Shoreline Lake in Mountain View has launched a one-of-a-kind comprehensive sailing instructor training course, designed for sailors aged 15 and over. Counselor-in-Training (CIT) is a 12-month apprenticeship-based “teacher training” curriculum that combines skills development classes with experiential learning, under the supervision of experienced certified instructors. The aim is that students can gain the “real-world teaching experience” that forms part of US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Certification.
Shoreline Lake Boathouse supervisor William Gardner created the CIT program, based on the traditional outdoor youth camp counselor-training standard. To suit a diverse group of applicants, the program allows sailors of varying levels of expertise to advance at their own pace and apply lessons in a real-world environment by shadowing certified instructors in both the sailing classes and summer camps.
“To develop a complete sailing instructor course, besides a great spot to do this, we needed to bring all these disparate puzzle pieces together and help lay them out in a coherent fashion useful to the accomplished, as well as new, sailors here,” Gardner said.
The CIT program will be a precursor to US Sailing’s Level 1 Instructor certification. Through shadowing Shoreline’s instructors, the students gain many more hours of experience than are available in the predominantly online US Sailing courses.
The program includes introductory and intermediate sailing classes along with continued access to practice and instructional resources, and time on the water with certified sailing instructors to learn how to safely and effectively run a class or summer camp, with strong emphasis on US Sailing teaching methodology fundamentals, and hands-on powerboat training with a focus on skills needed for the US Sailing Instructor practical exam.
Applications for the program are open now and close at the end of April. And while spaces are limited, Gardner said extensive sailing experience is not necessarily required, as CIT allows sailors of varying levels of expertise to advance at their own pace and apply lessons in a real-world environment.
Shoreline Lake wrote in a press release, “Given the increasing need for qualified sailing instructors throughout the Bay Area, this hybrid learning model — combining skills development classes, plus experiential learning, under the supervision of experienced certified instructors — will yield a coordinated and standardized system for developing sailing instructors.”
For more information see Shoreline Lake’s website: shorelinelake.com/cit-sailing.