Mission & Vision

To educate a new generation of SAFE – SMART boaters through a unique combination of classroom and hands-on curriculum.

Support the Cause

Join us in reducing water related accidents.  Discover ways to support our foundation by becoming a member, donor or volunteer.

Locate & Contact

Programs are located at facilities across the nation.  Contact one of our locations and find out the details about participating or volunteering.

Foundation History

First Spirit of America Class

Our Beginnings

  • First class in Lake County Ohio 1995 with 58 graduates
  • Added Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1996 and Lorain County, Ohio in 1998
  • Golden Eagle Program established in 2012 for persons challenged physically and intellectually to uphold promise of “No Child Left On The Dock”
  • Additional educational programs created in 2014 dedicated to ensuring  “No Person Left at the Dock”

Current Statistics

  • Starting our 21st year on the water in 2015 with over 10,000 graduates
  • 61,000+ On the Water Hours Annually
  • Over 20 Locations Around the Country
  • Countless Community Boating Program Hours for Graduates, Families and Friends
  • All Spirit of America programs can be made available throughout the country

Mission & Vision

Spirit of America has been presenting its’ “America’s Premier Youth Boating Education Programs” for 20 years. We are the “premier”, (the first and foremost) to present this highly unique form of education to schools and to the boating public in America. The program initially had one mission; to establish middle school credit curriculum in an exciting new “non-traditional” classroom, on the water, implementing the vision of placing young people in a hands-on environment so that they would learn and better retain materials required of them to graduate. Now, 20 years later, our curriculum still meets the high ideals of, and is directly tied to, what we know today as the National (Common Core) and Physical Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and provide infinite components to utilize in STEM programs and rapidly growing specialized STEM schools.

We continue to provide the resources of traditional and non-traditional education in a way for our students to learn, react, and develop lifelong learning skills and ambitions. We empower our youth to develop confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, and safe boating practices while nurturing responsible behavior. Spirit of America will continue to provide a unique, safe and educational introduction to all types of boating and water based activities in the most diverse “hands-on” classroom in America. The curriculum also includes the national on-water course standards (under development).

We continue to prove that the likelihood of advancing community boating in the areas where programs are located is extremely high, spurring other beneficial actions and being an ultimate force multiplier, while continuing to provide a resource for American communities and the future of our industry. Our graduates are SAFE SMART boaters!

It is a great privilege to provide, to locations around the country, our Premier Youth Boating Education Programs, presented by some of the finest instructors in all the world! We are so pleased to offer this very unique, diverse, non-traditional educational program to young persons of all abilities. We also encourage additional community boating opportunities in our Spirit of America locations. We are growing the future of boating and providing safer more confident boaters for many generations to come. Get on the water with a young person and enjoy our natural resources as you have never seen them before!

Cecilia Duer

CEO & President, Spirit of America Foundation