MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by ISEA)

SUTTONS BAY: Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) is seeking Northern Michigan kids to participate in their free Inland Seas boat building programs. Beginning January 6, middle and high school students will begin a six-week stand up paddleboard (SUP) class. Then, on Saturdays from February through April, a group of students will be building an Opti pram boat. Both Northern Michigan boating classes take place in the Inland Seas Education Center boat shop in Suttons Bay. Classes for youth who love the Northern Michigan outdoors are free, but space is limited and registration is required.

The SUPs built can be used by the participating students, next summer, from the ISEA shoreline. Students participating in the Opti pram class receive a Traverse Area Community Sailing (TACS) scholarship to learn to sail the Opti pram they build. “These programs are one of the ways we create a love of the lakes, and hopefully future stewardship, for the students. There is something about using a vessel that you built that makes you want to preserve the body of water so you can continue to be on it,” said Fred Sitkins, Executive Director of ISEA.

Any middle or high school student is eligible for the free classes but space is limited to five for each course. Fred Sitkins said, “The one-on-one attention that students receive, along with the teamwork learned during these classes, is an added benefit. Students learn woodworking skills from experienced instructors and volunteers, and also learn to work together to complete a project.” To register for the free youth boat building classes, call 231.271.3077.

In addition to Inland Seas boat building classes for youth, ISEA also offers boat building workshops for adults. More information about the youth and adult boat building programs can be found at or by calling 231.271.3077.

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Photo(s) by ISEA