A Captain and a Social Studies Teacher: Ecology Learning Center

A Captain and a Social Studies Teacher: Ecology Learning Center

Belfast, ME

Wednesday, September 29, 2021  

This morning our crew woke up bright and early at anchor in Belfast Harbor and jumped right into prepping Roseway to welcome aboard a group of students from the Ecology Learning Center—a brand new educational partner for World Ocean School!

We have a very special connection to this charter school, based in Unity, ME—Capt. Alec Schoettle, one of our relief captains and captain of our 2021 Junior Summer Ambassador Program, is a Social Studies teacher at ELC! As soon as the last of his students stepped foot on board, he surprised them all by revealing that he would be driving Roseway during their time on board.

Just a few moments later, our crew had already put the ELC students to work hauling the anchor and raising sails to get underway. We're not kidding when we say our programs are hands-on—we get kids hauling and sweating and coiling as soon as they step on board! Many students were surprised at just how much they could accomplish with the guidance of crew members.

The students then took a moment with their watch groups (A, B, and C) for an introduction to our World Ocean School community values: communication, teamwork, trust, and self-worth. These values guide everything we do on board, and our crew members encouraged the ELC students to look for these values in action throughout the day.

Our crew then led three activities in rotation: nautical navigation, simple machines, and striking/setting the jib. During Rudy's lesson on simple machines, students played tug of war—but one side had a 6-to-1 mechanical advantage thanks to a system of blocks (the nautical term for pulleys), which brought them to an easy victory.

During their watch-group debrief sessions, students reflected on the ways they had seen our community values at work. One student noted how important trust was to her since she had to trust the crew members—and Captain Schoettle!—to lead them safely through the day.

We are honored to facilitate safe, fun, challenging programs aboard Roseway for students as engaged and enthusiastic as our Ecology Learning Center group. We'll stay in touch with Capt. Schoettle and his school—ELC, let's sail together again soon!