"This experience has allowed me to see myself as a more independent person who can get things done efficiently. I also see myself as a much stronger person who can listen and pay attention to what adults tell me. I now realize that life is much easier when you cooperate and work as a team. I will apply my new skills into my life when I get back to main land."
"When you were about our age, didn't you like hands-on activities rather than sitting in a long tedious classroom? Spirit is very hands-on, just putting up the sails and sailing make us work and learn. Even if you don't know it, Spirit of Bermuda is your second home and school. From the moment you wake up, there's your classroom."
"I felt so proud of myself I felt as if I could scream at the top of my lungs! I don’t know why I didn’t do this in the past. Well maybe it’s because I haven’t been on a sailboat before. This tells me that you can do anything if you try it. Sometimes you do well and other times you don’t, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying."
"I never thought I would go a whole week without eating junk food. I am very surprised at myself for doing that. I am also proud of putting up with not eating junk food."
"A good leader is someone who is respectful. They always set a good example for those who follow. They work hard and they are responsible. Leaders can be any age, any size, any gender. Leaders do not sit back and watch you work. They work as hard as you are working."
"The main sail is the biggest so it took harder work and teamwork. It wouldn’t get done if we didn’t all help. When we are at school there is nothing to work on as a team, but out here on the boat we need to work as a team to get our jobs done."
"My goal for tomorrow is to be stronger. To help me accomplish this goal I will be exercising more often and putting effort in it and practicing. I’m not aiming to be perfect, I’m just trying my best."
"I think that the sloop is very fun and a good opportunity to learn new things. The crewmembers are very nice and this opportunity is very different from any I have ever had before. I am glad that they chose to make this an opportunity for all of the middle-schoolers."
"I think people would prefer to be in a setting like this instead of school because instead of listening all the time, you can actually do and learn in a setting like this. You do things hand- on here and have fun while learning."
"I feel that some of the things I do on the ship make me a little more of a man. Asking people if they need help I think made me more of a man. I think being responsible for my stuff and others’ stuff made me a man. I think doing my work first before doing anything else makes me a man. It takes a lot to be a man- but on this boat I think I am accomplishing it."
"My experience aboard the Spirit of Bermuda has helped me become more of a man than a boy in many ways. It has taught me how to cooperate with others. It has showed me that I don’t need sugars and sweets. It has showed me that it is good to help others. Lastly, and most importantly, it has made me more respectful and responsible."
"Something I found challenging was leaving my laptop, phone and family. I miss my family but since I am out here I am having fun and am associating myself with girls I usually don’t associate with. I have to say we have all changed and learned more about each other in less than a week."
"During my time on this voyage, I have learned that I am capable of being a leader because of how my crew worked together when I was a watch leader."
"My experience on this voyage has been completely life changing….. This trip has taught me not only about my leadership potential but also about me as a whole….. it was a journey and a great experience. I would definitely do it again."