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In Their Eyes, You’re A Hero Already

Do you remember someone who had a big impact on your life? To Tall ShipsCAN youth, you’re not only an expert but also a font of wisdom and stories. You’re larger than life. We’d like you to share what you know!

We invite you to join Looking Astern to Chart a Course, a chance to mentor and train young tall ship sailors. If you know about seamanship and navigation, carpentry, mechanical, electrical, firefighting, cooking, teaching or any other valuable shipboard skill, our youth are eager to learn from you.


We’ll get to know your expertise, then work with you to chunk out your knowledge into steps. Those steps can each be a learning session. Then, we’ll match your skillset with youth needs. Most learning sessions will be via video link, mediated by Tall ShipsCAN staff. Depending on your location, there may be opportunity for hands-on, in-person learning, ideally aboard a ship!

Who we’RE looking for?

While anyone with experience is welcome, we’re looking to match our young sailors with people 55+ who can make time for mentorship. We especially welcome sailors and tradespeople, Indigenous Peoples, and veterans. But, if you are a Canadian who wants to make a difference in a young person’s life, we want you! Please join this inter-generational training and mentorship opportunity.

Want to do more than mentor?

Find out how you can play a pivotal role on our Organizing Committee and sub-committees.

Andy Soper
Sail maker

I still remember meeting up with my mentor, Jim, in England and how much that meant for me and him. I looked up to people in my youth and that’s how I found where I am now. Youngsters are a fabulous group who learn from each other, but they may not necessarily gravitate toward elders. But a program like this would allow it and be beneficial for both groups. I can learn just as much from the youth as they can learn from me, and that goes for anyone else joining the program.

Mark Baker
Small Vessel Machinery Operator & Black Jack Captain

Part of citizenship means giving back to the community in which we live. For me, it’s the tall ship sailing community. With that comes a certain amount of pride in having experiences, skills, and knowledge that few people nowadays can say they have.

When I was growing up, just about every activity I was involved in, outside of school, was led by volunteers who were passing on their encouragement and knowledge to the younger generation. Now, I am passing on sailing experiences to the young people who have found their way to tall ships.

I have been involved in tall ship sailing with Bytown Brigantine, and on other ships, for many years and have seen many young faces come and go from the program. It’s amazing to see the potential of the next generation of sailors, and it’s a privilege to be a part of their training, even a mentor; and not only the seamanship, but I also hope their experiences help them better themselves; the challenge, self-reliance, and discipline, that we see as they grow, or may not always see, but serves them in the future, whether sailing or not. To be a part of their growth is a reward unto itself for me; and furthermore, I stay engaged in the community and I stay active, sailing when I can.

Mentor Signup

To volunteer as a mentor, please complete the form below. We will be in touch with you shortly!

What expertise can you bring to the committee (check all that apply)
What is your level of interest in engagement?
Play a pivotal role in Looking Astern

Looking Astern to Chart a Course is a Tall ShipsCAN project that benefits not only our youth members, but also our senior members. Youth learn important skills, while people 55+ stay active and socially connected. The entire experience bridges the age gap to foster inter-generational training and mentorship.

Program Objectives
  • Create a mentorship program, linking people 55+ and youth to pass on valuable skills
  • Respond to two calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report, specifically targeting tall ship sailing in Canada, with consultation and engagement of Indigenous elders
  • Gather video footage of tall ships sailing to create a shared video

To join the Looking Astern to Chart a Course Committee is to enrich the sail training community while helping improve the lives of seniors. As a Committee member, you will help create a richer life for Canadian Sail Training through education. You do not need to know about sail training to join the committee.