Aaron Schmerling’s wall is adorned with many awards. Most are from his years as a top performing Financial Planner with Prudential Advisors, ranked as a top 5 Financial Advisor/Planner for the Mid-Atlantic Financial Group encompassing Maryland, DC, Virginia and Delaware as well as being a top 100 Advisor/Planner Nationwide.
On that wall, amongst those accolades is an innocuous but mighty award from Brendan Sailing.
The NOGUTSNOGLORY award
This award is given in honor of Howard and Jeanne Kluttz’s sailboat of the same name; and is given to the sailor whose example, leadership and outstanding achievement contributed to the success of the Brendan Sailing Program at Annapolis Sailing school.
How this awkward, dyslexic boy who lacked self-confidence and athleticism, turned into a high-performing, well-adjusted professional started in the year 2000. Aaron is the third of four boys. His brothers were athletically gifted and spent their summers enjoying Navy Basketball Camp. Aaron did not. While most kids look forward to summer break, Aaron dreaded it. After one final bad experience, he and his family were looking for another option.
While attending the Summit School, Aaron heard about Brendan. A camp for kids like him? Kids that need a different approach, kids that need a little more time. So summer of 2000, first year of this millennium, at 11 years old, he gave it a try.
He loved it. Joel Bays was the Head Instructor and he immediately connected with him. Another counselor gave him a book “First You Have to Row a Little Boat”. He enjoyed it so much, he returned in 2001 and back again in the Summer of 2002.
Aaron spent three years as a camper at Brendan Sailing in Annapolis. He was amazed at how quickly he picked up sailing. During this time, he developed into a confident person who was able to teach others. When he learned about the opportunities for recognition, he set his sights on earning an award.
He worked hard and his confidence grew. Soon he was helping other kids. First, he received Camper of the Day. His leadership skills continued to develop. The third year, he was amazed when the NOGUTSNOGLORY award was presented to him. For the first time in his life, he had won an award.
He advanced to a Jr. Counselor and helped with the new campers in both Annapolis and the first years of the St. Mary’s program. It was truly a formative experience for Aaron. Through sailing with the Brendan Approach methods, he continued to develop self-confidence, learned how to lead others and developed many life skills. He also learned to sail, an avocation he still enjoys.
Today, as a thriving professional with a family of his own, the NOGUTSNOGLORY plaque is still there. On the wall surrounded by many other awards that show a successful life and career. When adversity strikes, he looks at that award and it is a constant reminder that he can do hard things. He thanks Brendan Sailing for giving him that gift.
Editor's Note: If you would like to share your experience with Brendan Sailing, we would love to spotlight you! Please contact Beth at email@example.com