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Adventure Sailing

Adventure Sailing promises to be an exciting week of learning how to sail and enhance leadership and teamwork skills. This camp is for Special Operations Gold Star High School Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Like our Outdoor Adventure Camp, the purpose of the camp is to help prepare teens for the transition to college and career by equipping them with leadership training and character development opportunities. The teens will begin their week enjoying a day of sailing on the tall ship, “The Mystic Whaler” down the Rhode Island Coast. The week will continue with the teens learning and develop skills to sail on smaller water craft through hands on training and classes.

Camp Highlights




This year Gold Star Teen Adventures will be offering the opportunity for 15 special operations Gold Star teens (ages 15-18) to participate in a week of sailing in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is the undisputed sailing capital of the United States with coastlines on the west, south, and east. It is rich with both American and sailing history. This camp will focus on introducing youth to sailing first on smaller water craft. As the week and skills progress, youth will have the opportunity to race their boats (regatta). Our goal for attending youth is to provide healing, opportunity, character and leadership development, and mentorship. We do this by creating an environment that promotes teamwork, self-discovery as well as social, emotional and intellectual growth. This week promises to be a positive and life changing event for the youth as they learn to harness the wind, how to better lead and work as a team, and share this experience with other Gold Star youth and our caring and committed staff.

Sunday 20 July 2014

  • Gold Star Youth arrive
  • Welcome dinner

Monday 21 July 2014

  • Breakfast
  • Day of Sailing on the Mystic Whaler Tall Ship
  • Dinner at East Greenwich Yacht Club

Tuesday 22 July 2014

  • Breakfast
  • Rope Bridge and Rock Repelling
  • Afternoon sailing/swimming aboard sailboats from Newport Yacht Club
  • Dinner at the Yacht Club
  • Visit sailing sloop Providence in Newport harbour
  • Ghost Tours in Newport

Wednesday 23 July 2014

  • Breakfast
  • Gun Simulators
  • Sailing boat training at Newport Naval Base
  • Clam / Lobster Bake at Peabody Beach followed by a Bonfire

Thursday 24 July 2014

  • Breakfast
  • Warship Bridge Simulator at Naval Base
  • Lunch
  • Sailing Rhodes 19′ at Naval Base
  • Bowling and Dinner at the Bowling Alley
  • Leadership training/exercises
  • Friday 25 July 2014

    • Breakfast
    • Mansion Tour in Newport
    • Lunch at Pavilion
    • Sailing boat races at Naval Base
    • Awards Dinner at Naval Base
    • Saturday 26 July 2014

      • Campers Leave for home
  • Must be USSOCOM Gold Star Family
  • Must be a high school sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Must be physically capable- This will be mildly physically challenging camp with a challenge rating of 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most challenging

Sailing Camp

Do parents attend this trip?

No, this trip is for teens from the ages of 15-18 (high school sophomores, juniors and seniors). Teens will not be escorted by parents/guardians for this camp.

Can campers bring cell phones?

Yes, campers can bring cell phones. There will be times that camp staff will collect phones during specific events, however the teens will have access to their phones when appropriate. Please note that GSTA will not be responsible for any electronic or personal items that campers bring.

What do campers need to bring?

A packing list will be provided but all specialty equipment will be provided.

How will youth travel to Newport?

Youth will travel to Newport on commercial air. A staff member will meet campers at their gate. We make traveling to and from your adventure program as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Since a portion of this camp is on a military installation, is there a need for a DoD ID card?

It is not a requirement; however, if campers have a military ID card it would be good to bring.

How does Gold Star Teen Adventures maintain safety?

The safety of your child is paramount and therefore risk management comes first in everything that we do. Our programs are adventurous, so there is an element of risk in some of the activities that we do. All activities are conducted under close supervision of trained, qualified experts in their particular fields. This is also an opportunity for the campers to learn outside their comfort zones.

Is Gold Star Teen Adventures like a traditional summer camp?

Gold Star Teen Adventures is not a traditional teen summer camp and is far from a teen vacation. We are a program committed to the community of Gold Star youth first and foremost, and are grounded in experiential learning, leadership and character development, mentorship, healing, and opportunity. We offer programs specializing in sailing, outdoors adventure and survival, and scuba diving. These adventures encourage self-reliance and confidence through challenging activities, achieving new skills, and a feeling of accomplishment from meeting the challenge head-on.

What is the challenge level for each trip?

Our challenge level rating helps you understand the physical challenge for each trip on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most physically demanding. Our experienced and caring leaders along with the supportive group atmosphere ensure that every teen will enjoy wonderful achievements during each of our activities. Beginners will thrive on every trip, regardless of the challenge level rating. Our challenge rating for our camps are as follows:

  • GST Adventure Scuba Open Water- 4 of 10
  • GST Adventure Advanced Scuba Bonaire- 5 of 10
  • GSTA Outdoor Leadership Adventure- 7 of 10
  • GSTA Outdoor Leadership Sailing- 6 of 10

Is experience needed to participate in the Adventures?

We structure all activities as an opportunity for fun while learning a new outdoor skill. Experience is not needed prior to the Adventures, except for GST Adventure Advanced Alumni Scuba. We will provide all of the equipment and instruction for every activity.

Is it possible to come to Gold Star Teen Adventures for more than one summer?

Yes – One of our goals is to create positive and meaningful changes in the lives of youth that attend our camps. We do this through our mentorship program, and by providing opportunities to advance skills in subsequent summer camps (open water certification diving camps/ advanced certification diving camps). We also have camps from youth aging in age from 12-18. It is our hope that the youth attending our camps will return and continue to benefit from the programs that we offer.

What items have to be purchased to participate?

Nothing. Our goal is to provide this unique opportunity free of charge. Gold Star Teen Adventures will provide all specialty equipment and certifications necessary for our activities. We will send a packing list for all campers specifying what personal items need to be brought.

Are Gold Star Teen Adventure camps coed?

Yes. We aim to have a good mix of boys and girls together, and each camp will have staff in a similar ratio. Boys and girls will stay in different berthing, cabins,and barracks.

Where does the staff come from?

Like our students, our staff come from all over the country and have backgrounds that include active and retired military, military spouses, Gold Star survivors, military academy students and other American patriots committed to this cause. We take great pride in our staff and spend a great deal of time and energy in choosing each one. We strive to find the best role models that bring unique qualifications, gifts, energy, and a desire to invest in making a positive and lasting impact in the lives of our campers. All staff and volunteers will have been screened and approved by the GSTA Board of Directors.

How quickly do trips fill up and when will you know if you will be able to attend a summer camp?

Camps fill quickly! Gold Star Teen Adventures will begin taking applications for our 2014 summer adventure camps in January, 2014. We will be accepting the following numbers for our camps:

  • GST Adventure Scuba Open Water- 20 participants
  • GST Adventure Advanced Bonaire- 20 participants (2014 camp is full) (This camp typically fills from the previous year’s Scuba Open Water as that is a prerequisite for this camp.)
  • GST Adventure Outdoors – 15 participants
  • GST Adventure Sailing- 15 participants