Scouts BSA – Small Boat Sailing

Young boy looking up at the sails in a striped shirt while steering the boat
Small boat sailing badge

Scouts BSA – Small Boat Sailing:

Badge Requirements:

  • Safety Discussion including:
    • Rules of the Road
    • Warning signs of inclement weather
    • How can weather affect safety and performance?
    • What would be in a float plan?
    • Proper clothing
    • Safety Inspections- what would they include?
    • Proper Lookout
    • What if Safety Scenarios that can happen aboard any boat:
      • What if we started taking on water, went aground, or fire?
    • Caring for and maintaining a sailboat
    • Review sailing terminology, types of sailboats
  • Hands On Sailing including:
    • Identify wind direction using wind indicators
    • Proper commands
    • Safety: including safety position, safety in “trimming” sails, safety of using winch and handle, and safety in tying off lines
    • Properly set sails for the course that you are going on.
    • Change sails when course or wind changes.
    • Discuss “Points of Sail”, continuously ask what point of sail are we on right now.
    • Participate in tacking and/or gybing
  • Knot Tying including:
    • Show how to tie the appropriate knots
      • square, clove hitch, two half hitches, bowline, cleat hitch, and figure eight knot.
    • When would you use each one of those knots?
    • Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and types of fibers in their manufacture. Advantage and disadvantage of each.

2-hour Sailing cruise departs from Annapolis, Maryland and sails into the Chesapeake Bay.

Goal: To educate the scouts about Small Boat Sailing using an interactive approach while cruising the Chesapeake Bay aboard a 74-foot, classic wooden schooner, Woodwind. – see curriculum below

Availability: Sunday through Friday during the day and on Saturday mornings.  If you can fill the entire boat with 48 people, the program is available any time.

  • Minimum of 18 passengers (mix of scouts, siblings & adults)
  • All other tickets, up to 48 passengers, will be sold to the general public.
2-Hour Cruise Includes: soft drink or bottled water, snack & Schooner Woodwind Participation Patch

How We Teach:

On all of our interactive programs, we will have the scouts break into smaller groups to work directly with our crew members.

After the safety speech, some of the scouts may help raise the sails.

Our crew will educate them using a questions/answer format. This enables our crew to disperse fun facts while finding out the level of interest and knowledge in a fun and interactive way. The scouts will cycle through three different learning stations including the captain’s station.

The captain will ask a question about the information they just learned. When a scout raises their hand and gives a correct answer, they will take a turn helming (steering) the boat for a couple of minutes.

It is our intent to offer every scout a turn at the “helm”. If time permits, maybe the adults can take a turn at the helm, as well.


Schooner Woodwind, Annapolis Maryland Customer Testimonials Customer Reviews

“Cadette Girl Scout Troop 5891 and 5859 of Ashburn, VA, had a fabulous time sailing aboard the Woodwind II! Not only did the girls learn the basics of sailing, our troop leader was able to check off an item off her bucket list!”

Joanne P.
Ashburn VA

“Thanks so much for a wonderful time on our recent Woodwind adventure! Our Girl Scout troop learned so much about sailing and the Moms had a ball. Your crew is amazing!”

Kim A.
Girl Scout Troop 1017

  • Permission to Board: We will have the scouts ask permission before they come aboard. We will tell them where to stow their belongings and what to expect aboard.
  • Staying Afloat: We have one of the scouts demonstrate to the whole boat how to correctly put on a life jacket and adjust it for their size.
  • All Hands On Deck: During our safety speech, before we leave the dock, we discuss personal safety, what to do if someone falls overboard, if there is a fire aboard, and how to work the boat systems safely.
  • Hoist the Sails: The scouts will have the chance to raise the sails (all four sails, weather permitting).
    • Rules of the Road
    • Weather Warning Signs
    • Safety Scenarios & Inspections
    • Proper Lookout
    • Sailing Terminology/Types of Boats
    • Care & Maintenance of a Boat
    • Identify Wind Direction by Using Different Wind Indicators
    • Properly Set Sails for the Course
    • Discuss and Show the “Points of Sail”
    • Tacking and Gybing
    • Use a Winch and Proper Knots
    • How does the boat steer?
    • How do you give commands as captain?
    • Every scout will get a chance to “helm” the boat.

Printer Friendly VersionThere is so much to see as we sail past the United States Naval Academy into the Chesapeake Bay. Along the way, we point out the interesting sights to everyone aboard.

Great info to give to the scouts before their arrival: Parts of the Boat, Terms Used by Sailors

(Optional) Schooner Woodwind Geocaching Adventure Trail

We made up a FREE Geocaching Adventure Trail through some sights of Annapolis. Learn More


Schooner Woodwind Geocache Trail in historic Annapolis for girl scouts


What to Wear: Since we sail rain or shine, bring gear so you are prepared for the conditions that are predicted ON the water – layered clothing and soft soled shoes.

Plan Your Trip

Sailing Schedule:

Summer, Late May – August, Seven Days a Week
11:00 am – 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Mid-April – Mid-May & October, Tuesday – Sunday
September, Seven Days a Week
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 12:30 – 2:30 pm, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Saturdays, scout groups can only book earliest cruise time unless you have a group of 48 passengers (entire boat).

Sailing Rates:

Weekday Daytime: $52 Adults, $49 Students (12 years old +), $37 Children (under 12)
Weekend trips: $55 Adults, $53 Students (12 years old +), $37 Children (under 12)
– Rates include soda, snack, tax and gratuity.
– Child & Student Tickets include Schooner Woodwind Participation Patch

We sail rain or shine. There are no refunds or exchanges unless the captain cancels the cruise due to unsafe conditions.

According to Boy Scout and Girl Scout Safety Procedures, all scouts, adults and other children aboard a “scout” cruise are to be outfitted in life jackets. We have purchased Type III life jackets which are more comfortable for non-emergency use. We do carry the “Emergency-Use” life jackets aboard.

Contact a Schooner Woodwind Sales Agent

Learn more about group sailing and sailing aboard the Schooner Woodwind & Woodwind II

Call 410-263-1981, or fill out an inquiry form by clicking on the button below.

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