Command of the watch
The Command of the Watch is a program for high school girls
aged 14-18 which provides them with hands on experience and experiential
learning activities aboard a traditionally rigged tall ship schooner. It is
funded through scholarships provided by the CYC Foundation.The girls learn
lifelong skills of teamwork, cooperation, leadership and career awareness. It
is our goal that young women learn they have the power to make a difference in
this world and that this experience allows them to realize a level of self-discovery
that is often described as life changing.
Shipboard life and the demands of sailing a traditionally
rigged vessel are important components of this experience. The girls will learn
boating safety, navigation, and sail handling aboard the 77’ schooner Inland Seas. Our program which was
designed specifically for the CYC Foundation has 5 goals:
1. Connect people to place. The
crew believes that connecting the girls with nature on the beach, water, and
the Northern Michigan Islands is an important way to explore the Lake and
develop an affection for it.
2. Understanding how the Great Lakes work.
Through hands on experiences, they will collect samples from the lake and
examine the creatures, mud, and water that come up. They will learn about the
layers of the lake and how different species in them interact. The girls learn about the ecology of the
Great Lakes, sand dunes, coastlines and islands. They will learn about the
weather and the stars. When people understand the way nature works, they can
better act to protect it.
3. The 3rd
goal is to encourage the girls to practice
STEM skills and explore STEM careers
in freshwater. We hope these girls will fall in love with the water and become
passionate about protecting it. There are lots of ways to turn that passion
into a career. They will talk about and explore careers in field science, ROV
technology, shipping, engineering, and math, all which combine STEM learning
with freshwater protection.
participants develop teamwork and
leadership skills. By creating an environment that is very supportive, with
expectations that everyone will pull their own weight. The girls learn quickly
that everyone must work together, and personal desires take a backseat to the
needs of the group.
5. Our 5th
goal is to instill in our participants an
ethic of care for the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are valuable for
numerous reasons and thus we must work to protect them anyway we can. We hope
the experiences on board develop this ethic of care for both the Great Lakes
and their own communities.
Our youth education program has brought approximately 1,000 elementary and high school students from the city and suburban to the Chicago Yacht Club each year.
Groups of students may be invited to the Chicago Yacht Club for a memorable maritime-related educational program and tour of the club facilities. This has been a valuable program that not only benefits student participants, but also enhances our relations with the Chicago Public Schools and provides a venue for public access.