Teens in Confidence is Cool Program

Confidence is Cool

Final Report 2015

The Confidence is Cool youth program is a series of four week-long, non-residential summer camps for children and teens with physical disabilities. Sail To Prevail’s mission is to create opportunities for disabled children to overcome adversity through therapeutic sailing and other recreational therapies. The Confidence is Cool camp was successful once again in 2015, providing opportunities for disabled children to participate in many activities, including sailing. The overarching goal of all the activities is to teach the children teamwork and leadership, and significantly increase their self-confidence.

Of the 26 filled sessions in 2015 Confidence is Cool, 5 participants were children, ages 7 to 12; and 21 participants were teens, ages 13 and up. Scholarships were provided for 5 of the 26 participants’ sessions.

Week 1 – 6 participants; 2 girls, 4 boys; 1 child, 5 teens
Week 2 – 7 participants; 2 girls, 5 boys; 1 child, 6 teens
Week 3 – 5 participants; 1 girls, 4 boys; 1 child, 4 teens
Week 4 – 8 participants; 2 girls, 6 boys; 2 child., 6 teens
Totals 26 participants; 7 girls, 19 boys; 5 child, 21teens


We had 6 volunteers, of middle-school and high-school age, who came to help. These young mentors befriended the children very quickly, allowing for fun and friendship to be priority over any form of physical difference. The dynamic of having peers who are able-bodied as volunteers is important, because it allows the children to see each other simply as friends, versus being a helper/participant relationship.

Type of disabilities

The demographic that we served included children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorder, atypical nonketotic hyper-glycinemia aka glycine encephalopathy, hereditary spastic paraplegia, and spastic diplegia caused by spinal cord injury.

Sailing + Activities and Field Trips

Sailing on Narragansett Bay
Wheelchair Mobility Games, Adaptive Sports
Kite flying, Archery, Flying Squirrel
Swimming at the Boys and Girls Club
Games: Bocce, Charades, Piñata
Arts and Crafts, Tie-dye T-shirts, Music Video
Gymnastics and the YMCA
Breakers Mansion Tour
Easton’s Beach, Carousel
Newport Art Museum
Roger William’s Park Zoo
Save the Bay Aquarium

Sailing is one of the most favored activities. Many children enjoy sailing because they have the opportunity to not only be “free” on the water, but it is an experience that they may not get the chance to do otherwise.

Strengths and Mission of Confidence is Cool

Three new participants/families established a support system at Confidence is Cool and will discover the extended camaraderie among families that is evident all year round.
The staff worked as a team, took initiative, and executed all of the activities with care and compassion. They truly believe in the mission of our organization and worked diligently to teach these children that they can do anything that they want - even if it takes a little innovation and imagination - there is always a way to complete any task when they put their mind to it.
Outreach throughout the winter for more participants is priority.

Collaboration with the Newport YMCA

This was our second year collaborating with the YMCA, which was, once again, a good experience. The YMCA has excellent resources, and utilizing their pool, gym, gymnastics area, etc., was really fun for the Confidence is Cool participants. It was advantageous for all to be able to do some different activities and to meet new friends. It took awhile for everyone to get comfortable with each other, but soon, we all knew each other’s names and were getting familiar with every participants’ different needs. It was also helpful to have fresh, creative ideas for activities from the other camp director and staff. This reciprocal relationship worked well, because their being able to come sailing with us in exchange for letting us use their facility was mutually beneficial to both programs.