In 2017 Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training purchased the schooner Perception to fulfill our mission of teaching traditional sailing methods to youth survivors of military heroes, grieving teens, and veterans and their families. We intend to provide a memorable and life-changing experience to our clients absolutely tuition-free, with no financial burden upon their families. Those of us on the board of Michigan Challenge know from experience that learning a new skill, being in the company of friends who understand and have had similar experiences, and being with nature on a quiet sailboat on a breezy summer day can have a tremendous effect on one’s state of mind and outlook on life. Youth who have experienced the death of a loved one at an early age live daily with a constant reminder of the tragedy that has affected their family and their world. An experience such as the one we offer gives them the opportunity to get away from that environment for a while. Being on a classic tall ship can transcend time and widen their world of experience. It is easier to see one’s part in the universe, rather than the narrow world of grief.
Perception is a 68-foot steel-hulled schooner launched in 1984 from plans designed by the famous naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff. She is gaff-rigged, and her masts stand 70 feet tall. She is fitted with teak woodwork throughout. The previous owner, a prominent east coast architect, sailed her from New Zealand to Australia, Brazil, the Galapagos, the Caribbean, and Portugal. After years of sailing the world, she is now changing worlds for grieving youth, veterans, and veterans’ families.
Our 2020 summer season was impacted by Covid, but the video below of our 2019 season will give you an idea of what we’re all about! Right now we are planning for our 2021 programs with teens of military and veterans’ families. Much is still unknown because of the pandemic, but we hope to get back to having kids and veterans onboard soon!