The Young Endeavour Youth Development program is internationally recognised in the field of sail training. The experiential program is delivered on board STS Young Endeavour by Navy personnel specifically selected for the program. Over the course of eleven days, youth aged 16 – 23 learn the skills required to sail a tall ship. At the same time they develop attributes that make them more effective leaders, communicators and team members.
The program is structured in three phases - the Crisis Phase, Transition Phase and the Arrival Phase.
During the first three to four days, the youth crew experience the Crisis Phase. They are confronted by challenges that they learn to overcome, including seasickness, a lack of sleep, living and working with new and unfamiliar people, and learning new skills. The staff crew support and encourage them, helping them to develop teamwork and leadership skills, while discovering their inner strength and resilience.
In the Transition Phase, the youth crew move from instructor-to self-led activities. As their ability to sail the square-rigged ship improves, they take on leadership roles.
The final phase of the program is the Arrival Phase, when Command of Young Endeavour is handed over to the youth crew for 24-hours. During this period the youth crew put what they have learnt about sailing as well as their communication, teamwork and leadership skills into action.
The tall ship environment provides a unique and powerful opportunity in which to conduct outdoor education. Youth crew are taken out of their comfort zones and provided with the tools to overcome challenges. The immersive nature of the program encourages youth to rapidly develop interpersonal, leadership and teamwork skills, which are transferable to everyday life and career settings. The program is also designed to elicit an appreciation of the strength diversity brings and instil a desire to contribute back to the community, increasing both individual and social capital.