60 participate in Tinian Sakman Summer Camp

SIXTY children participated in the four-day Tinian Sakman Summer Camp hosted by 500 Sails, 4-H Marianas, and Typhoon Sports at Tachonga Beach on Tinian from July 29 to Aug. 1.

500 Sails co-founder Emma Perez said the first three days of the camp were focused on swimming, basic sailing instructions and canoe rides. They divided the participants into four groups based on their ages.


“The two older groups had the opportunity to work with two different sailing instructions,” Perez said in an interview.Two canoes — 500 Sails’ Neni and another owned by the Indigenous Affairs Office — were utilized for the camp.


“On the third day, four kids sailed the canoe. The youngest in the group is 14,” Perez said.

500 Sails executive director Pete Perez said the children’s parents and other adults joined the camp.


He said most events for the children were scheduled in the morning while the parents joined the children in the afternoon. He said they had a discussion with Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan about having a canoe for the island. “People really want canoes. So we talked specifically about setting it up — to have some individuals come [to Saipan], help build the canoe and sail it back to Tinian.”


But he said they will teach these individuals to sail first. “We are always thinking about safety. They might be tempted to take the canoe out of water even if they don’t have enough experience.”


Emma Perez said there is no specific plan yet, “but it is a possibility — we have the boatyard, we have the materials and they [Tinian residents] are ready to come out and build a canoe with us.


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