Youth group of smaller proportions…
A trip that was planned by way of a treat for, a much younger cohort than normal, the year 2 class of St Faiths Primary School today, following the completion of their KS2 SAT’s, to visit Excelsior during her Open Boat moored in her berth at the Heritage Quay. Excelsior one of Lowestoft’s last remaining smacks, authentically restored to her original sailing set up with a few modern upgrade, from the ship which was built in 1921 – now used for sail training taking 1000’s of young people out to sea for life changing adventure.
The 13 year two’s and four group leaders, travelled down to the ship, supported with the loan of little buoyancy aids from Whitlingham Adventure, to explore above and below deck learning about local maritime history and the fishing industry. This tied in with their current topic of ‘the sea side’ nicely, being in a harbour themselves helped really grasp how harbours and Quayside’s work. The children, learnt about the ropes, life on board and were even given the opportunity to raise the Mizzen! (one of the rear sails) sweating and tailing, quite a feat for adults, yet the group of children took the challenge on and was not left unbeaten!
Later in the day, after lunch together down below in the saloon, the group were tasked with scrubbing the decks! all of the group rolled up their sleeves and donned their welly boots to give the deck a good soaking and scrub! An important task for an old wooden ship such as Excelsior, especially on dry hot days – it keeps her waterproof!
The trip culminating in a well earned Ice cream for all on the pier (a treat from head of School Lesley Rix) even one each for the Excelsior Crew too! It was time to say good bye. On the journey back to school, when the children (aged six and seven) were asked whether they would like to set off on a real voyage on Excelsior some day, nearly all were super keen!
Hopefully day trips like these, help set the expectations from a young age that kids can do anything that they set their mind too! I am sure Excelsior will indeed see a few of these faces when they reach 14 and will be big enough to join her for a jaunt across the North sea! something many local high schools get to take part in each year, truly creating lifelong memories and having significant impacts on young people’s social skills and confidence, with the opportunity to take part in the RYA Competent Crew qualification – providing young people with accredited certification following such a trip.
If you have found that your school doesn’t already have a voyage set up with Excelsior for your group of young people, get in touch and see what we can offer for next term or even next season and reserve your voyage before it is too late – www.theexcelsiortrust.co.uk or call 0845 308 2323
In the meantime, if you would like to have a look around Excelsior or find out more about her adult trips for individuals, our Fund raising Open Days of June are nearly complete with just Saturday 24th and Tuesday 27th June remaining 1pm – 5pm, come on board and find out what we’re all about.