The Goals

To enrich the lives of America’s young at-risk girls through sailing, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion thus opening their eyes to a multitude of life’s positive possibilities, and through continued participation in sailing

  • Provide a positive activity that will encourage positive life choices
  • Develop self-confidence to overcome adverse living conditions
  • Introduce career paths and opportunities that involve the marine industry, marine related sciences and their local waters.


The Program

Making Changes Come About®

  • A day of introducing sailing to at-risk girls ages 9 to 14 at an approved sailing, commercial or community sailing facility where boats, qualified volunteer instructors as mentors on the boats, and other sailing-related activities are arranged by the local organization. The activities are fun, educational and the instructors and volunteers for the most part are women, providing positive female role models. 
  • Unique to each location. The boats used are what the host organization has available as well as the agenda for the day. Some of the events have a guest speaker or guest appearance. Some use small boats while other locations use cruising boats. Some engage in spirited competition.  It all depends on what the organizer arranges. Current and Past years of AdventureSail events will show you the variety of events. Each one will certainly show you the enthusiasm and smiles of the girls, who may be getting on the water for the first time in their lives. For a general Step-by-Step Guide click here.
  • Free program
  • Waivers are necessary for both the girls and volunteers. Click here to go to the release page.
  • At the day’s end in all events:
    • Sowed a seed on career paths and opportunities that involve the marine industry, marine related sciences
    • Provided positive role models on and off the water
    • Experienced team building activities
    • Offered learn-to-sail scholarships in the local area Click here to fill out learn-to-sail scholarship.
    • Offered junior membership in the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) until she reaches 18 years of age. Click here to fill out junior membership.


Funding AdventureSail®

  • 100% of the program is funded through Individual donations via the website or by check
  • NWSA members
  • Donations of product (such as food or swags) at the event
  • Everyone who works with the program is a volunteer.


How to Get Involved

  • Contact the event organizer of one of the events listed in the calendar.
  • If interested in organizing an event in your area, contact Val Cook to discuss opportunities and the details on procedures and the help NWSA can provide you.


History of AdventureSail®

In 1996, Doris Colgate through the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) introduced AdventureSail®, a mentoring program for at-risk girls between the ages of 9 and 14.  Each year since then more than 150 girls across the country are introduced to sailing through the program. Women and men in local sailing clubs, yacht clubs and other partnering associations volunteer with local girl-serving organizations to offer underserved girls a sailing day, offering new experiences and fun. The program is flexible in that the host facility determines what the day will look like and what kinds of activities and boats will be included.

Skills, such as, teamwork, environmental stewardship, leadership, individual responsibility, self-esteem, respect for authority and the importance of education are stressed, helping girls to navigate toward a successful adulthood.  AdventureSail® continues to expand its programs to serve new areas of the country and to involve a growing number of girl-serving organizations.

In 1996 the Women’s Sailing Foundation (WSF) was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization.  WSF is the legal and parent company of the AdventureSail® program.

Recent AdventureSail® Events and Partnerships

Tumbleweed Sailing
Boys and Girls Club  


Alameda Community Sailing Center
Boys and Girls Club; Girls Inc; Girl Scouts

Dana Point
Dana Point Yacht Club
Women’s Sailing Association of Orange County

Half Moon Bay
Boys and Girls Club Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay Yacht Club

New Orleans
Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association
Girls Scouts Louisiana East  


Courageous Sailing Center
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston  


New York
Sag Harbor
Breakwater Yacht Club
Girls Scouts Suffolk County
Girls Inc. Suffolk/Nassau County
Big Sisters Association Suffolk/Nassau County
I Tri Community Program Suffolk County
Butterfly Effect Community Program Suffolk County

Racine Yacht Club
Girls, Inc.  


US Virgin Islands
St. Croix
St Croix Yacht Club


AdventureSail® Locations and Partners

  • Alameda Community Sailing Center, Alameda, CA
    • Boys and Girls Club; Girls Inc; Girl Scouts
  • Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, Long Island, NY
    • Girls Scouts Suffolk County; Girls Inc. Suffolk/Nassau County, Big Sisters Association of Suffolk/Nassau County; I Tri Community Program Suffolk County; Butterfly Effect Community Program Suffolk County
  • Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA
    • The Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
  • Dana Point Yacht Club, Dana Point, CA
    • Women’s Sailing Association of Orange County
    • Boys and Girls Club
  • Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association, New Orleans, LA
    • Girl Scouts Louisiana East
  • Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI
    • Girls, Inc.
  • St Croix Yacht Club, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
  • Tumbleweed Sailing, Phoenix, AZ
    • The Boys & Girls Clubs

Previous Locations / Partners

  • Annapolis Community Boating, Annapolis, MD
  • Gold Country Yacht Club and the Friendship Club
  • Oregon Women’s Sailing Association and Girls Inc of NW Oregon



Take a moment to peruse the events that have taken place in Current and Past Years of AdventureSail® Events.

For Tax-deductible contributions click on the “Donate” button



AdventureSail® is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization. The program is sustained by charitable donations of any amount.