From the Society of Old Salts
This was the 20th year of operation for the Kids Setting Sail Program (KSS) hosted by the Society of Old Salts (S.O.S.). It was designed to introduce young people to sailing by means of a short ride on a Sunfish sailboat with an experienced sailor at no charge.
The program operates Sundays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. during the Chautauqua summer season. Over 40 KSS volunteers, with an age range from 14-87, worked to make this program possible.
We advertise to handle kids ages 5-10, but our age range has been 2-78. The participants in the program are very excited about riding in a Sunfish with an experienced sailor. The sailors and helpers are equally pleased to be able to volunteer their services. The parents and grandparents are the most excited of all to see their little ones out in a sailboat, many for their first time.
We did have five canceled Sundays this past summer due to weather or shortage of Lakeside staff. Lakeside Director of Recreation & Wellness Katalin Domotorffy has done an outstanding job in the operation of our program.
The KSS Program has developed into one of the most highly visible public relations programs in Lakeside. It continues to promote the entire Lakeside Sailing Center, has given many kids a chance to try sailing at an early age, and has brought a lot of joy to parents and grandparents. These children are our future sailors, and some go on to take the Lakeside Sailing Lessons after participating in the KSS Program. Although the long range revenue created by KSS for Lakeside cannot be accurately measured, the program is creating revenue. The volunteer base makes this program possible.
After announcing he was stepping down as the leader of the program, Bill Maenner had a change of heart and will remain the head of the program next season. He will get some help from Brenda Haas, who will be in charge of public relations.
“I just want to continue helping kids learn how to sail,” Maenner said.
Lakeside’s continued support of the S.O.S. and all the volunteers help make the Sailing Center and the KSS Program a success. S.O.S. and KSS say, “Thank you.”
The following statistics show the progress of the program in number of riders per year:
2003 217 riders 1st year…previous format
2004 384 riders 2nd year…previous format
2005 387 riders 11-week season…current format
2006 548 riders 10-week season
2007 573 riders 11-week season
2008 603 riders 11-week season
2009 705 riders 12-week season
2010 749 riders 12-week season
2011 855 riders 12-week season…5,031 riders to date
2012 947 riders 11-week season…5,978 riders to date
2013 836 riders 11-week season…6,814 riders to date
2014 779 riders 10-week season…7,593 riders to date
2015 467 riders 12-week season…8,060 riders to date
2016 629 riders 12-week season…8,689 riders to date
2017 460 riders 12-week season…9,149 riders to date
2018 573 riders 12-week season…9,722 riders to date
2019 393 riders 12-week season…10,115 riders to date
2020 KSS was not in operation due to COVID
2021 130 riders 12-week season…10,245 riders to date
2022 425 riders 12-week season…10,670 riders to date