Against All Odds
posted by Mark Fields
May 03, 2019
Bow to Stern Boating Center has been a part of the sailing growth in Oriental for going on 12 years. Starting with a youth summer program launching at the public ramp by the bridge working out of Grace’s yard with Opti’s built and donated by volunteers. Since that time the Sunfish have been replaced with Lightnings, the FJ fleet doubled with new sails, a fleet of 420’s added, past campers became staff members/instructors and keel boats added for those qualified. Seems like that’s the way it’s supposed to happen, right? A lot of hard work goes into making a business successful and for a sailing program to survive. It takes a good team with a mission, a great leader with a vision, and a community that shares the interest to make it all come together.

In just a little over a month Captain Jim will once again hold his Monday morning greeting to all the campers and their adult counter parts. Parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters will gather on the picnic tables to hear the introductions and meet their captains, preparing for a week of activity on the banks of Smith Creek and sailing on the might Neuse River. As the boats are being prepped, lines checked, hardware secured, outboard engines serviced, and RIBS inflated, all being done with the purpose to keep our kid’s sailings. The day and age which we now live in is not one of playing outside climbing trees, building go carts from spare bike parts and lumber from grandpa’s house, or battling in stick-built forts. It’s a time where fingers lead the way to entertainment and video screen time takes precedence over most everything. The fact that a successful program like the one at Bow to Stern Boating is still being operated is against the odds. But with the commitment of the staff, management and ownership, this program will continue to grow, provide new exciting opportunities, and let boys and girls from all types of back grounds experience feeling the wind in their sails, waves splashing in their faces, and a sense of accomplishment beyond their wildest dreams.