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.
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
- 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
Y2S Ambassador, 2021
2022 WEX Placements
In 2022 we are offering the opportunity to do work experience placements (WEX) within YouthToSea. In accordance with the B.C. Ministry of Education, we offer immersive, inspiring, and valuable WEX experience for our participants specialized in science-based career paths. Participants will get one on one time to work with YouthToSea Program Specialist where they can discuss and reflect upon their own performances. Placements YouthToSea will be offering 5 WEX opportunities this year.
YouthToSea’s Marine Survey Placement will give students hands on experience conducting scientific monitoring projects. Students will learn how to set up a research project, conduct environmental surveys and identify a variety of marine invertebrates. Students will complete 120 hours of volunteer work during this placement.
YouthToSea’s Wetland Survey Placement will give students hands on experience conducting scientific monitoring projects. Students will learn how to set up a research project, conduct environmental surveys and identify a variety of wetland invertebrates, plants, and birds. Students will complete 120 hours of volunteer work during this placement.
In collaboration with Sea Smart, this placement offers participants an opportunity to work in the ever changing, fast paced and highly adaptive work environment that is summer camps. Summer camps offer many amazing educational experiences, and this placement will involve participants (with assistance from a YouthToSea Program Specialist and Sea Smart Program Staff) planning and leading one ocean-based activity in their 2-week placement. Each 2-week placement includes one shadow week where participants will learn the ins and outs of summer camps and one week where they will actively be involved in programming and transitional activities. YouthToSea Program Specialists will be onsite once a week to review and discuss each participant’s progress.
The following two placements are 5 Month placements (May – September) and students will need to be available for multiple dates each month. We understand that life is full of surprises/commitments and will work with the students to create a schedule that works for them
YouthToSea’s Communications Placement will give students hands on experience on with content creation through photography, videography, editing and blog writing. This placement will involve attending YouthToSea events documenting activities and creating posts and materials for our social media accounts and website. Events include a variety of outdoor excursions and workshops. Students will complete 120 hours of volunteer work during this placement.
YouthToSea’s Circular Economy/Shoreline Cleanup Placement will give students hands on experience on working in a non-profit ocean conservation environment. This placement will involve creating a research plan, attending, and hosting shoreline cleanups, sorting material to send to plastic shredding facilities and analyzing data to create infographics. Students will complete 120 hours of volunteer work during this placement.
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!
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
Y2S Ambassador, 2021
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
There will be 80 participants in the 2022 YouthToSea cohort.
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.
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.
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.