The children crowded around the dinghy on the tarmac of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. 'Can you sail it when it rains?' one girl asked Markus Wong Po-chiu, a sailing instructor at the club. The 67 children, all from Hong Kong Student Aid Society Primary School in Tin Shui Wai, were selected by school social workers and Caritas to participate in the Christmas excursion to the club. With Operation Santa Claus funding, the Caritas Youth and Community Service Life Enhancement Programme for Deprived Children is targeting underprivileged children and taking them to places like the airport, Legislative Council and a university in an effort to give them experiences they would not normally have. This particular day it was the yacht club that provided inspiration. It hosted a sailing instruction session and later provided each child with a gingerbread house kit. The club's chefs helped the children decorate the cakes. 'The club does a lot of community things, often involving schools,' said Betty Chan, its public relations and communications manager. 'We know that Operation Santa Claus is one of the most meaningful events in the December season. We chose Caritas because one of our targets is to support deprived children.' Club members have donated HK$40,000 to OSC. 'Hopefully, we will raise much more since the appeal runs throughout December,' Ms Chan said. Wong Kwan, 11, was one of the children involved in the activities. 'I'm very excited about making a gingerbread house with my classmates,' he said. 'And I didn't realise a yacht sail could be so high.' Matthew Chan Yuen-yan works with Caritas and is the school's social worker. 'Many of these children's families face economic problems and some of the families are unstable,' he said. 'Some of these kids are from broken homes or are new arrivals and have to adapt to new schools and Hong Kong society. 'In Tin Shui Wai, they would never see a country club. There aren't many social facilities there, so they are all very excited to be here today.' The children, wearing aprons and Christmas hats, exhibited great self-control, with most using icing to stick their decorations onto the houses, not eating it. Well, apart from the two boys spraying each other with icing behind a huge gingerbread house that the club had provided for the children to decorate. The house will be on show in the club's reception area until the end of the month to encourage more donations.