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Summer classes set sail

June 26, 2006|By Shannon Urtnowski

It's finally here.

Opening day for summer classes start today at Newport Sea Base in Newport Beach.

Classes are geared for kids ages 6 to 11. With everything from sailing to fishing to first aid, they are sure to find a class that interests them.

Newport Sea Base is a popular summer spot for kids, hosting about 200 of them per week, Berkeley Green, the base's program director, said.

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"We have 22 different classes, and they run Monday through Friday," Green said. All the classes are one-week sessions, excluding the sailing course, which runs for two weeks.

Green said the staff plays a key role in the success at Newport Sea Base.

"Most of our summer counselors came up through the program, starting when they were 10 or 12," Green said. "They came here doing junior aquatics or learning sailing or taking science and nature courses."

The most popular course at Newport Sea Base is junior aquatics.

"It's the class I'm most in awe of, as kids get to do paddling, canoeing, kayaking, treasuring hunting at the Dunes, wildlife exploration at Upper Newport and crafts," Green said.

However, there are a few events that parents can take part in.

"We have a twilight canoe tour once a month with the Upper Newport Bay naturalists and the Department of Fish and Game," Green said. "It's a lot of fun for the family, as we go over to Shellmaker Island and have a barbecue."

Those taking part must be at least 10 years old.

Adults can also take part in custom classes with their children.

"We can have custom sailing, kayaking or just about anything," Green said.

There are certain requirements to being able to participate in one of Newport Sea Base's courses, though.

"The most common thing they need to do to be ready for the sea base here is proper attire," Green said. "That includes closed-toe shoes and because a lot of our classes are outdoor activities, they need sun protection."

There is also a prerequisite swim that students must complete before taking part in a course.

The classes are filling quickly, so Green urges people to sign up now if they are interested.

Classes usually cost between $30 and $60.

Those interested can sign up at Newport Sea Base or fax the forms, which can be found at www.newportseabase.org.

"In Newport Beach, most people see a lot of wealth, but they don't see the tip of the iceberg," Green said. "The real wealth is the kids that get to come here."

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