When it became clear that Call of the Sea’s K through 12 youth education tours, which were booked solid for the spring, had to cancel due to Covid, the organization quickly figured out substitute programming. They added in three three-week summer camps scheduled to run June – August. While a Covid situation in late July required a temporary hold on activities, the final camp gets underway operating out of Call of the Sea’s Sausalito facility.
10-12 local kids per three-week session have been fortunate enough to expand their horizons with fun educational activities both on and off the water, according to Brenda Cook, Director of Advancement for Call of the Sea. While at camp, kids are required to take all the necessary Covid health and safety precautions and are carefully supervised for social distancing.
“It’s really been a boon to be able to run these camps because so many kids and their parents have been climbing the walls because of the isolation and needing to be inside all the time during shelter in place,” Cook explained. “It’s been great to be able to do what we are really all about – experiential, environmental education for Bay Area youth.”
At camp, kids ages 8-14 are out on the water for part of the day including trips on the 82’ schooner Seaward where they get to experience the thrill of observing of marine life firsthand, interaction with the Bay and local marine destinations such as Angel Island and of course, the pure pleasure of sailing. Off the water, campers learn to work as a team with their shipmates, nautical logbook and journaling skills, and engage in art projects like building models of the Seaward. As reported by parents of kids who participated in this season’s Young Salts Summer Camp, the sessions have been well received.
Bianca Galladora (son Arlo): Arlo LOVED his first day. I think combined with the fact that the camp is very fun/interesting/cool with the fact that we’ve been in our house for three months has made Summer camp extra exciting this year. He says it’s the best camp he’s ever been to! He told me his favorite activities were swimming at Angel Island and just being on the sailboat sailing around. He also says the food is really good!
Colene Turner (son Sylvian): Sylvian says his first favorite activity is sailing, his second favorite “activity” is the rocking of the sailboat, and his third favorite “activity” is tacking! So I guess he likes the sailing part best!
Michael Mason (daughter Sophie): The Call of the Sea Summer Camp has been not only the highlight of Sophie’s summer, this has been the bright spot of her transition of relocating to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Sophie comes home every day full of stories about her kayaking, boat making and Angel Island experiences and is a much happier child since she’s been at camp and around her new friends and camp instructors.”
Call of the Sea recently received its Certificate of Inspection from the US Coast Guard for the brigantine Matthew Turner, the organization’s newly constructed 132’ wooden tall ship and the latest addition to its fleet. The ship embarked on its first community sails over the weekend of July 24- 26, 2020, with trips sold out within hours. These sailing trips will be repeated each Friday night and weekends for the remainder of summer 2020 offering a rare opportunity to sail on what is fast becoming an iconic vessel on the Bay as well as a ship on which future generations will learn about the Bay’s natural environment and maritime heritage.
At its Sausalito base, now that construction of the Matthew Turner is complete, volunteers are still kept busy with on the ongoing maintenance of both sailing ships – from sanding, varnishing and painting to changing oil and taking care of the mechanics of onboard systems. Heading into fall, Call of the Sea hopes that the Matthew Turner will venture to different ports around the Bay Area so that more local youth can benefit from sailing on the tall ship while engaging in the related experiential science learning programming.
* Call of the Sea is a St Francis Sailing Foundation Grantee