Spirit of South Carolina to Serve as Platform for International Youth Leadership Program

Students on Headrig

Charleston, South Carolina (June 1, 2011)-On July 19, 2011, twelve teens from Israel, Palestine, and the United States will board South Carolina Maritime Foundation's tall ship, Spirit of South Carolina in Portland, Maine.  These adolescents will be embarking on a 12-day leadership expedition.  This new educational program, Seas of Peace, is being offered by the internationally-recognized organization Seeds of Peace.   

The Seas of Peace program takes place over the course of three weeks.  The first ten days will be spent sailing small boats in Maine, followed by the twelve days aboard Spirit of South Carolina.  During the program, the twelve teens will participate in Seeds of Peace curriculum designed to engage dialogue about who they are and where they are from while training them as leaders and helping them learn skills to continue working for peace when they return home.   

When the students join the Spirit of South Carolina, they will be challenged with the 24-hour operation of a traditionally-rigged tall ship.  Participants will work together in watches to steer, handle, sail and navigate the vessel.  Continuing the focus of the first ten days, onboard curricula will center around leadership, seamanship and regionally-specific lessons.  Professional crew will use on-watch activities to reinforce the formal lessons being taught by both Spirit of South Carolina and Seas of Peace staff.   

Celestial Navigation Class

"Seeds of Peace has been working with teen leaders for peace throughout the world for almost twenty years.  In February, their staff sought us out to discuss collaborating on this program and we have worked closely with them to create a program that fits the needs of their participants," said Beth Spencer, program manager for South Carolina Maritime Foundation.  "We are excited to serve as a platform for the expansion of their renowned program and to have the opportunity to work with the impressive adolescents chosen for participation by Seeds of Peace."

The Seas of Peace program is one of five multi-day programs aboard Spirit of South Carolina this summer.  The other programs include students ranging from the Foundation's dropout prevention program to wilderness orientation for freshman at Colgate University.  There are still opportunities for both high school students and adults to join an expedition aboard the ship this summer through Spirit Ocean Adventure.  Details about these programs are available at www.SpiritOceanAdventure.com.   

About Seeds of Peace:
Seeds of Peace was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence.  Over the last eighteen years, Seeds of Peace has intensified its impact, dramatically increasing the number of participants, represented nations, and programs.  Its leadership network now encompasses over 4,300 young people.   The organization is currently actively working in the Middle East and South Asia.  Seeds of Peace's internationally-recognized program begins at its summer camp in Maine and continues through year-round regional initiatives.

About South Carolina Maritime Foundation:

Spirit of South Carolina is a 140-foot schooner owned and operated by South Carolina Maritime Foundation.  The mission of the Foundation is to create opportunities for life-changing experiences resulting in leaders for tomorrow's communities through shipboard and land-based programming.  Since its first season of programming in 2007, over 7,000 students have been served.  In addition to programming aboard Spirit of South Carolina, South Carolina Maritime Foundation maintains an active role in the Lowcountry community through year-round dropout prevention programming, Charleston Harbor Fest, Charleston Race Week, Spirit Ball, and the Captain's Cup golf tournament.  For more information about these and to support the programming that South Carolina Maritime Foundation does, please visit www.SCMaritime.org.