Boothbay Y sends area teens to sea for one week voyage on schooner Harvey Gamage

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 11:30am

The Boothbay Region YMCA is teaming up with Sailing Ships Maine to send 24 high school aged students sailing for a week of sail training. Sailing for a week on a traditional wooden Maine schooner propels teens in new directions academically, socially and career-wise.

“We love our teens but we worry about their mental health, their happiness and their futures. Here is an accessible coming-of-age experience which can help,” said Andy Hamblett, executive director of the Boothbay Y.

Midcoast region students will board the iconic 130-foot schooner Harvey Gamage on Monday, Aug. 17 and sail for five days and four nights ending on Friday, Aug. 21. This is a unique, life-enhancing program available heavily subsidized by local donors. 

Advances in education research over the past two decades have proven the impact of outdoor, immersive experiential education. Sailing ship voyages are among the very best of these programs, using the sea to multiply the impact of precious time spent away from school and home. Becoming a valued member of the tight community on board a ship leads to greater self-confidence, increased desire and ability to contribute to community, a new sense of environmental consciousness, improved problem solving and collaborative abilities and deep friendships built through shared hardship and challenge.

Through basic seamanship training, students gain practical skills and are better prepared for the workforce. Successfully executing shipboard duties such as standing watch, steering the vessel and conducting hourly safety inspections builds student confidence. After a voyage, students realize they've been an integral part of operating a complicated traditional sailing craft and have a greater sense of themselves as dependable and adaptable to circumstances. And they're rewarded for their dedication with a semester high school academic credit transferable to most Maine high schools. No prior experience of any kind is required.

In today’s digital and social media influenced world, it’s critical that youth experience the real and natural world first hand. Teens today are reluctant to leave their smartphones, home lives and social milieu. But when they do, perspectives change. To learn more and register for the voyage, contact Andy Hamblett at the Boothbay YMCA.

About Sailing Ships Maine (501c3)

Sailing Ships Maine creates life-changing opportunities for teens of all abilities and income levels to discover the ocean environment and expand leadership skills while encouraging them to consider further marine related opportunities. Through public events, we support the marine economy, provide access to the ocean and traditional sailing ships and preserve Maine’s maritime heritage. Alex Agnew, President, Sailing Ships Maine. 207-450-5363 mobile;