What is the Sea Challenge?
The Sea Challenge provides sail training on board a tall ship to Seacoast youth. The goal of sail training is to provide a safe environment in which trainees can look at and understand the world and themselves a little differently.
Sail Training is not primarily about teaching teenagers how to sail. Of course, they learn seamanship skills while gaining self-confidence, an appreciation for teamwork, confidence in their fellow crew mates, respect for the experienced professionals on board, appreciation for the power and beauty of the natural world. They help weigh anchor, raise and trim sails, climb the rigging and steer the ship. They stand watches in the middle of night, in inclement weather and sometimes even when seasick. The lessons learned are about taking responsibility, taking initiative, becoming reliable, helping your team, having pride in your new skills, and feeling self-confident.
Learning through Adventure... STICKS
The reason the PMC raises money through sponsors, members and events like Sail Portsmouth (Tall Ships), is to send kids to sea to learn. Since no electronic devices are allowed on board, the kids learn through adventure. It becomes evident very quickly what needs to be done. It is survival. It is physical work and emotional work. Where am I going, how do I know when I get there, what do I eat, where and when will I sleep? The sun sets and the sun rises and you find yourself . . . on the ship!
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.“ Mr. Toad...Wind in the Willows
Who participates in the Sea Challenge?
Teenagers, both girls and boys! Almost all teenagers are troubled in some ways. From normal teenage angst to troubles in school, or with social interaction, to effects of poverty or dysfunctional families and even brushes with drugs or the law, all teenagers face challenges. Based on years of experience, we know that the kids that finish the Sea Challenge are helped in many and often unexpected ways.
The Piscataqua Maritime Commission works with a variety of Seacoast organizations that serve teenagers. These organizations identify and often sponsor teenagers that will benefit from the Sea Challenge. The overarching goal of PMC is to help these kids through adventure learning.