Youth Programmes

Bermuda Sloop Foundation mandate is to develop young people in Bermuda, building their resilience and increasing their long-term chances of success, by providing character and educational development though experiential learning. Research suggests that targeted and structured activities, which build critical life skills in early stages of youth development, substantially increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for young people. The most effective way to achieve results is to intervene while young people are still impressionable. Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s youth programme seeks to do just this through its core middle school voyage programme as well as the summer follow-up voyages aboard Spirit of Bermuda.



Summer Follow-up Voyages
During the summer, there are local and overseas voyages that provide follow-up opportunities for students to engage in further programming and more in-depth mentoring with The Foundation. This is critical for vulnerable students who need more intensive intervention. After each middle school voyage, teachers and crew work together to assess all students and identify individuals who could benefit the most from follow-up voyages. Follow-ups are designed to blend two categories of students: (a) those who consistently displayed positive behaviors and attitudes, and (b) those students deemed at-risk. The objective is to blend students so that those exhibiting positive behaviors can positively influence those more “at risk.” Our Summer Voyages are mixed gender voyages available to youth over the age of 14. Past voyages include trips to Jamestown, VA, Tall Ships Festivals in different U.S. locations, the Canadian Maritimes, the Azores, and Service Projects to Dominican Republic and Haiti. The educational component is determined by the purpose and objective of the voyage. A Summer Voyage is an enhanced experience that involves a watch system to accommodate overnight sailing, increased ship responsibility and a greater sense of resilience.

Youth Development Races
Our recent and anticipated involvement in races such as Newport to Bermuda, Marion to Bermuda and The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, has presented us with the opportunity to reserve a small number of berths for youth aged 14 to 25. This opportunity allows selected youth to experience the race environment, while we continue to deliver on our mandate of character development.

Teacher Professional Development
The foundation also provides professional development opportunities for middle school teachers who volunteer to join the voyages to support student learning. Teachers are developed through assessment-based tasks and dialogue, facilitated by our Programme Officer, focusing on integrating the values of the 7 Habits in their classrooms as well as adaptive teaching and reflection strategies in support of active learning, inquiry, and engagement. This continuity in the classroom is critical for maximising the impact that the programme can have on young people as well as developing our education system more generally.

Partnerships with other Organisations and Helping Agencies
Bermuda Sloop Foundation participates in the Shared Outcomes Measurements Programme with The Family Centre and approximately 12 other organisations who are dealing with children, through the Inter Agency Committee. In addition, we are pleased to have excellent working relationships with BIOS (Bermuda Biological Station) and our students enjoy learning about snorkelling, the marine and Bermuda's ecological environment and more, through programmes and experiences shared with that organisation.


All of our programmes focus on expeditionary experiential STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, character and leadership development by way of Sail Training.

Responsibility: Whether it’s operations, maintenance or basic chores, students participate in almost every aspect of running Spirit of Bermuda. By entrusting them with tasks, and properly equipping them with the skills they need to do them correctly, we empower them to meet our high standards of operation and to contribute meaningfully to their on board community.

Accountability: Every action has a consequence; so, taking personal responsibility for actions is a mark of integrity. When students are trusted to stick with a task, others will bestow more trust and responsibility on them. Students understand that they are accountable firstly to themselves, then also to their watch, teachers and the professional crew.

Resilience: Persevering, especially when one does not feel like it, strengthens character. Students are encouraged to push beyond their feelings to work through tasks even when the outlook does not look positive.

Self-confidence: Students are given the space to try, make mistakes, then correct and grow. This is the only way that they will increase their sense of confidence to accomplish what they set their mind to.

Teamwork: Teamwork is more than mere participation. It is pulling one’s own weight, encouraging teammates when they are down, maintaining group spirit and giving of our self to achieve a greater goal. It is looking out for others so that no one is left behind.

Courage: Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is imperative to living a full life. Students must understand that they will never reach their full potential by staying in the safe zone. Feeling safe, warm and comfortable is lovely, but it only leads to mediocrity.

Pride: Students are encouraged to personally connect with our collective past and heritage. Understanding where we come from aids in our ability to determine where we want to go.

Awareness: Living in the natural environment forces students to enhance our use of the physical senses. Students are encouraged to stop and focus on their surroundings. A heightened awareness of the physical world is a mark of the true mariner.