I'm glad to read you might have a positive outcome. For you and others in similar situations: I've had more than a few families with kids as young as 10 take our USCG AUX sailing safety course. We taught a 9-week course. Particularly in the navigation weeks it was the kids coaching the parents on how to read the charts and plot the course. I don't know whether it was the parents having less time to read the material or what, but it was fun to see.
It was probably that, and the fact that kids are more primed for learning at that age. They are learning new stuff every day. Parents are not usually confronted with the same volume of new info every day.
Regarding getting our kids to like our things:
My daughter rebelled against the camping vacations I took them on for many years. She had girlfriends who were going on cruise ship trips and resort vacations. We started doing beach house rentals on the Gulf Coast. They were a compromise from what she wanted as they were not fancy resorts or cruises and she still had to take a turn at kitchen clean-up after meals. We allowed her to bring a friend along and made sure to include pre-teen friendly activities like beach side cafes with virgin margaritas, areas with other tweens and teens, her kind of music, wave runner rentals, sea kayaks, paddle boards.
I picked places that allowed me to get to National Wildlife Areas, unpopulated beaches, nice bike rides. One of the hardest parts for me was allowing her to play some of her own music in the car. She went through a period of some pretty bad music tastes. I used to ask the kids to give me their CDs and a list of favorite songs. I burned custom CDs that had songs for every member of the family: "One song for her, one of her brother's songs, one of Dad's songs, one of Mom's songs, and then repeat". Every body got to hear their favorite music every fourth song. Since my wife and I like similar music, and my son's taste has always been more tolerable to me, we only had to endure really bad music every fourth song.
By the time I-pods and iphones and their playlists came along, her music taste improved and she had discovered classic rock and motown. She now has a play list on her phone labeled, "Music Dad can tolerate".
When I sail, I prefer to hear the sounds of water and creaking rigging but I will have to have music at times, when my daughter sails with me.