Celebrating 25 years of sailing camp

Celebrating 25 years of sailing camp
Amy Zang has been running the Washington Sailing Marina summer sailing camp since 1994. (Courtesy Photo)

By Missy Schrott | mschrott@alextimes.com

This summer, Amy Zang celebrated her 25th year at the helm of the Washington Sailing Marina summer sailing camp.

Since purchasing the summer camp from its previous owner in 1994, Zang has helped expand the camp’s size and offerings.

“When I bought the business in ‘94, camp was running for six weeks and a big week could probably be about 60 or 70 kids,” Zang said. “Currently camp runs for 11 weeks … and [an] average [week] is 100 kids and a big week is 134 kids, so we’ve grown tremendously in size and also in programs.”

The camp offers beginner, intermediate and advanced sailing classes for kids ages 8 through 15. Each session lasts for one week, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Zang said several kids attend for multiple weeks each summer.

“This summer, we just finished 1,020 kids going through our programs in the D.C. metro area,” Zang said. “Now, I’m onto some of my sailing instructors’ kids. So, people that worked for me years ago that are still in the area, now their kids are coming to camp, which is really cool.”

Zang held a celebration of her 25 years with the camp, attended by more than 100 people, on Aug. 10.

“It was really a wonderful celebration,” Zang said. “I couldn’t stop crying all day to see people coming back who had such nice things to say.”

This past Saturday, Zang marked the end of the 2019 camp with a regatta, where about 50 students showed their parents what they had learned.

Zang said that over the years, her favorite thing about camp has been combining her two loves: teaching and sailing.

“It’s been quite a journey,” Zang said. “I absolutely love what I do. … Our motto is ‘Safety, fun and learning,’ so we believe in providing a safe environment, then we believe if the kids are having fun the learning just comes along naturally. It doesn’t have to be forced.”

(Alexandria resident Carletha “Nana” West turns 107)