Her day job may be the director of nursing at the Jennings Center for Older Adults, but in her spare time Lynn Ensinger teaches children the ropes of sailing. As the commodore of the Lorain Sailing and Yacht Club, Ensinger is responsible for yearly operations and the club’s many programs, including one for junior sailors. The 58-year-old has been unable to part with the sport since she was first introduced to it in high school.

All Aboard
Ensinger says there is something for every age at the sailing club. The Junior Sailing Program ($125 per junior, ages 8 and up) offers classes for children who are interested in racing boats or simply sailing them, and the adult classes ($90 per adult for a 2.5-hour session, two for $120 or 3 for $150) offer education involving water safety, how to maneuver a fixed-keel boat in the wind, and “man overboard” techniques among other skills.

Feel Free
“The beauty of sailing is there is such a tremendous feeling of freedom when you’re out on the water,” says Ensinger. “It’s challenging and technical, and a powerful avenue for using your energy to accomplish goals.” While the sport itself has a competitive edge, for the sailing club commodore it’s also a stress-relieving mechanism — a chance to leave the day’s challenges behind on land.

Early Opportunities
At the Lorain Sailing and Yacht Club, once the children in the junior sailing classes have passed their skill tests, they can take out boats that belong to the club. “We like to have a safety boat go out with them, but at the same time we encourage them to be independent and to increase their accomplishment.”

Testing the Waters
Ensinger says the club will arrange for interested patrons to go out on a boat to get a feel for the sport, free of charge. It’s this welcoming attitude that draws families, couples and people of all ages to the club. “I really encourage people to do that because it’s a wonderful thing to learn and doesn’t cost a cent.”

A Devoted Sailor
“When I retire [as a nurse] I’ll teach full time at the club,” says Ensinger, who spends most of her vacation time teaching children sailing classes. Having been with the club for 20 years, it’s something she isn’t ready to give up. “It’s a good investment, I love kids and it’s giving them skills they can use always.”