For over 35 years, Schooner has brought Long Island Sound alive in the minds of children and adults throughout Connecticut through summer camps, classroom education, public sails and community boating. Please read on for the latest update from our Board of Directors and discover how you can catch the spirit of Schooner.
Dear Schooner Friends,
It’s been said the hardest work is done in dry dock, that place where a ship goes to be inspected, repaired and made safe and seaworthy to sail again. For the past year, Schooner has been in dry dock. The work to inspect and restore the organization has been hard and necessary, and we could not have done it without you—our loyal friends and supporters. Thank you for helping us stay true to our core mission: to promote environmental awareness and personal growth through educational experiences in marine science, sailing, and the history of Long Island Sound and its watershed.
In the fall of 2014 Schooner was foundering. Our public sails, camps, and educational programs were well-regarded and popular. But they did not generate enough income and led us to accumulate significant debt. In January 2015, we made one of our most difficult decisions: to sell the flagship schooner Quinnipiack, for so long the heart of our programming. Our bank forgave the outstanding loan, enabling Schooner to sell the Quinnipiack to its original owner and return it Downeast where it now cruises the waters around Bar Harbor, Maine. We also made the tough decision to suspend summer camp programs and focus all our efforts on strengthening the organization for the long haul.
For the past year, our Board of Directors has been working hard to rebuild Schooner so that it can continue its mission to connect youth and their families from Greater New Haven to Long Island Sound and its watershed. We have made important progress:
The hard work continues, especially now as we anticipate offering the 36th season of marine and maritime summer camps on Long Island Sound. Our progress to date and the ongoing strategic planning will get us part of the way. We need your investment to leave dry dock and sail again. Our goal is to make sure that summer camps—the lifeblood of Schooner—are strong and ready to run in June. The camp programs are essential to area families, serve our core purpose of educating local youth about the Sound, and are also our primary source of revenue. If Schooner cannot offer camps this coming summer, we will not have what we need to survive in the years ahead.
Please give as generously as you are able by donating online or by sending your check to us at the address below:
60 South Water Street
New Haven, CT 06519
Schooner, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
As I reflect on the hard work of this past year and the hard work that still lies ahead, I am reminded of a quote by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”
I hope we can count on you to take the helm and play your part so that Schooner can sail and serve the community now and for the future.
With heartfelt thanks,
Robert S. Frew, President of the Board
Schooner Board of Directors
Kyle Pedersen - President
Mary Beth Decker - Vice President
Tony Scierka - Treasurer
Ruth E. Swanton - Secretary
Dennis M. Danaher
Robert S. Frew
Schooner Inc's Mission
Schooner's mission is to promote Environmental Literacy & Character Development through Education and Public Access to Long Island Sound and its watershed. Our programs reflect this mission as well as our core values.