November 2011 - Sailing Team Gives Back
By Matt Oatway, Jaeger Civic Intern
The Sailing Team Takes a Weekend Off From Competition to Give Back
The Women’s and Co-Ed Sailing teams took some time off from competition this fall to give back to the Upper Valley community. Because the team took the weekend off from competing, the entire team was able to participate in some sort of service activity. Captains Molly Wilson ’13 and Sam Williams ‘12, split the team into smaller groups, which then tackled small group projects. According to Wilson, the groups were split up in order to combine sailors from each class who don’t typically sail together. In a sport where communication and teamwork is key, Wilson hopes that the community service project will help the team become closer and even more effective.
Two groups of five sailors split a full day shift working with COVER, helping to winterize the home of an Upper Valley resident. The groups were able to install insulation, patch holes and prevent drafts to ensure that the Vermont resident would stay warm and safe in the harsh New England winter. Another group worked at COVER’s building materials and reusable furniture store organizing the stock and maintaining the physical property. COVER Home Repair is an Upper Valley organization that is partnered with the Tucker Foundation to provide urgent home repairs for residents in the Upper Valley who cannot provide the repairs on their own. These people include those who are financially restricted from completing urgent repairs and the elderly who cannot complete basic repairs on their own. Homes in disrepair are common in the Upper Valley, where the long winters are especially brutal on the mobile homes and old farmhouses.
Other groups of sailors cooked meals for and spent time with the residents of the Outreach House in Hanover. Another group went to the Open Hands Mission in Claremont, NH where they served a meal to about thirty homeless people.
Poverty is common in the Upper Valley, but out of sight for many Dartmouth students who spend most of their time at practice or in the library, within the bubble of campus. According to Wilson, “I think all of us felt like our work was productive and very appreciated, and it was also a fascinating experience to really interact with a community we all know exists but very rarely see”.
Note: Dartmouth Sailing’s weekend of service preceded a set of historic results for the team. Both the co-ed and women’s team closed out the fall with high finishes at ACCs, the co-ed team finished 2nd and the women’s team finished 3rd.