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Sailing in Full Swing at Onset Bay Center After Limited Opening Last Year

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Jennette Barnes
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CAI
The Onset Bay Center, located in the recently rebuilt Onset Bathhouse, is offering its full slate of recreation programs this summer after a muted opening last year due to the pandemic.

The old bathhouse at Onset Beach has been completely rebuilt and now houses the Onset Bay Center, a place for on-water recreation and education.

The center opened last year but couldn’t offer its full slate of programs until this summer because of the pandemic.

Activities include instructional sailing for all ages and a kids’ exploration program, with scholarships available.

Center director Katherine Garofoli said the idea is to help everyone enjoy and appreciate the water.

“We're trying our best to make this as accessible to everyone, because there had just been such a lack of outdoor recreational opportunities for kids and families here in Greater Wareham,” she said.

The center provides about $40,000 in scholarships each year to local students who wouldn’t be able to afford the programs otherwise.

It also trains high school students to be instructors.

“For six weeks, they'll come with us and learn to sail ... with the ultimate goal that they will be junior instructors for us next summer,” she said. “So we're trying to cultivate local students that may not have access — easy access — to the water.”

The nonprofit Buzzards Bay Coalition rebuilt the Onset Bathhouse and runs the center with a 99-year lease from the town of Wareham.

It has yet to celebrate its grand opening, but plans are in the works for the fall.

A kayak rental company also operates on the site.