“Strike Sail” Day Camps: Helping Parents, Supporting Teachers During Seattle Strike

September 23, 2015

Looking at plankton under the microscope

When Seattle Schools’ teachers voted to go on strike the first week of September, Salish staff decided to take a challenging situation for parents, teachers and students and turn it into an opportunity to get kids engaged in marine science and maritime education. We had the Carlyn and crew standing by to start scheduled programs, so the education team mobilized a day-sail camp. These “Strike Sail” day camps were launched on Wednesday, September 16 from 9 am to 3 pm as our way of giving a nod to our teacher friends on the picket lines, and to support Seattle parents, many of whom were juggling work commitments and kids with unexpectedly free weekdays.

Wednesday’s day camp was a huge success. A sold out program started with sunshine and light winds, allowing students the opportunity to drop the manta net to trawl for microplastics, as well as conduct plankton sampling and water quality testing. Kids also had the opportunity to raise sails, assist the crew in “passing the headsail” while tacking and jibing, and learned about sailing and navigation.

Hoisting the main sail

We were all relieved that teachers and the school system were able to reach a deal and get kids back to their classrooms on Thursday, but we couldn’t help being a little disappointed to not have the chance to run our Thursday and Friday programs. As a result, we offered a “make up” day-sail camp on Saturday. We had a smaller group and enjoyed some brisk winds and a new mix of educational stations put together by our crew.

For all those students who didn’t have the chance to join us, fear not! There are some great opportunities to get out on the Carlyn coming up during our fall public sails. If you’re looking for another great student program, there are still a few spots remaining in our fall Sound program for individual students take place October 3-5. Learn more by clicking here.


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