Junior Program Spotlight: Community Boating Center, New Bedford, MA

The mission of the Community Boating Center in New Bedford, MA is to teach positive life values to at-risk youth through boating. In 1998, Community Boating Center incorporated as a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to enriching the lives of area youth by exposing them to a new and challenging environment built upon a foundation of trust and respect. The Community Boating Center staff, acting as role models, provides friendship and mentorship, teach responsibility and teamwork and demonstrate commitment and compassion with all students. “Safety, fun and education are the cornerstones of Community Boating Center programs,” said Andy Herlihy, CBC’s Executive Director. “Approximately 70% of our students come at no cost; they simply cannot afford to pay!”

CBC students enjoy a sail on Buzzards Bay. © communityboating.org.

CBC students enjoy a sail on Buzzards Bay. © communityboating.org.


“Our flagship program is our Summer Youth Sailing Program,” said Herlihy. “This program is designed to be a step by step process in character development, by using sailing and boating as a tool to help instill important life lessons in our students, such as the values of integrity, sound judgment and environmental awareness. CBC introduces students to an environment that they may have never experienced before. Many of our kids have not been to the beach before coming to CBC, despite having lived, sometimes, within walking distance. This is an amazing opportunity to fill a kid with wonder and a sense of adventure. Our students are from such varied backgrounds that virtually every kid can gain a wider perspective just by interacting with the other students.”


© communityboating.org

© communityboating.org

“Our summer programs begin July 1 and run through August 23,” Herlihy continued. “We offer programs to children ages five through seventeen. While our main focus is our learn to sail classes for beginners, we provide programming for all skill levels. We utilize our fleets of Sonars, Picos, Prams, Optimists, Capri 14.2s, and C420s. We use a variety of boats to help keep sailing fun! During the fall and spring, we partner with Greater New Bedford charter schools to offer enrichment opportunities centered around boating for at-risk youth. In conjunction with those charter schools, we provide after school programming as well as incorporating sailing into their daily marine science classes.”


CBC is also a designated US Powerboating Training Center, with US Powerboating Certified instructors on staff and one- and two-day Safe Powerboating Handling certification courses available. For more information on Community Boating Center, their programs, and how you can help support their mission, visit communityboating.org.

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