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Here’s How To Turn Your Teenagers Into Leaders in 2016

Written by James M Pilgrim

Founder and Editor at Tall Ships Events

The New Year is now upon us, and if you have teenagers (think 16+) then soon will come the inevitable (and perhaps heated) discussion of spring-break, an Ibiza getaway or worse. Your argument for a family holiday has become nothing to their desire for the beach, the bars and the ‘banter’ and there seems to be absolutely no compromise in sight. Well, read on, because we may just have found your solution…

Imagine they get their holiday and all they want with it, while you get two weeks worry free and the guaranteed return of a stronger, more responsible individual… Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Enter, Tall Ships; Enter, Sail Training.

So what exactly are we talking about here? Well, sail training is not about learning to sail, it's an experience designed to inspire development both personally and professionally through the arduous task of sailing a tall ship on the high seas. In English? Your unruly teenagers will be facing a whole heap of challenges, from climbing masts and setting the sails (in heavy seas, in the rain, in the dark) to preparing meals and washing dishes for the many crew aboard. They'll learn a whole lot about themselves too, but best of all it comes neatly disguised as exactly the things they'll want from the perfect getaway.

Now take note, because the sell is quite different to the above, and the approach is key to your success. Know that you too must be prepared to compromise but that in return we can promise you a teenager ready to take on the challenges of life and lead others into the future. So how exactly should you sell it to them?

ATYLA Ship by James M Pilgrim

Well, start with Pirates of the Caribbean: take out the gold but keep the Rum, loose the kraken, keep the cannons and perhaps relax the dress code a little, now you're getting close.

But wait, I mentioned rum, I feel you frowning - that's your compromise, but this is no Ibiza. Every ship adopts the legal standpoint and you won’t be finding anybody irresponsible here. Plus your kids will soon realise it’s no excuse for escaping their 4am watch duty - we guarantee they will be woken to work and we’re somewhat sure they will learn a little self-management as a result!

Now you just need to choose a voyage, and the best advise we can give is to start with our site: we're listing over 100 tall ships events - tall ships sail in, crews party, tall ships sail out, easy. Find the events that interest you then visit their official sites to see which tall ships are attending. Play your cards right and you get more than one festival in a single voyage, and we're not talking small festivals either, there could be thousands in the 16-25 age range sailing up to 50 ships together from the previous port of call. There's so much going on this summer across Europe and the USA that you're sure to find an opportunity to suit.

Trouble finding a ship? Get in touch with us, let us know the event you're interested in and we'll be happy to help!

Our pick for Europe 2016? The Spanish built Schooner ATYLA (pictured above). We sailed her through the Tall Ships Races in 2015 and would do so again in a heartbeat. She'll be attending no less than seven international festivals during the summer months, her home country included, and that's an important point to remember if the sun is essential. Oh and don't worry about language barriers: with less than 25 people onboard during our voyage in 2015 the crew represented 14 nationalities, and not once did it become an issue.

Here's a Roundup...

Assure them that “when it comes to partying, spring breakers have nothing on sailors” (Matador Network) but suppress the urge to point out that sailors also work ten times as hard.

Think of it as fast-track scouting, but use Jack Sparrow as your in; don’t tell them it’s educational.

Use keywords like these: sun, sea, sail.

Consider these ones blasphemy: learning, working, sail training.


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