Sawdust, Seaweed, Sailboats: Knox County students lean into Penobscot Bay traditions

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 9:15am

ROCKLAND — The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, and the Apprenticeshop partnered together for the third consecutive year to run a leadership program for local middle school students. The three organizations, known as the Penobscot Bay Leadership Collaborative, welcomed students home from sea at a culminating graduation hosted at Wheeler Bay in Spruce Head.

This partnership has united around a shared vision: to foster the development of character and leadership in the youth of Midcoast Maine. The 14-day program includes different elements taught by each of the contributing organizations that centers around life among “ships,” according to Outward Bound, in a news release.

The course included the literal lessons around ships; through hands-on engagement in maritime tradition, marine science and ecology, and technical sailing. However, the cohort of middle schoolers explored the more important lessons found in the metaphorical ships: friendship, craftsmanship, leadership, stewardship, and seamanship. 

Upon graduation, Vernon, age 14, reflected “I learned how to turn a chunk of wood into a beautiful spoon as well as how to set a sail on a Pulling boat…I learned about ocean debris and how important it is to keep a clean ocean. Then to finish this amazing experience off we set sail for 5 days exploring the islands off the coast of Maine. On this trip I learned a lot about myself and [the] different ways of eating, cooking, sleeping and living…it opens your mind to another way of things and ways that you never would have thought about.”

Bryn, age 13, shared Vernon’s sentiment and shared, “I learned so much about myself and the people around me. I’ve made amazing connections with some amazing young men and some older folks too!”

“The Penobscot Bay Leadership Collaborative looks forward to encouraging curiosity, innovation, and leadership that will have a lasting impact in our local community in 2020’s summer program and beyond,” said Outward Bound.