Maritime Adventure Program

The Maritime Adventure Program (MAP) at Mystic Seaport Museum engages under-resourced high school youth in experiential maritime education anchored in positive youth development to help them enhance their social, emotional, and leadership skills.

Program Objectives

MAP is designed to reduce Connecticut’s “opportunity gap”—the inequitable distribution of resources that negatively impacts young people’s ability to succeed. The objectives of the program are:

  • Increase students’ social and emotional skills through mentoring and enrichment activities.
  • Increase students’ career readiness and awareness of careers in the maritime field.
  • Increase students’ technical skills in STEM and maritime activities including rowing and sailing, boat handling, astronomy and navigation, boatbuilding, and carpentry.

The program is built on a Positive Youth Development and mentoring model that:

  • emphasizes the importance of positive relationships with peers and adults;
  • creates safe environments in which to learn and practice healthy behaviors;
  • builds confidence and competence through challenging and meaningful enrichment activities;
  • fosters youth voice and leadership opportunities; and 
  • allows young people to be appreciated and recognized for their assets rather than their deficits.

Staff are engaged as mentors to the students, and the program’s Licensed Master Social Worker provides guidance to the students on their high school and post-secondary plans.

Program Tracks

The activities of the Maritime Adventure Program promote teambuilding and leadership skills through a curriculum that includes hands-on learning in:

  • boating and seamanship;
  • boatbuilding and carpentry;
  • museum studies;
  • astronomy and navigation;
  • outdoor education and teambuilding; and
  • off-campus experiential learning activities.

Workforce Development

A critical element of the Maritime Adventure Program is the creation and development of an employment pipeline at the Museum for youth from historically under-served and under-represented communities. The potential for future employment is an essential tool for youth recruitment and retention and helps move the Museum towards goals of diversifying our workforce and making employment more accessible and attainable to a more diverse population. The MAP students work in a variety of areas at the Museum and are provided with scaffolding and mentorship to grow into leaders and deepen their knowledge of the Museum’s programming, exhibits, and artifacts, all while receiving employment stipends.

For more information about the Maritime Adventure Program, please contact Sarah Cahill at sarah.cahill@mysticseaport.org.