Our Youth Explorer Voyages allow young people to experience a unique, challenging and inspirational ocean adventure.
The program is designed to be both physically and emotionally challenging and helps young people reach their personal potential through the development of social confidence and relationship skills in 4 broad areas:
- The concept of self
- Communication skills
- A sense of community
The benefits of the program directly impacts the individual’s peers, their school, family and community. These benefits are transferable as young people phase into adulthood as future employees and as responsible citizens in our communities.
Enhanced work readiness – the skills employers are looking for
The Youth Explorer Voyage Program delivers on what employers consider to be the most important ‘work-ready skills’:
- Interpersonal and communication skills – The confined space of a tall ship, where you are constantly surrounded by ship mates and are required to follow instructions creates a perfect environment for young people to assess and improve their social skills.
- Problem solving skills – The wind on the ocean is changeable which means that conditions can change in an instant. To ensure the safety of all on board and to keep the ship on course, decisions have to made, action has to be taken. This is an environment where the results of decisions made will have immediate results!
- Passion – Many of our trainees discover a passion for the ocean and love for sailing that keeps them coming back for more as they return to sail with us as volunteer crew. Some have even been inspired to start a career in the maritime industry.
- Cultural and values alignment – Our ship knows no boundaries and all trainees on board are equal. Trainees will learn tolerance, compassion and a sense of community by living in confined quarters with young people from a variety of backgrounds.
- Teamwork skills – The Leeuwin is a traditional tall ship where all sailing activities are done by hand. All participants have to literally ‘pull their weight’ to help their team complete the tasks at hand. Non-compliance is immediately evident as it makes the job harder for other team members. The pleasure of being part of a successful team, especially while working at height on one of the sails, provides a great sense of pride and achievement.
- Emotional intelligence – Self-awareness is a key outcome of the program and trainees ‘grow’ as they face challenges, conquer fears and learn more about themselves during the week-long voyage.
- Extracurricular activities – Our wrap-around volunteer program offers former trainees the opportunity to continue to sail on the Leeuwin, increasing their skills (hard and soft), while guiding the next group of trainees through the program. Over 50% of our sailing volunteers are under 25.
- Leadership skills – Trainees work under the guidance of a skilled watch leader who encourages them during the course of the voyage to take the lead and instruct their watch on how to set sails. On the last full day of the voyage the reigns of the ship are handed over to the trainees: they choose their leaders from their peers, including Captain and navigators and attempt to sail the ship to a designated destination without the direct help of the crew. This is an eye-opening exercise that highlights the difference between perceived leadership and actual leadership.