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Information for Parents of Sailors

Welcome to Little Traverse Sailors!  

We can’t wait to see your young sailor!

This page contains lots of important and useful information about our program. Using the menu on the left, please read through it and let us know if you have any questions.

LTS Contact Information


Emergency Contact Information

If you need to contact us urgently while your child is with LTS, please use the following numbers:

  • Head Instructor Meade Maxwell’s mobile number: 313-244-3420
  • Executive Director Freddy Sprunger’s mobile number: 317-682-7426
  • Racing Director Dan Thompson’s mobile number: 651-283-2156

Please use our general number (231-412-0650) for non-emergency calls and the above information only in case of emergency. Note that email usually gets a quicker response.

Also be sure that the emergency contact information you listed when you registered your student online is correct and up-to-date so that we can reach you if needed.  We also recommend including local emergency contact information if you will not be in Harbor Springs.

Parent Meeting & Orientation

On the first day of class each week (Monday 9:45am and Monday at 1:15pm), we strongly encourage parents/grandparents/guardians/family to come to a brief (less than 15 minutes) informative get together on the lawn run by the LTS Senior Staff with participation from LTS Board Members.


The Weekly Schedule

We adjust our routine as needed according to weather conditions and the sailors’ training needs, but a general overview of the week follows.  Remember that bad weather may limit our on-the-water activities, but LTS will still be open regardless — there is always plenty to learn on shore!

Monday

Parent Meeting/Orientation 9:45am and 1:15pm.

Students will be grouped according to sailing level and rig boats.  After a on-land session they will head out on the water.  Sailors are coached by our US Sailing certified instructors from our small powerboats (‘coach boats’) — except in unusual circumstances the sailors will sail the boats themselves, rotating among the positions (steering, trimming sails, etc).

On Monday evenings LTS hosts the local Dinghy Racing Series in Harbor Springs Harbor, which includes Lasers and 420s.  Most of our Race Team and Junior Race Team participate in this series throughout the summer.

Tuesday

Regular day.  A short on-land session followed by sailing. Students will use the LTS Skill Sheet system to work on building their skills and advancing through the ranks.

On Tuesday evenings, the Little Traverse Yacht Club hosts a weekly Tuesday Night Race, involving boats from 22ft on up in Little Traverse Bay.  Many Race Team and Junior Race Team sailors participate, including a team on the LTS J/70.

Wednesday

“Point Day!”  After a brief on-shore session, the sailors rig boats and sail directly to the beach at the end of Harbor Point for a morning or afternoon of fun activities and a snack break. Please note that “Point Day” is for LTS students and staff only, not families.

LTS parents/grandparents/families are invited to have lunch on the Little Traverse Yacht Club porch on Wednesday from 12:00 – 2:00pm. A great lunch with the best view in town!

On Wednesday evenings starting in July, the famous LTS Bug Races take place starting at 5:00pm at LTS.  Using our fleet of 9ft single- or double-person Bugs, these free, fun and informal races take place right off the LTS and Harbor Springs Waterfront.  These are great spectator events too! Any LTS student is welcome (and encouraged!) to participate. LTS coaches will be out in powerboats providing instruction and safety.

Thursday

Regular day.  A short on-land session followed by sailing. Students will use the LTS Skill Sheet system to work on building their skills and advancing through the ranks.

On Thursday evenings LTS hosts the local Dinghy Racing Series in Harbor Springs Harbor, which includes Lasers and 420s.  Most of our Race Team and Junior Race Team participate in this series throughout the summer.

Friday

At the end of each morning and afternoon session — at about 12:15 and 3:45 — we host a fun awards ceremony, where each sailor receives recognition for their achievements that week.  (Sailors passing important milestones may even be tossed into the water!)  Bring a camera and join the fun!

Drop-off and Pickup

  • Our programs are run on the waterfront in front of the Little Traverse Yacht Club, 345 E. Bay Street, Harbor Springs.  Students should be brought to the lawn area; if you are new to the program, please drop by and say hello to our Head Instructor and other staff.
  • Parking right at the LTS/LTYC waterfront is not available. Please do not block the Irish Boat Shop driveway or park on any grass! Plentiful parking is available a short stroll away on Bay Street — or along Main, Third, and Gardner Streets.  Here’s a map.
  • If there is room in our drop-off area you are welcome to pause briefly for this purpose. But please exercise great care in the circle when entering or leaving, because students (and parents) will be everywhere!
  • Drop off times are 9:35am (for the all-day and morning sessions) and 1:05pm (for the afternoon sessions). Pick up times are 12:30pm (for the morning sessions) and 4:00 (for the all-day and afternoon sessions). Because we try to maximize time on the water, late drop-offs and early pickups are a challenge for us to accommodate.  If this is necessary please arrange it in advance with the Director or Head Instructor.

Lunch Break

  • We strongly encourage students to take full-day sessions if it fits into your schedule and interests.  We find that students learn much faster (and have even more fun!) when sailing all day.
  • For full-day sessions, the lunch break is 12:30pm – 1:15pm. The Little Traverse Yacht Club (LTYC) offers bag lunches for students; look for this option during registration.  You can also sign up for bag lunches in the Clubhouse any day. Sailors may also bring a lunch; many also walk into downtown Harbor Springs to grab lunch. Typically there is a large group of staff and students eating lunch together on the LTS lawn. Please dispose of your trash properly!
  • Please note that LTS is absolutely not responsible for your sailor during lunch.  Students have free time during lunch, and LTS staff won’t ‘watch’ them — except to keep them away from our dock and boats without a lifejacket.

Lunches at the Little Traverse Yacht Club (LTYC)

  • The LTYC offers brown bag lunches to LTS sailors. This was a registration option, but even if you didn’t sign up at registration, it is still possible to get a delicious bag lunch delivered to the waterfront for your sailor — even day-by-day.  The cost is $7.00 per day, and includes a sandwich, chips, cookie and a water.  To sign up and pay, look for LTYC staff (in the clubhouse) or the Bag Lunch envelope and dropbox.
  • IMPORTANT: even if you pre-paid, your sailor (or you) will need to fill out an order form for the specific type of sandwich – you can vary each day or order the same for all week.  The order forms are found in the “lunch box” outside of the kitchen door of the LTYC clubhouse.  (Without the order form, the LTYC food staff won’t prepare a lunch.)
  • Parents, families, and friends of LTS sailors are invited to eat lunch on the porch of the LTYC on Wednesdays, in conjunction with the LTS Lunch-N-Learn program.  Stop in and check out the midwest’s premier sailing club, and one of the best lunch views anywhere around.  Also a great place to watch the LTS sailors on the docks and waterfront!

Clothing and Gear

  • Coast Guard approved PFDs are required to be worn “shore-to-shore” at LTSno student or staff member is allowed on the dock or boats without wearing their lifejacket. We strongly recommend that your student come to LTS with a PFD that fits them well.   You will probably want to buy a lifejacket, but if you do not have one or misplace yours for a day, LTS has a some we can let you borrow.  Many lifejackets look the same, so be sure to mark yours well with your name.
  • Closed-toe shoes that won’t fall off when swimming are essential. Boat shoes, old tennis shoes, aqua socks, or ‘Teva’ type sandals are ideal. Flip flops, clogs, Crocs or bare feet are not acceptable.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen (and maybe a hat) are key sailing items. Hats and sunglasses need a strap or leash of some sort or they will blow away.
  • Come to LTS every day expecting to get wet, and probably to swim.  In most cases this means wear a swimsuit or suitable shorts. Early in the season you might consider a “shortie” wetsuit because of the colder water.
  • A spray-top, foul-weather-gear, or raincoat is useful for windy or rainy days. We sail in the rain (though never in thunderstorms!).
  • An outer layer of warm and dry clothes is useful to have on hand ashore, especially if you are staying for lunch.
  • We strongly discourage disposable water bottles, they are terrible for our environment and generate lots of trash. Please label water bottles you bring.
  • Bring your gear (and lunch, if applicable) in backpack or other bag that is clearly labeled with your name. Please make every effort to keep your stuff organized and contained.

Fleets and Skill Sheets

  • The traditional LTS “Skill Sheets” have gone electronic!
  • Our sailors work through weekly skills by following checklists of knowledge- or performance-based tasks.
  • Checklick is divided into a series of goals for each fleet:
    • Green Fleet Weeks 1-2
    • Green Fleet Second Class
    • Green Fleet First Class
    • Blue Fleet 1
    • Blue Fleet 2
    • Blue Fleet 3
    • Red Fleet

Checklick:

  • We have adopted the Checklick online checklist system to implement our skill sheets. Each sailor will have a Checklick account, which will enable LTS instructors to check off their accomplishments as they proceed.  Even better, students (and parents) can review their progress anytime, by logging into the Checklick online application.
    • You should receive an email regarding your Checklick login information a few days before your sailor’s session begins. This will include a link that will show you your username, and allow you to set your password. Once you have done this, you can access your account and view your sailor’s checklist(s)!
    • If you have sailed with LTS before, this email will also include your sailor’s current skills sheet.
  • Directions for downloading Checklick as an app for your mobile device:
    • Open Checklick in your mobile web browser. Make sure you are logged out.
    • On the bottom of your screen, you should see a share button, which looks like a square with an up arrow. You may need to quickly scroll down then up in order for it to appear.
    • Press this button, then look for the “add to home screen” option. You may need to briefly scroll right to find it.
    • A new screen will appear, showing the Checklick logo and name. Click “add.” The Checklick icon should now appear on your home screen!
  • This is a new process for 2016, so please bear with us as we work through some growing pains early in the season.

Photographs of Your Sailor

Other LTS Programs & Information

  • Our full Summer Calendar is here.
  • We offer private lessons and coaching, see here for more info.
  • We offer adult learn-to-sail programs. Click here for more information.
  • Does your young sailor want to take their sailing to the next level? See here for more information about our Junior Racing Programs.
  • Be sure to sign up on our email list for news and announcements about LTS.
  • Follow us on Facebook (@LittleTraverseSail) and Instagram (@LTS_Sailing), too.
  • Little Traverse Sailors relies on generous donations to grow our programs. For more information or to donate, see here.

Little Traverse Sailors | P.O. Box 583 | Harbor Springs, Michigan 49740
website@littletraversesailors.org