By Jocelyn Bertovich, Onboard Educator

Pamela Wolff on the tiller

As the end of the sailing season approaches, and we bid farewell to our penultimate group of volunteers, I am grateful and amazed that we have people who dedicate a week of their lives to teach aboard Clearwater’s Sailing Classroom.  Every week, on volunteer training day, four to six new folks arrive to learn Clearwater’s curriculum, practice tying a highwayman’s hitch, and discover how much maintenance is required to keep a 43-year-old, wooden Hudson River Sloop ship-shape.  But before we get into all that, we start with introductions. …

Similarly to the crew, the volunteers hail from all over the Hudson Valley and beyond, some even flying across country to be onboard.  Some have been volunteering for years, and some just heard that the opportunity existed.  Some are in college, others are retired.  They all have one thing in common; they are all making a huge contribution to the program and doing it with incredible enthusiasm and gusto.

Samantha Perry with students onboard the sloop

Samantha Perry with students onboard the sloop

So why do all of these amazing people spend their vacations working 11 hour days, and living in cramped (and sometimes wet) quarters with people whom they have never met?  One volunteer told me he applied because his son, who had spent a week aboard last year, described his time as a truly transformative experience.  Another expressed interest in joining the crew in the future, and then she did!

Regardless of their reasons, what stands out in my mind is how hard the volunteers work to support Clearwater’s mission of educating, inspiring, and activating the next generation of environmental leaders.

Here is the shout out to the 2012 volunteers.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  We, the crew and captains of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater appreciate all you have done and continue to do.  We love you all.  Please come and visit whenever we are in your town… or you in ours.

Neil Gordon, sloop volunteer


If you are interested in volunteering,
please check out our volunteer information page,
or call 845 265-8080, ext.7115