sailing) has announced the cancellation of their Summer 2020 Annapolis/St Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) sailing programs. Initially scheduled in June and July at Annapolis Sailing School and SMCM – all sessions at both sites have been canceled due to ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19. The decision was made in conjunction with SMCM’s announcement to cancel all on-campus events, programs, and summer camps, and Brendan Sailing’s potential challenges related to the CDC’s recommended health and safety guidelines for summer camps.
“The safety and wellbeing of our campers, staff, and volunteers is our number one concern,” said Brendan Sailing Executive Director Charlie Arms. “We have been closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19, and have completed a thorough review of the CDC’s updated Field Guide for Camps. After thoughtful consideration and consultation with our Board of Directors, it was decided that the best course of action was to cancel our 2020 summer camps.”
“After much consideration, we thought it best to make the announcement as early as possible to give parents and campers enough lead time to find another camp that offers individually tailored, experiential learning on land,” said Brendan Sailing President, Joanne Dorval. “We are also in the process of researching like-minded camps that align with our values and are prepared to transfer scholarship support of Brendan Sailing camper(s) to another program that serves children with learning differences.”
Additionally, Brendan Sailing staff are exploring creative ways to stay digitally connected with their campers. “As a former camper, and now instructor, I’ve been a part of Brendan Sailing in some form or another since I was 11 years old,” said Head Instructor, Evan McCarthy. “I’m definitely going to miss being out on the water with the campers and staff, but I’m excited to see what cool ways we come up with to keep everyone connected and engaged!”
“Although we are not hosting camp this summer, we are still here to help, and encourage those interested in continuing to reach out with any questions,” said Director Arms. “We look forward to hosting camps in-person again next year, where we can continue our mission of building confidence and self-esteem through sailing in children with learning differences!”
For over 35 years, Brendan Sailing has been serving the Maryland learning differences community. Since 1987 Annapolis Sailing School has been the annual June home of Brendan Sailing’s Annapolis camp sessions, providing learn-to-sail opportunities to local Anne Arundel youth. Since 2006, SMCM has generously provided Brendan Sailing a second summer home in July, offering an excellent opportunity for older campers to gain independence and self-reliance through Brendan’s fully immersed, overnight, on-campus experience. For more information about Brendan Sailing, please visit brendansailing.org.