Seamanship, Science and Sailing

PEN BAY LEADERSHIP program FOR Mid-coast maine MIDDLE SCHOOL students

Comradery. Fun. Challenge. This 14-day immersive course takes ten local scholarship students on a midcoast learning adventure.

In this adventure, three midcoast organizations come together to provide ten local students with full scholarships and a rare opportunity to experience three exceptional programs rolled into one. Kicking off in Rockland, Maine, students will spend three days at the Apprenticeshop learning the basics of sailing and seamanship during the day and staying overnight at Wheeler Bay basecamp. On the fourth day of the course, we shift gears and locations, transferring students to Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership where they spend the next few days living on the island and getting involved in a variety of projects to help them understand the ecosystems of Penobscot Bay and human impacts on the environment. On the final leg of the program, students will load all their gear and food for four days to an Outward Bound 30-foot open sailboat, which serves as home and classroom as they apply the skills they've learned to their final expedition. Through living and working closely together, students will learn far more than seamanship and the scientific method. The habits learned and strengthened through this adventure will serve students for life, and for whatever challenge is next.

This course has been offered for rising 8th and 9th-grade boys and girls. There isn't currently a program scheduled for 2021. To stay in the loop on our local middle school offerings, please complete this form.

DATES: TBD       DAYS: 14        GENDER/AGES: Girls and Boys aged 13-14 (rising 8th & 9th graders)      
COST: Scholarship: nominated through local schools, or apply for a Community Scholarship.


-Mila, Port Clyde, 2018

Collaborating for Midcoast Youth

Three midcoast organizations - Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, the Apprenticeshop and Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, have collaborated to design and offer this exceptional program, free of charge, for our local middle school students. We aim to foster the development of character and inspire a curiosity for science and craftsmanship that will have a lasting impact on the students and in the community.

Participating scholarship schools are St. George, CRMS, Oceanside, Hope, Lincolnville, Vinalhaven, and North Haven. If you are a midcoast resident and would like to apply to be considered for a Community scholarship, stay in touch with your Guidance Counselor at your school as they will be notified when the application process is opened.

The Apprenticeshop

Students will learn the basics of navigation, knots, weather, rowing, sailing and woodworking skills. Students are exposed to a variety of sailing and rowing craft and their time is divided between time on (and even in) the water and working project time in the shop itself. Participation in group challenges and activities designed to foster team related skills will round out their time at the Apprenticeshop and form the foundation the group will build on as they move through the rest of the program. During this part of the program, students stay at Wheeler Bay and are transported each day to/from the Apprenticeshop. On the last day of their program, students are transported via boat to Hurricane Island.

I would recommend this to my friends because it was really hard in the moment but you feel very accomplished at the end.

-Hazel, age 13

Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership

On Hurricane Island students are involved in a variety of projects to help them understand the ecosystems of Penobscot Bay and human impacts on the environment.  Students will also spend time developing their own research that they will implement throughout the rest of the program and present at the final celebration.  This work is integrated with activities to explore the island, reflect on their experiences, and develop as individual leaders and a team. Students live and learn on Hurricane Island throughout this part of the program. They will depart from Hurricane Island via pulling boat on the last day of the program for the final leg of the experience.

I have learned so many practical things, like sailing, rock climbing, science, and rowing. But also more things with people and relationships. I have so many great memories that I will always carry with me through life. Thank you so much for this outstanding opportunity.

-Romy, Belfast 2018
Living on a pulling boat

Hurricane Island Outward Bound School

Students will load all their gear and food on to a 30-foot open sailboat for a seven-day expedition.  The crew takes the skills they have learned throughout the program and applies them to expedition sailing, including conducting onboard research. Leadership, communication, and team skills are practiced and reinforced. The students row or sail everyday, developing additional skills as they travel along their planned route. On board, they will carry all they need: stoves, shelters, food and water, etc. 

Thanks to you, I jut had some of the best times that I have ever had. I loved nearly everything about the past two weeks. I think that this experience has really helped me to grow as a person and has given me 10 new friends my age in the area.

-Aaren, Camden


Service to others and the environment is a core value of our program. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home. While our students are on Hurricane Island, and traveling around the islands of Penobscot Bay, they will have the opportunity to do a number of small scale service projects that will positively impact both the marine environment they are traveling in, and local island communities. 

Final Celebration

Students will arrive at Wheeler Bay for the culminating celebration with enough time to analyze the data they have collected on the expedition.  Students will participate in a final challenge activity and then reunite with their parents for the festivities. The final celebration will include student presentation reflecting on their time in the course as a team, their personal growth, and the results of their research. 

SAMPLE ITINERARY (subject to change)

Days 1-3                           At the Apprenticeshop (participants will camp at HIOBS Wheeler Bay and take a van to/from the Apprenticeshop daily)
Day 4   Students transported by boat to Hurricane Island
Days 5-7   Living on Hurricane Island. Exploring and learning with the Center for Science and Leadership
Days 8-14   Students living and traveling on pulling boats with Hurricane Island Outward Bound School
Day 14   Closing Celebration at Wheeler Bay 
If you attend school at St. George, CRMS, Oceanside, Hope, Lincolnville, Vinalhaven, or North Haven - check-in with your Guidance Department or School Leadership Team to apply.
If you are not part of one of these school communities, you will be eligible to apply for a Community Scholarship.

Applications for 2021 are currently on hold. If you are interested in Summer 2021 programs, please check out our Course Finder or register your interest in future programming here.

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