Fifth graders at Fairmeadow participate in an overnight field trip called Age of Sail. The idea is that they are sailers on a ship (the Balclutha) in 1906. They all have jobs and are put into teams ahead of time to practice. Ezra was on the rigger crew. Bruce went along on the trip as a chaperone, but the whole idea of the trip is to have the kids be independent and solve problems on their own, so there is very little interaction with the chaperones. The ship is staffed with actors playing the parts of captain, first mate, etc., all with distinct personalities. Some are mean, some are silly.
The trip is a big deal at school and a bit of a rite of passage as they gain independence before entering middle school next year. I took a couple pictures while we waited for the bus to pick up Ezra’s class. Here are Ezra and Henry milling around.
And here’s Ezra with his giant pack heading to the bus.
Luckily one of the chaperones was tasked with photographing the trip, so I have some pictures. Here’s the Balclutha.
Here are the chaperones being shown to their bunks.
Here are the kids being introduced to the ship and getting some preliminary instructions. As I understand it, the captain had asked one of the crew to find ten 20-year-olds to hire, but he had come back with twenty 10-year-olds instead.
Here’s Ezra and the rigger crew.
Here’s the group with the captain.
All the groups had to do a night watch, which was probably one of the hardest things of the trip. Ezra’s shift was from 2:30 to 3:45 so he went to sleep and woke up to do watch with his group. Luckily he was able to go back to sleep afterwards. Here’s a shot of his friend Emerson on night watch.
Here’s the rigger crew at dawn hoisting someone up in the bosun chair.
This one is the teacher in the bosun chair. Apparently the class was negotiating for better conditions (less homework, more iPad time). Bruce said she was a really good sport.
And one last shot of the crew taking down the Fairmeadow flag before heading back home.
Ezra loved the trip even though he got in trouble a few times for stepping over the lines (ropes) on the ship. We’d heard ahead of time that there would be yelling and that kids and chaperones would get in trouble. It didn’t seem to bother Ezra at all.