In August, four students from the Community Boat Project, a local boat-building partnership for teenagers from nearby Chimacum, received scholarships to come aboard Adventuress for our Fantastic Voyage 3-Day program in the San Juan Islands. On a recent afternoon in the boat shop located at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building, with the weather halfway between sun and rain, fifteen-year-old Aelf spoke about her experience aboard Adventuress.
Backing the main with participants
from the Fantastic Voyage 3-Day.
Tackling the question of her favorite moment, Aelf confessed to having several. There was the evening shore hike when crew members and participants walked back with their headlamps off, interrupting the silence only for the call of “rock” or “root” to repeat down the line. There was the last day of the trip, when Aelf’s team in the “Schooner Olympics” had to work together to figure out how to set and strike the jib without help from the crew. And there was time spent relaxing in the bowsprit net, which Aelf sees as a representation of community. Because of the nature of the net, “Every move you make affects everyone else.”
Aelf is deeply committed to this idea of interconnectedness. She thinks of someday majoring in ecology, which she describes as “the study of connections between things . . . if you damage one thing you affect the whole web, but the whole can be hard to see.” She lists potential ecology-related careers and ends by envisioning what a job on Adventuress would look like: “Work on a boat and show other kids how the world is connected.”
Aelf describes Adventuress as “a combination of old nautical maritime society and new science mingling together to make a new and exciting experience for youth.” She believes that coming aboard is important because “young people are starting to look at the paths that are ahead . . . so many paths.” Adventuress gives them a sense of one possible path that “might imprint on them for the rest of their lives”–a path that integrates science, community, tradition, and environmental awareness.
Asked why people should give to 29 Dollars, 29 Days: Getting Kids on the Boat, Aelf replied that “it opens up the field to people who actually care and who might not have the money… there are students like me who live below the poverty line and who might not get a chance to come aboard.”
Friday, October 31st is the last official day to give to 29 Dollars, 29 Days: Getting Kids on the Boat. Your $29–the cost for one child or teen to come aboard with his or her school or youth group for a day program–truly makes a difference to our region’s young people. Click here to donate today!