Our Board purchased the schooner Perception to provide Tuition Free Sailing Adventures for Gold Star Teens, grieving youth, and other worthy youth groups, which members may nominate.  Sailing adventures are 4-day, 3-night cruises out of Northport for 5 youth and a youth counselor.  Five weeks in June and July are available for these adventures.  Our young sailors will have the opportunity to experience team building, leadership, and character building in a fun, healing environment, and develop enduring friendships with those who have faced similar traumas.  Those who have experienced loss will feel the calming effects of our beautiful Great Lakes, a feeling of being at one with nature, a sense of one’s place in the universe, and the satisfaction of mastering the skills of sailing a tall ship.  

Volunteers, veterans and their families may sail on Perception Saturdays and Sundays from 1 PM to 3 PM throughout the sailing season when she is in Traverse City or Northport.  They may bring guests if space is available.   Veteran sailors, landlubbers, and those who would like to learn to sail a schooner are all welcome.  Friendly and anxiety-free training is available from our paid captains.

Volunteers are asked to contribute a minimum of 15 volunteer hours.  This may be in the form of maintenance work, working with kids, skilled clerical, financial, fundraising, or technical help.  

If you’re interested, click here and tell us about yourself!  https://michiganchallenge.org/volunteer/

Care to donate?  Click here: https://michiganchallenge.org/donate/

Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training is a 501(c)3 nonprofit
EIN 81-3333441

Volunteer  Information

Please read to learn more about getting involved and sign up below.

Volunteers should be in good health to undergo the challenges of working on Perception. Sailing risks include seasickness, rope burns, strenuous work raising sails and anchors, exposure to sun, wind, rain, hail, and heavy weather, and danger from materials dropped from aloft. Close quarters and minimal privacy can also be expected when staying on the boat.

The off-season risks may include: climbing a ladder safely, working on the deck 10 feet off the ground, and the usual hazards around a work space.

Under no circumstances are volunteers to work under the influences of legal or illegal consciousness-altering drugs or alcohol, or possess such items on board, as they may compromise judgment and the safety of all aboard.

Volunteers who work with youth on board will be required to undergo a background check. Youth must be treated in a caring, non-judgmental manner with the understanding that they have suffered the loss of a parent, and that they have joined us to experience the joy of sailing and the companionship of their peers.

Sign up to be a Volunteer!

Email Address
Street Number/PO Box
Tell us about your interests, what you would like to do at Michigan Challenge, what experiences you've had, or how you'd like to contribute.

Code of Ethics–The Key to a Happy Boat

  • Respect the chain of command.  The acting Captain has final approval of all events onboard
  • Do everything possible to achieve excellence in conduct and deliver the highest quality service and training. Protect Michigan Challenge’s resources and equipment. Show respect for volunteers in language and actions, and through the exercise of fundamental human courtesy and a respect for diversity of all people.  Treat fellow volunteers and youth with respect, without regard to race, sex, religion, age, disability, or national origin.  Strive to maintain continuous and positive communication between volunteers, members, and guests.
  • Set aside conflicts with others and respect privacy, confidentiality and personal exchange of information. Support and help all volunteers so that they can achieve a high level of success.
  • Know and obey laws, statutes, and regulations pertaining to my position. Accept full responsibility and consequences for any violation. Honor contracts, agreements, and assigned responsibilities
  • Improve public understanding of Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training, and encourage people to visit mighiganchallenge.org
  • Behave in an ethical and safe manner while carrying out all responsibilities associated with Michigan Challenge’s volunteer program. Assume responsibility for the safety of volunteers and guests. Use all resources available to provide a safe learning environment following USCG mandated criteria for all volunteers. Use Michigan Challenge training materials and resources in proper and authorized manner.


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