CHARLESTON, SC – This summer, teens from South Carolina and beyond will set sail aboard the Spirit of South Carolina for a 14-day sailing expedition to explore coastal New England and the Gulf of Maine. Spirit Ocean Adventure, a pilot sailing program that will launch in June, is a partnership initiative of Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute (YLI) and the SC Maritime Foundation (SCMF).
Aboard the Spirit, participants become active members of the crew, immersed in all aspects of life at sea. They maneuver the ship, navigate by stars and witness the wonders of the ocean like whales breaching in the distance. Once the needs of the ship are met, there is time to watch the sun set, write in journals and develop friendships and memories to last a lifetime.
“Our goal with this partnership program is to help create a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for teens that builds their character and teaches them responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills. Helping youth reach their full potential through innovative programs like this is a mission we share with the Maritime Foundation,” said Jorge Calzadilla, YLI executive director.
SCMF launched the Spirit of South Carolina in March 2007 to operate as a sail-training vessel. Certified by the United States Coast Guard, the Spirit’s mission is to offer effective, unique educational opportunities focusing on the history, math, science and literature of South Carolina’s water resources and encourage personal responsibility, contribution to community and stewardship of environment.
Led by Captain Tony Arrow, the ship is manned by nine professional crew members, including three mates, a head educator, a cook and three deckhands. Although a traditional sailing vessel, the ship is equipped with two diesel-powered engines, satellite communication systems and the latest in navigational technology. Parents of summer sailors will even be able to check the Spirit’s precise location through an online tracking system.
“Spirit Ocean Adventure expands on our highly successful day sail program for 5th through 8th graders, offering teens an opportunity to set sail on a voyage that will be both challenging and rewarding as they take a hands-on role raising the sails, standing watch, learning to navigate and discovering the history and beauty of the ocean,” stated Brad Van Liew, Executive Director of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation.
Ending its first season in December, the state’s premiere educational vessel has already served over 1,000 students and teachers from schools across the state. Nine school districts from across the state of South Carolina participated in the first season of Sea Spray Scouts. Collectively, teachers expressed enormous enthusiasm for the ship as a platform for learning concepts such as simple machines, weather, navigation and water quality.
Since the Spirit transits north from Charleston Harbor each summer to avoid the threat of hurricanes, Spirit Ocean Adventure departs from and returns to Portland, Maine. Two 14-day expeditions, beginning June 29 and July 19, are available to high school teens ages 15 to 18. Participants 18 years of age must be rising seniors and not a high school graduates. Cost for the program per student is $3600. Students are responsible for the cost of their own transportation to and from the vessel in Portland.
For more information or to register, call YLI at 864-878-1041
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