We arrange Moppy Camps on two weekends each year. These are intensive training courses where children can work towards various sailing pennants. They are run as RYA teaching courses. They are run by volunteers and so parental help will be needed at some point during the weekend. Priority is given to the children of parents who will actively help. Up to 90 children participate in each Moppy Camp.
Moppy Camps are always great fun and provide a formal basis upon which the child/junior can build for the rest of the season and beyond. They are always over subscribed and priority is given to older children. Sometimes children may be asked to repeat a pennant particularly if they have done very little sailing between moppy camps. The sailing pennant system may change from time to time and the latest system will be displayed in the clubhouse.
2017 Moppy Camps dates will be 29/30 April and 27/28 May. Instructions on how to book a place will be sent out during March. Priority is given to renewing members. Moppy Camp is best for those in year 2 (ie aged 7) and above.
If there is space, new members will be offered a place in age order. Moppy camp begins at 8.30 each day and each child attending needs their own sailing clothing and buoyancy aid. They bring their own packed lunch and a cake, biscuits or traybake to share at the breaks. Each child is put in a group of children that they will stay with for the whole weekend. On the Saturday evening is the barbeque – the whole family is invited. Sunday afternoon, once clear up is completed, is prize giving. Each child, whether they pass or not, receives a certificate and a report on how to progress and a tee shirt. Those parents who help all day both days are given a two course hot meal to keep them going. To pass, children must attend the whole weekend.
The children are taught in groups. Yellow pennants are the near beginners learning about boats and tacking. Orange the next level up learning to gybe and Red is equivalent of RYA Stage 2 and is about sailing well around a triangle. Yellow, Orange and Red Pennants are taken in club training optimists. Blue pennant is for those keen to race and should have done Bronze Fleet for at least one season. All Blue pennant sailors need to have their own GRP optimist or borrow them from someone else. The pinnacle at Salterns is Green Pennant which is undertaken in Moths. The Jump to Green is quite marked and often not undertaken until a sailor is at least 11 or 12 years old (year 8) and has completed a season of moth racing at Salterns.
Children do not always pass a pennant first time and because of the pressures on spaces, some children will be asked to repeat a pennant the following year. Sometimes it is worth missing moppy for a year to consolidate knowledge. Sailing is best learned when children are having fun and they have most fun with their peer group so as much as possible we try to keep similar ages together. At the end of the day, time on the water is the important thing.
The Pennant Syllabi are available for download here – just perfect for printing and that little bit of pre-camp training! (Click on the link to download a pdf)