Ashley Hall students sail hundreds of miles in leadership program

(source: Live 5 News)
(source: Live 5 News)(Live 5 News)
Updated: Oct. 26, 2019 at 10:44 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) -This week, high school girls from Ashley Hall traded their classroom for a ship as they sailed hundreds of miles to learn about leadership and seafaring along the way.

Despite storm delays early on the trip, the girls successfully sailed a 150-ton Tall Ship called the Liberty Clipper down the Atlantic Coast more than 400 miles from Norfolk Virginia.

“This year the wind was up, there were many swells, many waves,” the trip’s coordinator, Roscoe Davis said. “Despite that they still came on deck and did their duty and they powered through it and that’s really part of the experience.”

The 12th annual voyage was a part of Ashley Hall’s competitive Offshore Leadership Program which selects girls aged 15 to 18 to participate in the elective that teaches them how to run the ship, navigate waters and work together to pull it all off.

Alison Parks, a school instructor who also completed the trip with students in 2016, said the program is built to push students out of their comfort zone.

“The ultimate goal is to really develop their leadership style and to help them understand that there are different leadership styles out there and they’re each bringing something different to the table,” Parks said.

Dorothy Fort had no long-distance sailing experience before boarding the Liberty Clipper. When the ship entered the Charleston harbor, she said she felt excited to see her family again, but sad to leave the sea.

“I think it is really a confidence-building thing and especially Ashley Hall offers it,” Fort said. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity and I think every person should go on this.”

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