CANADA—Under a cloudless, sunny sky, seven teens from the Milton, London and Ottawa Philadelphia Church of God congregations took a three-hour sailing trip around the Toronto Islands the morning of May 26. Accompanying them were Canada Regional Director John Macdonald; Local Elder David Weeks and his wife, Chelsey; and teen activity coordinators David and Kimberly Blondeau. This was the first time any of the teens participating had experienced sailing.
The 41-foot yacht was crewed by a husband and wife who hosted the prime minister and his family during its maiden season in 2015. The vessel departed around 10 a.m. and weaved in and out of the island chain, offering the group views of surrounding parks, houseboats, local wildlife and a looming panorama of the Toronto skyline. Entering the open waters of Lake Ontario, the boat set sail, and some of the teens pursued the opportunity to learn the basics of sailing, helped lower and raise the sails, and took the wheel.
“My favorite part of the activity was probably all the times we got to be active in the process of sailing the ship, like tacking, steering, and pulling out the sails,” said Milton teen Aaron.
“The most challenging part of the activity was steering, where you have to keep your eyes on the sail while turning the wheel just the right amount,” said Ottawa teen Lara. “It’s very easy to turn too much!”
Milton teen Nyla said, “My favorite part of the activity was learning how to raise the sails.”
After sailing past a distant regatta of boats, the vessel turned back toward the Toronto waterfront. Although the wind conditions were not ideal, the captain remarked that the weather was the fairest of the season so far. The area had experienced a colder-than-average spring, with previous weeks and even the day prior saw abundant thundershowers that slowed traffic to a halt in some places.
Milton teen Adam said, “The sailing activity was … a character-building activity and an example of cooperation and teamwork.”
Mr. Macdonald said, “It was a great and exciting activity for the teens and ministry.”