YOUTH GAINING CONFIDENCE THROUGH ACCESS TO THE OUTDOORS FOR 25 YEARS
The Nova Scotia Sea School was founded as a registered charity in 1994 by Crane Stookey, bringing together his passion for boats and the sea, his years as deck officer on Tall Ships, his love of working with teenagers, his training in Buddhist philosophy and meditation and his aspiration for a more contemplative approach to life rooted in the experience of the real world.
Sea School was officially incorporated as a non-profit and we began construction of our first boat, DOROTHEA, a 30’ Sable Island Pulling Boat launched on Canada Day, 1995. DOROTHEA’s maiden voyage was a 7-day expedition from Halifax to Mahone Bay with her builders. She has been sailing ever since, and in 2004 we launched a sister ship, ELIZABETH HALL, built on the Halifax waterfront with over 300 friends and volunteers.
Since 1994 the Nova Scotia Sea School has been offering youth, ages 11 to 21, adventure experiences that transform how they see themselves, the world around them, and their capacity to contribute to society. Through the simple experience of life on a small boat youth gain the confidence and awareness to make important decisions about their lives. On a Sea School expedition young people discover areas of personal intelligence they might not have valued or known about, gain firsthand experience of our maritime history and traditions, learn healthy living, build new skills and relationships, and connect with the beauty of Nova Scotia’s coast and see their role in preserving it.
This is the only program of its kind in Canada. The Sea School was founded with the mission to promote the maritime tradition of boats and the sea as a means for young people to learn the values that seafaring has taught for generations: leadership, courage, responsibility, cooperation, generosity and respect. In 2003 the School’s Founder, Crane Stookey, was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for the Sea School’s contribution to the Canadian community. Since 1994 the Sea School has worked with over 5,000 teenagers, built 16 wooden boats ranging in size from 8’ to 30’, and spent over 4,500 days on the water in the boats we’ve built. Because we prioritize diversity and serving marginalized individuals, youth make friends with peers that they may not have met at school or on their community.
Our seafaring programs operate out of Lunenburg, NS and offer youth the chance to take command of these boats, and of their lives as they explore the coves and islands of the south shore including Mahone Bay, St. Margaret’s Bay, LaHave Islands and Lunenburg Bay.
Our distinctive traditional rigs have become a recognized and admired fixture along the Nova Scotia coast.