Every Kid in a Ship

“Cast the main sail and swab the deck!” is the cry you’d hear if you were traveling on the historic three-masted ship Balclutha during its supply runs all over the world from the 1800s through the 1930s. Now Balclutha represents the history of the shipping industry and the people that worked during that time. The National Park Service, The North Face, and Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined me in January to host 50 fourth-grade students from Hoover Elementary School at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in California where Balclutha is docked today. Here’s a cool fun fact: did you know that back in 1998, National Park Trust helped the park restore the deck of the Balclutha?

The day started off with The North Face (TNF) athlete ambassadors and endurance runners, Dylan Bowman and Paddy O’Leary, who led activity stations and shared their passion for the outdoors. They engaged the fourth graders in a fun warm up and relay race to help inspire them to be active wherever they are. They were also welcomed by TNF’s Rachel Gray and Park Superintendent Kevin Hendricks who, along with the TNF volunteers, presented every student with their Every Kid in a Park pass which provides them and their families free entrance to any federal land or water until September. Learn how to obtain one for your fourth grader here!

The students not only learned about the different ships at the park but also about the biology under them!

Safety is important when near water so everyone put on personal flotation devices. We then laid on our bellies (the park program’s name is “Belly Biology” – get it?) to find sea creatures that live near the docks and ships in the harbor. Some even live ON the docks and the ships!

An enormous Buddy Bison thank you to The North Face for sponsoring this event and the four other Every Kid in the Park celebrations across the country.

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