Annual safe boating camp on hold

The popular middle school boating program is on hold until a new sponsor can be located. Students shown learning safe boating skills.

Spirit of America, the annual safe boating program that had previously been sponsored by the Bay Village Schools, is in the process of finding a new sponsor. The program is currently delaying the application process until the new facilitating organization is confirmed.

The Bay Village Schools decided to end their sponsorship due to logistical reasons. Another change comes with the announcement that longtime coordinator George Christ has decided not to coordinate the program, however he will remain as an instructor and assistant to the new coordinator this year.

This has been a very popular summer program in the area since 1999. Hundreds of students have been certified by passing the Ohio Boating Education Course, which is required by law in order to operate a vessel with an engine over 10 horsepower, and on-the-water skills education. Students are provided experience in power boats, sail boats, personal water craft, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and also a large boat like a U.S. Coast Guard vessel. The program is part of the nationally recognized Spirit of America Foundation (SOAF), with programs across America.

Former coordinator George Christ and SOAF director Cecilia Duer have been working to locate a new facilitating organization and coordinator and will continue to do so with the hopes of providing the 2018 program in Cuyahoga County without delay. The main functions of the facilitating organization will be overall supervision of the coordinator and program, control of the local finances, insurance of the program, and "ownership" of the equipment during the time the organization is presenting the program. The Spirit of America Foundation prefers that the facilitating organization is a nonprofit entity like a school or a park district, college or boat club. The Foundation provides all of the equipment needed to operate the program and many volunteer instructors are ready to teach.

For more information, contact Cecilia Duer at or George Christ at

George Christ

George Christ has been the coordinator of the West Cuyahoga Spirit of America Safe Boating Program since 1999 and has taught safe boating to over 500 students

Read More on Schools
Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:33 AM, 03.06.2018