Attention Torontonian pirates! Here’s yer chance to sail the great lakes.
The Toronto Brigantine has a summer program which teaches youth 13-18 years old how to sail and explore horizons.
Julian Schroer Captain of the Pathfinder, says what he loves about the summer program is how everybody on board becomes your family for that period of time.
“You work together and really have to get stuff done as a team and make sure your home [the boat] keeps going and gets to the place where it needs to be,” muses Schroer.
The Captain has been part of the Toronto Brigantine program since 1999.
The program he says, offers a unique experience to sail on a tall ship.
“Everybody on board is a teenager—unlike a lot of programs out there you don’t have an adult telling you what to do. You have a peer who’s close to your own age,” explains Schroer.
The Captain says another exclusive part of the program is that you travel as you sail.
“We’re going to some cool places this summer; (we’ll see) Chicago and spend time up in Georgian Bay. So you get to see a lot of small town Ontario and also the States,” explains Schroer. “It’s that extra added bonus.”
The Captain also says, sailing appeals to young people because there is a sense of adventure and excitement that goes with it.
“When you’re sailing with 15 knots of wind and all you have is water around you, a nice breeze going and sunny skies, it’s pretty thrilling and just relaxing. It really gives you the chance to connect with the world around you in a different way,” said Schroer. “You’re actually using this force to drive you and it’s a pretty cool experience. It’s pretty awesome to do it with a bunch of other people who really work together.”
Tessa Rianne McKinnell Alexanian is a Toronto Brigantine Youth Officer and says the summer program is amazing.
“It’s an opportunity to do something really meaningful,” said Alexanian. “Strong connections are built and you feel like you’re doing something responsible.”
The Youth Officer also says when she first started out she ended up in Lake Huron not knowing anyone that was with her, but the connections she made with her peers was amazing.
“It was really wonderful,” offered Alexanian. “It’s an amazing community. You become a full fledged member and they can’t sail without you.”