The Tabor Boy Project

Please tell us about your sail training experiences

I am currently working on a very exciting international sail training project and need to help some people not as fortunate as we were to understand the experience. The best place I could think of developing this information is The Tabor Boy Project. I'm looking for contributions from as many different people and eras as possible. Hope you can help.

How and why did you originally get involved?

What was the actual experience like?

Assuming that you have already graduated, although that is not the case for current XO Chris Henry + crew, what does the experience mean to you today?

How have you benefited from the experience? It would be great to have some specific examples.

What makes sail training a unique youth development experience? What makes it work?

What were the best and worst parts of the experience?

If you could change anything, what would it be?

Please contribute anything else that you feel would be valuable to help explain the value and power of sail training to the uninitiated.

I think it would be great to post all of your sail training experiences below but feel free to send me an email at if you prefer to keep your thoughts confidential.

I really appreciate all of you joining The Tabor Boy Project and helping with this research. I will update you as things develop.

Fair Winds,
Peter A. Mello
Chief Storytelling Officer
The Tabor Boy Project
t. +1.508.264.5629

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Ok, to start off with, How do I get a cool title like Chief Storytelling Officer?

How and why did you originally get involved?
For me it was as simple as going on the freshman orientation cruise in Maine. My parents had been pushing me to row Crew, and there were others that wanted me to play Football. I saw it as an oppurtunity to experience something different than what any of my friends had. For me, I have always liked to find my own way through life, and in a way, Tabor Boy was the road less traveled
What was the actual experience like?
This can be answered so many ways. I feel that the two largest portions of sail training for a teenager are simple: People and Responsibility. The bonds that you form with your fellow crewmembers are even tighter than your dormmates. The experiences you share, and the trust that you place in others, and they in you, is found in few learning environments. The amount of responsibility that is progressively applied to you can in some ways be mind blowing. Most kids are just trying to remember to bring the correct books home to do their schoolwork, and I was navigating a schooner hundreds of miles from shore.
Assuming that you have already graduated, although that is not the case for current XO Chris Henry + crew, what does the experience mean to you today?
Fond memories.
How have you benefited from the experience? It would be great to have some specific examples.
Leadership. Accountability. Responsibility to self and others. Organization. How to deal with time dependent situations.
Leading by example. How can I stick someone stacking chain when I won't do it. (We all loved that)
Accountability runs rampant in the military. Blamestorming is frequent when things go wrong, but if you plan well enough, you might prevent the issue, or can at least intelligently answer the hard questions.
Organization starting from keeping your rack stowed to making a list of steps to accomplish a larger task.
No one in the military, business, stock market can live without knowing how to deal with time dependent issues. Be it launching a missle, selling a stock when it peaks, or getting a quote to a customer as promised, it all matters.
Here is the blurb from my resume:
Tabor Boy is a 100ft Dutch pilot schooner converted to be a Sail Training classroom. Crewed by students and one professional captain, this setting instills many principles that can be carried into adult life. These include safety, responsibility for self and others in high risk situations, team building, communications, ability to make decisions under physical and mental duress, along with seamanship, and navigation.
What makes sail training a unique youth development experience? What makes it work?
One issue that I have come across in my time in the Navy, and in my personal life, is that some adults don't understand responsibility and cause and effect when it comes to task accomplishment. This sounds odd, but you would be amazed at how incompetent people can be when given a job that is more than sitting behind a desk and shuffling papers. Sail Training gives you a firm understanding that if you don't do your job, someone can get hurt, fall overboard, etc. At 14 years old, its kind of a tall order to safely sail a schooner, perform maintenance on equipment, cook for 22, etc. I think that some people excel from the start when dealing with responsibility such as this, while others take a liking to it, and others despise it. This makes sail training not the best learning environment for all, but can make many better for having done it.

What were the best and worst parts of the experience?
Best. Teaching others and the places we went. There is no feeling better than seeing someone accomplish a task that you taught them. Travel was great as well :)
Worst. Being a boarder and on schooner crew meant alot of time away from family.

Stew Melville
Lead Bovine Scatologist
617 840 2420

Great launch to this project! Thanks so much for this contribution.

Regarding my status as Chief Storytelling Officer, it took years of hard work and discipline to reach this high paying and celebrity position. Based on your great contributions and in the power granted to me by Ning, I dub thee Co-Chief Storytelling Officer. Go forth and tell sea stories and the check's in the mail. ;-)

Seriously, thanks again for the great contribution.

Peter A. Mello
Co-Chief Storytelling Officer and Junior Bovine Scatologist
I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of weeks on the Tabor Boy during the senior trip to the Bahamas...looking back I regret not taking full advantage of the full program. My short stay aboard taught me some very important values, such as giving a task 110%. Doing your best just is not enough aboard her, you have others who depend on you and your work ethics.
Capt Glaeser was probably the most influencial instructor that I times you loved him and at times you wanted to toss the Ol' Salt over board....just kidding.
Whether at sea or at practice for your respective athletic team, as if dodging the Pit Bull like prowess of Coach Duffy you had to keep an eye out for the Capt....I remember seeing him show up as a freshman during hockey practice and it seemed as if everyones pace and aggressiveness increased 10 fold. On board the Tabor Boy he instilled a certain confidence amongst everyone blessed with the opportunity to sail her. He taught you to take responsiblity and ownership of everything that you do, and in some cases that you don't have anything to do with.
With all respect to the current Capt and staff when I look back and think of the Tabor Boy, there is one constant image of admiration and adornement and that is Capt Glaeser.
Thank you Capt Glaeser

Dave Davidson '86
Peter are you still working on this project?
Hi Heather,

I'm not working on this particular one anymore but I am constantly working on similar projects so if you wanted to share your experiences that would be great. If there's something else about this project that you have an interest in, please let me know.

Hope all's well.

Fair Winds and Happy Holidays!




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