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US Sailing, Sailing Counselor

  • Truckee Donner Recreation Park District Truckee, CA USA (map)

The Sailing Counselor (SC) course is designed to prepare camp counselors, and staff from community sailing and scouting programs, to supervise small boat recreational sailing activities typically conducted on sheltered and protected waters.

The emphasis is on safety and hands-on practice to familiarize candidates with proper terminology and boating techniques. Sailing Counselor training will also provide a model for how a counselor might structure actual sailing activities.  These courses are taught by Small boat Level 1 IT’s.


  • Familiarize candidates with principles of risk management, including carrying out a safety inspection.
  • Familiarize candidates with sailboat nomenclature and proper sailing terminology.
  • Prepare candidates to properly rig a small sailboat. Prepare candidates to conduct a swim check.
  • Prepare to conduct a capsize/rescue drill.
  • Familiarize candidates with land drills.
  • Rehearse candidates in fundamental small boat sailing skills and familiarize then with routine sailing drills.
  • Familiarize candidates with basic “rules of the road” for small sailboats.
  • Familiarize candidates with on-the-water safety, possible emergencies, and overboard recovery and rescue techniques.
  • Familiarize candidates with hazardous weather conditions.
  • Prepare candidates to organize and conduct safe and orderly sailing activities.
  • Familiarize candidates with the use of hand signals in on-water communication.
  • Familiarize candidates with US Sailing Training programs, products and resources.
  • Minimum age limit for Sailing Counselor Course Participation
  • All Candidates must have reached their 14th birthday within the calendar year of the course.

(vs. Level 1 Sailing Instructor Certification)

The Sailing Counselor course is not a certification course. It is therefore recommended that Sailing Counselors will workunder the supervision of Level I Certified Sailing Instructors. Please note that that Sailing Counselors are not powerboat qualified and successful Sailing Counselor candidates are not covered by US Sailing certified instructor personal liability insurance afforded fully certified instructors.


This is a two-day, 20 hour course. Attendance all days and all hours of the course is mandatory. All Candidates must have reached their 14th birthday within the calendar year that the course is being held in. After completing a Sailing Counselor course (and gaining some real-world experience teaching sailing), Sailing Counselors are eligible to pursue the Level I Sailing Instructor Certification.


  • Basic sailing experience
    • A basic understanding of sailing theory and minimal practical experience sailing a small boat is expected.
  • Ability to swim 50 yards both with and without a life jacket.
    • The accepted swim strokes are: front crawl, breaststroke, side stroke, elementary backstroke, back crawl and butterfly, as defined by the American Red Cross. Floating and treading water are not considered to be swimming strokes, and sculling or finning as a way of moving through the water while floating or treading is not considered to be a swimming stroke.
  • Completed course registration form accompanied by appropriate course fees (and any late charges).
  • Completed US Sailing Medical Form.
    • Provided to you by the Instructor Trainer at the start of the course.

    Sailing Counselor cards may be granted to those who pass the following:

    • Swim/Life jacket check – Practical Evaluation
    • Know basic safety for sailing
    • Show basic risk assessment and management for sailing
    • Basic sailing Skills practical evaluation
    • Familiarization of classroom, on land, and on the water, teaching methodologies


    All materials will be sent directly to the course site and handed out by the Instructor Trainer. The training materials for the Sailing Counselor course include the following:

    • Learn Sailing Right! Beginner Sailing (student manual)
    • Sailing Smart Activity Book and Instructor’s Handbook
    • Other handouts and course information as applicable
Earlier Event: July 6
Traveling to CA!
Later Event: July 12
RBBS practice