By John Orrell, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Whether it is the docks of Worcester’s Regatta Point, the still waters of Lake Quinsigamond or the classroom where she will shortly begin a career in teaching mathematics, Shrewsbury’s Natalie Daverio is always focused on helping others learn new things in life.
As the adult program manager at Regatta Point, Daverio, 23, has a goal of teaching students – either through private or group lessons – how to enjoy sailing as a rewarding pastime. As a U.S. Sailing certified instructor, she is skilled at her craft and takes pride in guiding students from beginning classes to a more advanced status. Sailors can earn their Helmsman rating by demonstrating a proficiency in safe boating in all points of sail. Helmsmen are then encouraged to go on to the Beginner II class and work toward their U.S. Sailing Small Boat Sailor certification.
Daverio’s introduction to sailing came at age 11 when she participated in summer camps and junior programs for teens. Her parents had sailing experience and when her older brother joined the program, she agreed to give it a try and never looked back. Daverio would go on to work in all programs offered at Regatta Point before settling in as adult program manager.
“Helping people learn something new is very rewarding to me,” she said. “I really like helping people come in to this. This is something that people find out quickly that they can do. We really work to get everybody and anybody we can to get out in the water and try something new.
“Most people come and say ‘this is really cool.’ They want to try something new, but we also have people who grew up sailing but kind of fell away from it and want to get back into it. So it’s fun to see how different people connect with it. Some people come in new and others come back, but they all have fun with it and that’s rewarding to see.”
Of all aspects of sailing instruction, safety is most critical, she said.
“Our big motto here is ‘safety, fun and learning.’ Safety is super important to us here. Most of the staff, including me, is lifeguard-certified. We have rules to stay safe like requiring lifejackets all the time in the docks and in the boats. We make sure everyone is well-taught and safe to be out on the boats.”
Other aspects of the program include racing and social events for program members. Racing occurs on Thursdays with the requirement that all participants be Helmsman-certified. The races are casual and fun is stressed. Every August, the program hosts a clambake to bring members together for relaxation and enjoyment.
Daverio is just weeks away from embarking upon another personal goal involving helping others. She has recently accepted a math teaching position in the Uxbridge school system and is anxious and eager for this new chapter of her life to begin, but loves sailing instruction too much, she said, to ever give that up.
For more information on the Regatta Point sailing instruction program, visit www.regattapoint.org.