Community Outreach

Sail Chicago is proud to be affiliated with three programs for disadvantaged youth in Chicago. Sail Chicago members give these kids opportunities to experience the fun and the excitement of sailing, while practicing cooperation, building confidence, and realizing untapped potential. 

Sail Chicago volunteer skippers and first-­mates share the gift of sailing and in return reap the reward of knowing they're make a positive contribution in the lives of Chicago's youth. 

Skippers are responsible for sailing safely, offering simple explanations on the principles of sailing (depending on interest) and under favorable conditions, allowing the children to take the helm. Each organization provides supervision on each sail. 


Urban Youth Sailing 

For more than 25 years, the Urban Youth Sailing Program has shared the thrill of sailing on Lake Michigan with hundreds of Chicago children in co‐operation with Association House of Chicago. Association House works to promote health and wellness in a multi-cultural society, and to create opportunities for educational and economic advancement for the community since 1899. 

The children range from age ten to thirteen, and participate in a comprehensive health program. Sail Chicago skippers who participate have an opportunity to give kids their first sailing experience on beautiful Lake Michigan. 

Skippers meet their “crew” and sail for an hour or two, beginning at about 1 pm. 

Where: Chicago's Monroe Harbor 
When: First Tuesday after July 4 through August 31. 

To volunteer, e-mail Betsy Timm Newton at 

Lawrence Hall Youth Services 

Sail Chicago has been proud to support the Lawrence Hall Youth Services Sailing Program for the last eight years. Lawrence Hall is committed to helping at-risk children in Chicago redefine the paths to their futures. Each year, Lawrence Hall’s continuum of care offers a full array of services to nearly 1,000 children, adolescents, and their families. Lawrence Hall strives to provide a safe environment to support these children to move toward adulthood with resiliency and hope. 

During the sail, the Lawrence Hall kids get to steer, do some basic maneuvers, and get a feel for sailing, all under the supervision of a Sail Chicago skipper and mate. The Lawrence Hall cruises sail aboard our Hunter 34 cruising boat, Priorities, for approximately 2.5 hours. 

Where: Belmont Harbor 
When: Every other Thursday at 1:30 pm. Mid-June through August. 

To volunteer for Lawrence Hall, e-mail Norme Linde at 

Schuler Scholar Program 

The Schuler Scholar Program prepares under-resourced, high-potential students to succeed at the most competitive private colleges and universities. Schuler Scholars are typically first generation college bound, come from under-resourced communities and will need financial assistance in order to attend college. Many students come from a population that is under-represented on college campuses. 

These students are identified and selected while in eighth grade. Throughout high school, the students are tutored and counseled to succeed at rigorous colleges and universities. As part of their education, the program provides enrichment activities that expose the students to experiences that broaden and enhance their lives. 

Where: Chicago's Monroe Harbor
When: Wednesdays from Mid-­June through Mid-August. The boat departs at 1 pm and return around 4 pm. 


To volunteer for Schuler Scholars, e-mail Tom Simms at 

Skippers should have at least one year of experience sailing as a certified skipper. Skipper certification is not required to serve as a first-­mate.