Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors (MYLA) of Wilmington

Learning to Lead by Sailing the Sea!

Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors (MYLA) of Wilmington is a unique program – open to youth ages 12-18 who reside in or attend school in Wilmington – that gives participants an opportunity to learn about sailing, marine ecology, maritime careers and vocations, and most importantly, themselves. They will develop their leadership and problem-solving skills, while interacting with each other and the world around them at sea and in nature through three sail sessions, followed by a three-day weekend voyage to Catalina. The program is offered free of charge, and each participant receives gear and materials, including a water bottle, t-shirt, hat, and a sailing logbook to complete as part of the program.

Parents/caregivers have the option to join any session and/or the overnight excursion free of charge as well. Since going on a boat may be a new experience for participants and their families, we provide this option in order to ensure that parents feel comfortable with the experience for their children. Free transportation to and from the tall ships is also available for those who need it. The pick-up and drop-off location is conveniently located at 325 N Neptune Ave, Wilmington, 90744.

Program Details

This is a program overview. Specific dates are listed below, followed by FAQs.

Session 1 – Introduction to Sailing a Tall Ship: The Youth Ambassadors learn how to set sails, climb up the rigging, navigate the ship, and other important maritime skills.

Session 2 – Lessons in Marine Ecology: The Youth Ambassadors explore various science stations to introduce them to marine biology, water chemistry, marine pollution, human impacts, and the upstream ecological connections that exist in the watershed.

Session 3 – Marine Career Paths: Guest speakers join us to share about their experiences in various maritime areas. Youth Ambassadors will also have an opportunity to ask questions regarding specific careers/vocations in maritime, science, education, recreation, and conservation industries.

Overnight Session – The Weekend Voyage: During this three-day, two-night trip, Youth Ambassadors sail to Catalina Island. On this voyage, they are introduced to water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, as well as hiking the island. They sleep onboard the ship and participate in various activities that are required to operate a complex, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. This includes an opportunity for each student to have a turn at the helm, as well as hands-on practice in navigation, maneuvering, laying aloft to furl and unfurl the sails, keeping the vessel ship-shape, and cooking at sea with our deckhands. All meals will be provided.

Please Note: Sessions 1, 2 and 3 must be completed in order to participate in the Weekend Voyage.

How does this benefit my child?

Youth Ambassadors will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the program, which can be used on college, job, internship and scholarship applications. They will log enough hours to ensure that they are on their way to future maritime qualifications. This program also gives the Youth Ambassadors hands-on experience with subjects like chemistry, biology, marine biology, and physics. Many of our participants are inspired to pursue maritime or science-based careers or vocations.

Questions? Please contact Jemma Kennedy at 310.833.6055 or jemma@lamitopsail.org

This program is funded by the Outdoor Equity Grants Program, created through AB 209 and administered by California State Parks, Office of Grants and Local Services.

Sample Schedules

All sessions embark from the Port of Los Angeles.

Sample Schedule

Session 1: Introduction to Sailing
October 15, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 2: Marine Ecology
October 22, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 3: Maritime Careers
November 5, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Weekend Voyage to Catalina Island
March 22-24, 2024
Departure on 3/22/24 at 5:00 PM
Arrival on 3/24/24 at 2:00 PM

Sample Schedule

Session 1: Introduction to Sailing
November 12, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 2: Marine Ecology
November 19, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 3: Maritime Careers
December 3, 2023
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Weekend Voyage to Catalina Island
April 5-7, 2024
Departure on 4/5/24 at 5:00 PM
Arrival on 4/7/24 at 2:00 PM

Sample Schedule

Session 1: Introduction to Sailing
February 18, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 2: Marine Ecology
February 25, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 3: Maritime Careers
March 10, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Weekend Voyage to Catalina Island
May 17-19, 2024
Departure on 5/17/24 at 5:00 PM
Arrival on 5/19/24 at 2:00 PM

Sample Schedule

Session 1: Introduction to Sailing
March 17, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 2: Marine Ecology
March 24, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 3: Maritime Careers
April 7, 2024
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Weekend Voyage to Catalina Island
June 14-16, 2024
Departure on 6/14/24 at 5:00 PM
Arrival on 6/16/24 at 2:00 PM

FAQ’s

What is required for my child to participate?

Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors of Wilmington is open to youth ages 12-18 who reside in or attend school in Wilmington. In addition, sessions 1, 2 and 3 must be completed in order to participate in the three-day Weekend Voyage.

What safety training does your crew have?

Safety is the most important factor when anyone is aboard our ships. Our crew are first aid, CPR and lifeguard certified. All crew, staff and volunteers have completed a U.S. Department of Justice background check, including fingerprinting, and have completed Youth Protection Training.

What are the COVID safety practices?

To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all our campers, staff, and volunteers, we follow all Los Angeles County guidelines regarding COVID safety protocols.

Is there swimming involved?

Swimming is encouraged under well-established safety protocols, but individual participation will depend on the comfort level of each Youth Ambassador. Swimming will initially take place at a calm beach, where we will observe camper comfort with the water. Life jackets, wet suits and floatation devices will be available and encouraged. Our crew members are also lifeguard-certified.

What should Youth Ambassadors bring for the Weekend Voyage?

We will provide a detailed list of what to bring prior to the Weekend Voyage. This includes a soft-sided duffle bag, clothing and footwear for the ship and shore, a hat, water bottle, toiletries, sunscreen, sea-sickness remedies and/or personal medications (as required), flashlight, journal and/or reading material, and bedding (sleeping bag or blanket and pillow).

Download a printable program overview, including FAQs: English | Español

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