We seek to augment and support the goals set out in the California Department of
Educations’ Content Standards for History-Social Science, by providing a learning
experience that is founded upon, and encompasses, the resources and activities
that are strongly emphasized by the State board.
In the context of preparing them for their voyage, the classroom teacher can use
our manual as a guide to create lesson plans, not simply on the history-social science
curriculum, but also math, science, English Language Arts and Visual and
Performing Arts.
The Age of Sail program was developed to engage the students through a challenging
and memorable encounter with history, using both the tools of experiential
education, and the artifacts of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical
Park. By living the life of a sailor, aboard the last examples we have of the working
sail vessels of California, the students will gain a better understanding of not
simply the local and state history, but also the concept of historical empathy; the
skill critical to a meaningful understanding and evaluation of the past.
As with any working vessel, the students need to perform as a disciplined and reliable
crew, and the process of learning about themselves and each other while
striving to reach that point, is one that most teachers believe to be the most valuable
outcome of the program. In immediate and tangible ways, the students learn
the value of critical thinking, active listening, problem solving, teamwork, selfrespect
and leadership.
Tall Sailor Roles and Responsibilities
Tall Sailor's role -pre-voyage:
You should consult with the teacher regarding pre-trip preparations. Depending
how integrated the program is into the classroom curriculum, you may have an
opportunity to help train your crew prior to the voyage. If you are asked and are
willing to do so, attendance at one of our monthly Teacher/Parent workshops
will provide you with the information you will need.
The minimal Tall Sailor preparation consists of reading this packet thoroughly and
asking for clarification on the anything that’s unclear before you arrive.
Tall Sailor's role -on board
Once your crew arrives on Hyde Street Pier, YOU ARE HERE FOR SAFETY
ONLY. The mates and lads need to start taking responsibility as soon as possible.
If you stand back from the moment they are safely assembled on the pier, the program
will run more smoothly for both you and the lads.
The program is for the children. Your role, once on board, is to stand back and
monitor safety. Our program starts with simple tasks, then builds in complexity.
Early in the program the lads will be very nervous. They will forget port from
starboard, who to call Sir. Please be prepared for this; we are. This will be a frustrating
time for you. The lads will ask for help at every turn. Do not help them!
They need to work through the nervousness and realize that they are more accomplished
than they thought. Once the program begins, please do not talk to the students.
You will be reprimanded by the staff if you talk to or help the lads.
Your Job
It is your responsibility to insure the safety of your assigned crew. In order to do
this you will need to follow them wherever they go and understand our safety
rules. If you see them breaking a safety rule or putting themselves or someone
else in danger, you need to say loudly, " AVAST." Avast means "freeze or stop." It
is not your responsibility to explain the infraction, they should figure it out for
themselves. If they do not respond quickly enough, or in way that satisfies you,
yell avast again. The instructors are listening for several “avasts” in succession,
and they will be right over to your crew to investigate.
However if a child is immediately about to injure him or herself, please disregard
the avast rule and intervene bodily to prevent the accident.
If you need to talk to one of the instructors about a safety concern, developing
problem, personal situation, or about something that is bothering you ask for a
"PRIVATE WORD.” When the instructor has a moment, he/she will step out of
character and talk with you privately. Alternatively, you can whisper your concerns
to the teacher (known as the Guest of the Captain). He/she has freedom of
movement throughout the program and will be able to immediately notify the instructors.
Basic Safety Rules
No running
No hands in pockets or sleeves. (no gloves, except at night watch)
No sitting, leaning or kneeling unless given permission by a ship's officer.
Taking care when working with ropes, (this will be explained during the program).
Always be on the foredeck with the lads.
Staying together as a crew.
Tall Sailors found helping the lads will be "removed" from their crew and given
time to "regroup". We do this under the guise of brass polishing and other menial
tasks. With each "offense", the task will become more tedious and unpleasant!
You see, we are here to teach your children, not monitor your activities. In addition,
the lads see that rules are meant for everyone, not just them.
Basic Rules for Tall Sailors
-No one may leave the Pier once the program begins.( The program runs from
2:00 PM to 9:00 AM.
-Do not talk to the lads.
-Stay with your assigned crew at all times.
-No contraband allowed on board. (including phones, beepers, food, candy, tape
players, cameras, alcoholic beverages, recreational drugs, umbrellas, sunglasses
unless they are prescription)
-No sitting or leaning, except when given permission by an instructor.
-Keep your hands out of your pockets and sleeves.
-No going below deck or leaving the ship without permission
-No phone calls during the program
-No photography except by Historian
Hints for a successful Program:
"Keep you mind open, keep your mouth closed and keep your hands
out of your pocket"
-Veteran Tall Sailor
1. Use your imagination! Allow yourself to become immersed in the program.
Help us maintain an authentic environ-ment by keeping "in character" throughout
the program's duration.
2. Follow the standard rules of the vessels. (The Captain and First Mate will review
these at the start of the program.)
3. Remember this is a living history program and the instructors are acting in an
attempt to create an authentic environment.
4. Do not pack your personal luggage or lunch with your child’s. Please give your
child's medication to the teacher.
If there is an emergency, the crew may be signaled by a rapid series of bells (very
different from bell time), or you may hear the ship’s fire alarm. If you hear an
alarm, calmly confirm that your entire crew is accounted for and proceed to the
main hatch. As soon as all participants are accounted for, the order will be given
to leave the ship. Once off the vessel, the crew, led by the Doctor, will assemble
near the gangway to the Eureka. If your crew is not on the vessel, go directly to
the gangway of the Eureka when the alarm sounds.
The most important thing to remember in an emergency is to remain calm. The
staff are fully trained to deal with potential emergencies
Student Illness
Let an instructor know. The lad will be sent to the Doctor, who will evaluate the
situation. The teacher will be informed of his/her status. If he/she is truly sick, the
Captain, Doctor and teacher will decide on the appropriate treatment.
Most of the time "illness" is nervousness and homesickness. We have many strategies
for children to work through this. Sometimes, the most important lesson a
child learns from our program is the beginning of establishing independence.
Throughout this experience, please remember this proverb:
I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand,
If you have any questions or concerns about your role, please call! We would
rather clear up any questions and false expectations prior to the day of the program.
If you would like to come and observe a portion of a program, please call
and we will arrange for a staff member to accompany you onto the ship. Our number
is (415) 215-6291 or (415) 292-6664.
Our staff is available to come to your site to help with training. There is a fee for
this service. In addition, we offer low-cost Teacher/Tall Sailor trainings on Saturdays
throughout the school year, please ask your teacher for details.