A really interesting discussion has recently taken place on a forum called Sailing Scuttlebutt about youth sailing as it pertains to club racing. It seems that 90% of the youth are ignored in favor of the top racers. Eventually the 90% lose interest and drop out of boating altogether.
Alexander Kovell believes he has the answer.
" learned to love boats and sailing through Sea Scouts. We didn't race much, maybe five races in six years (including a phenomenal run in Swiftsure!). But we sailed one to three nights a week, we broke things, we learned to fix things and diagnose problems. We learned leadership, seamanship, and how to work in a team. We learned life skills, not sailing skills."
The points raised in the forum is a must read for us particularly as we are seeking a large influx of new Sea Scouts.