Kenosha Community Sailing Center awash with new events

This summer for the Kenosha Community Sailing Center is filled with “firsts.”

The Kenosha Community Sailing Center will be offering new activities this summer like the “S’mores” camp for kids ages from seven to 12 at the Great Lakes Yacht Sails. 

The center moved locations to Great Lakes Yacht Sails and Southport Marina and are also offering different activities such as a camp, racing, aqua-cycles, specialty lessons and more to incorporate activities that go beyond sailing.

“We’re super excited because we’re expanding and growing and the community has been super supportive of us,” said Meryl Strichartz, KCSC board member.

Sailing Center

Lead sailing instructor Sarah Christensen, learned her sailing skills from the Kenosha Community Sailing Center when she was younger. The center has launched new camps and programs this summer.

Strichartz said she’s most excited about their weekly “S’mores” camps, which stands for “Sailing and More.” Residents can sign up for the five-day camps hosted by the KCSC, which are held on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Strichartz said kids ages seven to 14 can enroll in S’mores where they will learn to sail and also go to the beach, make arts and crafts, do STEM activities, talk to guest speakers and more. The camp will be held at Great Lakes Yacht Sails.

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“Because we have all this watercraft equipment, it made a lot more sense to reach out to the community with kayaking, stand up paddle-boards, paddle-boats and sailing,” Strichartz said.

Lead sailing instructor Sarah Christensen said they’ll be bringing in area bee keepers to teach the kids why bees won’t sting on sight, and bird professionals to go on bird walks.

Strichartz hopes the camp approach will allow people to feel less intimidated by sailing. She said people think “the stereotype of sailing is old white men with lots of money because they go with an image of a yacht.”

“By offering this camp it will open doors to people,” Strichartz said. “We’re in Kenosha. We live on Lake Michigan. Get on the water.”

Boat racing

Christensen said she’s really excited about racing this year since it’s the first year they’re offering it and because she had done a few races in the past outside of the sailing center.

In terms of racing, Christensen said “everyone is able to exercise their skills competitively.”

There is two types of racing being offered: Christensen said on Wednesday evenings they will have free public racing out of Southport Marina and on Sunday mornings members of the Kenosha Yacht Club can race for a “small fee.”

Sailing Center

The duck paddle boats are going to be utilized during the center’s Thursday community nights, S’mores camps and more throughout the summer.

The first race of the season will be held Wednesday, June 21. The race schedule is available online at

Having a boat isn’t required, the center will help match those who are interested with a boat. Those who have their own boats may bring their own crew, or the center will help find additional crew members. There isn’t a skill requirement to race.

The center will be holding specialty sailing lessons, including for women only, sailing for a Boy Scout badge, private lessons and more. Strichartz said the center works with the Boy Scouts to help members earn their badges.

“If there were other scouting groups that were interested in doing that, we would work out the requirements for them,” Strichartz said.

Boat building

Strichartz hopes to eventually get boat building off of the ground to teach adults how to repair and build sailboats. Volunteers currently help with boat repairs. She hopes to have their new boat building program started by the end of the summer.

“It’s more than just a sport (sailing). You have to learn the tricks and how to take care of things and what materials to use,” Strichartz said.

Sailing Center

This is the Kenosha Community Sailing Center’s first year being hosted at Great Lakes Yacht Sails.

“As a community sailing center, the whole idea is really to introduce people to the sport of sailing without them having to make a huge financial investment,” she said.

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