Our Philosophy & Approach

Sisters Under Sail Mission Statement

Sisters Under Sail builds confidence and leadership skills in girls and women of all ages through innovative educational programs based on rich maritime traditions so they may witness what women can achieve when they work together toward a common goal.

Value Statement:  Women Forward

Core Values

  • Deliver innovative educational programs for women, by women, geared to build confidence and leadership skills.
  • Encourage self-discovery by providing a supportive learning environment.
  • Make the connection between the experience and key-learning’s through facilitation and coaching.
  • Continue to identify scholarship opportunities for girls and women who are on the right course, but lack the financial ability to afford the experience.
  • Raise public awareness as to what can be accomplished when sisters work together.

The Sisters Under Sail curriculum is purposefully built to capitalize on the lessons learned while our students are sailing onboard a traditionally rigged tall ship. The program establishes a safe environment for young women where they are free to explore, learn and challenge themselves – embarking on a voyage of self-discovery and personal growth. We aim to teach leadership in motion and valuable confidence building skills to teenage girls.

Our students are asked to focus on 6 core competencies, honing in on their leadership, teamwork and communication skills. We begin each day with a preliminary group exercise to get the girls thinking about the key focus for the day. Then, following targeted on-deck activities, the group gathers in the evening to discuss what everyone has learned. A journal exercise is assigned so they can tie together their new experiences with their lives on land through experiencing leadership in motion.

Our Core Leadership Competencies

Voyage of Self Discovery & Facing New Challenges ~ The first day aboard ship is dedicated to addressing challenges and the journey of self discovery. The girls participate in unique onboard activities, which help illuminate how they approach new challenges, giving each girl insight into how she might face other challenges in her life.

Authentic Teamwork (3 C’s)

  • Communication: Aboard ship we have a unique and purposeful manner of communicating with each other. Projecting your voice clearly and acknowledging orders from the Captain is critical to staying safe and accomplishing on board tasks effectively.
  • Collaboration: The gathering and sharing of information provides knowledge to those we lead so that the team can move forward with confidence.
  • Confidence:  Developing skills to listen better, speak up when needed, sharing ideas, supporting others and simply doing tasks that may be challenging, builds confidence.

Chart Your Course ~ The focus for this day is on goal setting and successfully reaching your destination. As in life, the ship may need to veer off course slightly, but it doesn't take us away from the final objective. We often see a shift in most of the girls on day 3 as they are beginning to open up. They are more knowledgeable about what to do aboard ship and gaining confidence, as they learn to trust the process and crew.

Each Small Part Contributes to the Success of the Whole ~ The focus for the day is to bring to light individual strengths and leveraging strengths as a team. It is also an opportunity to illustrate that even the smallest contribution by a team member is valuable and important to the overall voyage.

Leadership ~ Throughout the voyage, the girls are encouraged to observe their all-women crew as they demonstrate leadership in action. The key competency for this day is all about learning, through example, how to channel personal leadership styles effectively.

Reaching your Destination ~ The final focus for the week is on the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving a goal as a team. The girls reflect back on the week to review all that they've learned about the ship, the all-female experience and what they have discovered about themselves.

Click here to see the 2015 girls sailing schedule.