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YouthToSea

A hands-on learning program that endeavours to unite youth to make a difference towards ocean conservation.

Service Projects and Work Experience that help inspire the next generation of ocean leaders

During their five-month program with YouthToSea, participants will gain invaluable experience through 3 key aspects of the program: (1) Immersive Learning Journeys (2) Skill Building Workshops, and (3) Ocean Service Projects.

Learning Journeys

Through experiential learning, Learning Journeys provide an opportunity in which youth can gain valuable knowledge and experience in science-based career paths. All Learning Journeys include a reflection component in which youth can express their thoughts and what they learned about during their experiences. All learning journeys are connected to Ocean Wise’s conservation strategy pillars: Climate Change, Unsustainable Resource Use and Pollution. Examples of past Learning Journeys include:

  • Kayak & Water Sampling: Kayak at Deep Cove and learn how to take water samples and analyze them for common water quality indicators
  • Sailing on the Providence Sail Boat: Board an 120 year old sail boat and learn about the many disciplines of oceanography.
  • Invasive Plant Pull: In collaboration with various community ecological societies, come learn about the effects of invasive species and their effects on the ecosystem.
  • Cheakamus Centre: Learn first hand about the importance of salmon and wild plants from the perspective of the Skwxwu7mesh nation.

Skill Building Workshops

YouthToSea hold monthly Workshops focusing on an array of topics. All workshops are designed for participants to build and develop soft skills that can be used in all aspects of life. They also bring a sense of community as well as build on confidence. Again experiential learning is key and we provide hands on activities and games to promote learning. The workshop topics in the past include:

  • Action Planning
  • Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution
  • University Applications
  • Resume Building
  • How to Write to a Politician

Ocean Service Projects

As part of this program, we encourage our participants to create their own ocean service project to address a conservation issue they see in their own community. The ocean service project can be whatever the student is interested in and Ocean Wise will provide resources to help with these projects. These include one on one mentorship and access to grant funding as well as connections to community partners to collaborate with. Ocean Service Projects are an opportunity for participants to exude their creativity and to demonstrate their passion towards conservation. Examples of service projects include: youth led shoreline cleanups, waste-free workshops, film screenings, facilitating school clubs, replenishing and re-cultivating school gardens and campaigning to make their schools single-use plastic free.

I'm definitely intrigued in volunteering more in wildlife management roles after this experience. It was so fulfilling and amazing to see the work our group accomplished over a couple hours, especially since it was very tiring and difficult sometimes

Anna, 15

Y2S Ambassador, 2021

YouthToSea has already absolutely exceeded my expectations, and this latest excursion sealed how lucky I am to have joined this group. Overall, this program is tailored to fit the kind of student who wants to explore with others [...] I genuinely can't thank everyone enough, from the leaders to the other attendees; from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Sophie

Y2S Ambassador, 2021

Program requirements for ambassadors

YouthToSea 2022 will run from May 2022 – September 2022. During this 5-month program youth will complete 120 volunteer hours through monthly excursions, skill building workshops and the creation of a community service project. Open to 15-18 year olds (Born May 1, 2004 – May 1, 2007).

Generally, each month there will be the opportunity for one full day excursion, one part-day workshop and one monthly group call online. The program also includes a 3 day, 2 night immersive learning journey at Camp Jubilee to begin their time at YouthToSea. This excursion is a chance for participants to get to know each other and the program. Attendance at YouthToSea Monthly Group Excursions is strongly encouraged to be able to meaningfully and successfully engage in the leadership program. Share your placement experience via whichever medium you prefer (ie. writing, photography, vlogging, podcasting, graphic design, etc.) Contribute meaningfully to your individual or collaborative action project to be presented at our end of year showcase.

Who can participate?

  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada.
  • Excursions and workshops take place in the Greater Vancouver Area so participants must be able to travel to the Lower Mainland regularly.
  • Must be 15-18 years of age (Born between May 1st 2004 – May 1st 2007)

*Applications will open April 12 2022 and Close April 24 2022. A link to the application form will be available on this page starting on April 12.

Youth to Sea has definitely been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Our service project, Schooling Fish, has evolved me in making it easier for me to step outside my comfort zone. I also connected with many amazing people and made experiences that’ll last a lifetime

Ronald, 16

Y2S Ambassador, 2021

Frequently asked questions

What is the time commitment?

During the program students are expected to complete 120 hours of volunteer service (this includes training, workshops, excursions and the multi-day service showcase). Because this is a funded program, students must commit to completing 120 hours of service before October 2022. This breaks down to between 10-12 hours per month after the overnight trip in May. Time commitments for the WEX Placements are outlined in their individual calendars.

Where will the program take place?

The majority of YouthToSea excursions and workshops will take place in the Lower Mainland. Youth from communities outside the lower mainland are welcome to apply but you will be expected to attend events based in Vancouver.

What kind of excursions are involved in YouthToSea?

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of opportunities. In the past YouthToSea has done events such as kayaking, sailing, snowshoeing, hiking, invasive species removal, planting, boating, wilderness first aid and marine surveys. Specific excursions are not guaranteed and subject to change. Skill building workshops include leadership skills, communication, action planning, mental health strategies and problem solving.

What if I’m part of my schools Work Experience Program?

The Ocean Wise Leadership Program can be used to fulfill the B.C. Curriculum Work Experience program. You can use the hours and experience gained at Ocean Wise to fulfill all the Work Experience requirements and our team will fill out all the employer sheets for you. Our 2022 program also includes several WEX specific placements.

How many participants are accepted in each cohort?

There will be 80 participants in the 2022 YouthToSea cohort.

What is the cost to participate?

This is a fully funded volunteer program and there is no cost to the participant. For all training the program covers offsite travel, food, accommodation, and certification expenses.

What kind of experience do I need?

This program is about giving youth professional work experience and development opportunities, so we do not have any pre-requisites to be part of the program. We hope students come with a desire to learn more about marine biology, education, leadership, as well as a passion for learning new skills.

What is the Ocean Service Project aspect?

As part of this program, we encourage students to create their own ocean service project to address a conservation issue they see in their own community. In the past students have run shoreline cleanups, led waste-free workshops, held film screenings, and campaigned to make their schools single-use plastic free to name a few. The ocean service project can be whatever the student is interested in. Click the button below for examples from the 2020/2021 cohort.

Still have questions?

Contact us at youth@ocean.org or call us at 604-659-3885 for more information.

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