THE BERMUDA SLOOP FOUNDATION IS CREATING AWARENESS OF AND PATHWAYS TO TECHNICAL, MECHANICAL AND MARINE-RELATED CAREERS FOR YOUNG BERMUDIANS. Courtesy of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation Bermuda Sloop Foundation has been operating Bermuda’s only and now iconic sail training vessel, Spirit of Bermuda. The ship’s home berth is at Royal Naval Dockyard, and if you don’t see her there, she is most likely on a school voyage. The Foundation’s mission is to “Change Lives, One Voyage at a Time, Over Time.” To that end, week-long expeditionary and residential sail training voyages are provided for Bermuda’s public middle school children (12–14 years of age), throughout the school year. These sailing expeditions not only provide opportunity for character and leadership development but also provide handson “learning by doing” STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, which has been aligned with the Bermuda Department of Education Cambridge curriculum. For many children who do not acquire information optimally in a classroom setting, these five-day and the important follow-up summer voyages are life-changing experiences. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Spirit, which is an exquisite replica of an 1830s Bermuda merchant sloop (schooner). The sloop was built in Rockport, Maine, and her maiden voyage ended in Bermuda on October 1, 2006. The foundation and Spirit of Bermuda have provided sail training adventures to more than 4,000 youths in Bermuda and on overseas voyages from Canada to Spain to the Caribbean over the past nine years. The Bermuda Sloop Foundation is a registered charity and is 501 c3 exempt for U.S. tax purposes. All education programmes on board Spirit of Bermuda are funded through the generosity of the Bermuda community and friends of Spirit and sail training overseas — corporations, organisations, foundations, individuals and special groups. The foundation also raises funds through membership in the foundation, annual appeal, raffles, tag days and special annual events. As we celebrate 10 years of working with Bermuda’s youth, we are proud of the many young people who found that life at sea demands unflagging attention to detail and a strong sense of individual responsibility. Students return from their voyages with new respect for order and discipline, understanding the importance of skill-building and teamwork, appreciation of the advantages of planning ahead, a sense of camaraderie and acceptance, the ability to stay calm in emergencies, and most importantly, pride in their achievements and the courage to admit and learn from their mistakes. Spirit of Bermuda continues to evoke the island’s proud past whilst preparing young men and women to achieve in today’s world, and Bermuda Sloop Foundation looks towards an even brighter tomorrow as they continue to “Change Lives, One Voyage at a Time, Over Time.” For more information, visit bermudasloop.org.
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