Kids across the community set sail this summer

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - It's ready, set, sail at Buhlow Lake in Pineville this week.

Thanks to Louisiana College’s sailing camp, kids from across the community have the opportunity to learn the basics when it comes to sailing a sailboat.

With the wind blowing, the birds chirping, and the sun making lakes look like seas of diamonds, it's no wonder Robin Stewart spends the majority of his summer on the water.

Stewart decided those warm Louisiana months is the perfect the time to set sail.

For over 20 years, he has directed the Louisiana College sailing camp in hopes to teach kids how to rig, tack and stay safe on a sailboat.

"The first couple weeks is strictly for fun and then we get more technical,” Stewart said. “Some of them get what we call a red book through U.S. Sailing and then get certified."

What started out as an old luxury of his eventually turned into a legacy.

"I started when I was five years old, and I was enthusiastic about it," said Stewart. “In 1994, we had a sailing team at Louisiana College and that brought in our three collegiate boats. After that, we started adding sunfish, we started adding kids. Last year we had a three and a half-year-old sailing."

The camp is one of only three places in Louisiana that offers an experience like this, and it's great for beginners.

"They start out with a counselor, then we put them two together, and then occasionally they get brave and go out on their own," Stewart said.

Kids like Landen Rollins couldn’t get enough.

"I just like that it's calm and it takes my mind off everything," said Rollins.

From fun to friendships, this camp is not a typical summer learning experience.

"It's fun, it's unique, it's exciting," Stewart said.

Plus, campers earned some bragging rights too.

"You would know how to do things more than every other kid in your class," said Rollins.

The next two camps will be June 11-15th and 18-22nd from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at Buhlow Lake. There is also an advanced camp the last week of June and a one-day camp for children ages 6-8 on June 16th.

Campers should bring a swimsuit, towel, sun block, water, and snacks. The cost of the camp is $125 per week. For LCats swim team members, it’s $95 per week.

A regatta will also be held in honor of Kris Beall on August 4th at Buhlow Lake. It gives students the opportunity to show off the skills they have learned at camp. There will be trophies as well as a parents division.

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