ABLE to Sail is a Longmont-based youth empowerment camp that seeks to help kids of all ages gain self-esteem, overcome feelings of isolation and inadequacy, and give them the confidence to navigate life, no matter which way the wind blows.
Executive director Diane McKinney explained that at its very core, ABLE to Sail wants to teach lessons in sailing that apply to real life situations. “The basic premise being, to turn a boat left, you steer to the right, which requires a complete change in thinking.” It’s this core element of navigation that McKinney believes helps teach a mental reorienting of personal narrations. She said, “If you can change your way of thinking about steering, you can change your way of thinking about anything - about who you are, about what has happened to you, about what people say about you.”
It’s these belief systems that McKinney believes drive negative behavior of self-harm, drug use, and violence. ABLE to Sail seeks to help kids tear down the negative narrative they’ve written about themselves and encourages them to create a new one. McKinney explained that when she started this organization, she didn’t know anything about nonprofits. “Most people go about getting funding first, but I started the program and have been operating at broke every since.
McKinney has sailed this ship quite a ways on “broke.” ABLE to Sail has garnered awards and recognition throughout the state, but especially in Boulder County. Now, after positively affecting the lives of so many in our community, McKinney saw the chance to do even more good. On Sept. 8, the start of National Suicide Prevention Week, ABLE to Sail is set to host its 1st annual Rock the Boat concert at Union Reservoir in Longmont. The concert takes place from 3 to 7 p.m., rain or shine and features renowned artists Hazel Miller, Sheryl Renee, and Grand Daniel Reed.
While this is a fun evening out to raise money and awareness for and about this effective nonprofit, McKinney hopes people take away an even more meaningful message. “I just want people to understand that they can change their belief… Everybody needs to have a hand in changing the narrative. The belief that ‘I’m not good enough, nobody likes me’ leads to isolation and a painful belief needs pain relief .” ABLE seeks to provide an alternate form of pain relief, by teaching kids self-empowerment, courage, and confidence. Learn more about this organization next weekend at Rock the Boat.