HIYC Sailing Camp History:
In 1988, Mandy and William Hofmeister led a group of parents and juniors from the Harbor Island and Percy Priest Yacht Clubs in forming "Miss Mandy’s Sailing Camp.” Initially, the parents taught the kids and camper fees were used to pay for meals prepared by the volunteers. As the earliest campers became teenagers, the proximity of moms, dads and 14 year-olds was “too close for comfort.” So, the volunteer leaders secured US Sailing Association Small Boat Instructor Certification for these teens and they were advanced into counselor roles. These teenagers got the opportunity to “boss the younger campers around” by providing on the water training for the campers. The young campers loved being around the cool teenagers and the parents were able to be on the sidelines, offering safety and curriculum guidance. A win-win-win.
From this small beginning, largely supported financially by HIYC, has come Harbor Island’s Junior Program – comprised of a Sail Camp which now runs four weeks in June, several regattas aimed specifically at junior sailors, an ongoing contingent of juniors participating as crew and skipper in the many HIYC regattas, the HIYC Sea Scout Ship and the newly formed partnership with the Vanderbilt University Sailing Team.
Many of the campers have graduated into the counselor roles and the program has become as much a leadership development program for the counselors as a learning experience for the campers. And, through the program a number of the counselors have college level competitors as well as coaches in other sailing Programs.
In 2003, Marc Fortune led an initiative to form the Nashville Sailing Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non profit to support Sail Camp with tax deductible donations of boats and charitable contributions. The NSF ensured proper supervision, insurance and financial oversight of the assets of the camp.
In 2012, NSF became a formal affiliate of HIYC and is the day to day operator of the Camp. The Club continues its commitment to youth sailing by providing NSF with financial, facility and volunteer support.