Youth Maritime Programs

Our Goal

Our work with youth is at the center of our mission—to create powerful maritime experiences that educate and inspire people to adventure. We are teaching a whole new generation of sailors to appreciate our maritime heritage and preserve our traditions, while inspiring kids to discover their own adventures.

Summer Programs

Kids can experience maritime life in many ways, from rowboats and sailboats to boatbuilding and much more. We have a series of popular week-long sailing day camps for kids ages 5 to 16. Summer camps are divided into two programs—Messing About in Boats, for 5 to 10 year-olds, and Learn to Sail for 8 to 16 year-olds.

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School & Group Programs

We offer a variety of on-the-water, classroom, and boatshop programs for school groups. Schools can pick from several options and design a program that works for them.

To create and schedule a program, contact School Program Manager Nancy Israel at 360.385.3628 x109 or

Learn More

School & Group Programs

The Northwest Maritime Center offers a variety of on-the-water, classroom, and boatshop programs for school groups. Schools can pick from several options and design a program that works for them.

To create and schedule a program contact School Program Manager Nancy Israel. Call 360.385.3628 x109 or email

Learn More

“I like being trusted, bonding with our team, and having to work a little bit. We had to figure things out for ourselves, which I really enjoy.”
—Blue Heron 7th Grader

Meet the Staff

  • Robin Mills

    Program Director
    Robin began her career in maritime education as an instructor for Outward Bound’s NW Sailing program in 1994. She has worked on sail-training ships in a variety of programs on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In 2003 Robin received her master’s degree in Education and began teaching in public schools before staying home to raise her three children. Now in the commercial fishing industry with her family since 2014, Robin has been told her daughters can tend a dock line better than some fisherman! If you’d like to treat Robin to lunch, she likes veggie dogs with bacon.

  • Nancy Israel

    School Program Manager
    Nancy brings to the team her passions for sailing and marine science along with an extensive background in experiential learning programs on the east and west coasts. She holds a degree in Environmental and Marine Science Education, is a USCG licensed Captain since 2002, and has served as the Education Director of Sound Experience, as Field Instructor for Olympic Park Institute, and as Captain/Instructor for Outward Bound. NWMC School Program Manager since 2007, when Nancy isn’t out on the water she enjoys singing, playing guitar, birdwatching, and gardening. Nancy’s biggest role model is Terry Tempest Williams, but Flipper the dolphin is a close second.

  • Sonia Frojen

    School Program Coordinator
    Sonia comes to us with a wealth of experience in sailing aboard Outward Bound longboats, Schooner Adventuress, Schooner Martha, Yawl Pacifica, and on her own sailboat, Freya. She was a sailing instructor for Four Winds/Westward Ho on Orcas Island, and has been our School Program Coordinator since 2014. Licensed with her 100-ton Inland and 50-ton Near Coastal captain’s licenses, we think she’s pretty cool. When she’s not sailing, Sonia enjoys bowling, playing her slide trombone, and eating cookies.

  • Chrissy McLean

    Associate Program Manager
    Chrissy has worked as an experiential educator on or near our local waters for over 20 years, and has worked at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, the WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife, as a classroom teacher, an Outward Bound instructor, and as a sea kayaking guide. Chrissy is also a regular crew member on the Schooner Martha. She has her Master’s in Teaching, a Washington State K-8 teaching credential, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Education. When she’s not at work, you can find Chrissy eating her favorite snack, guacamole, at her small homestead that she shares with her husband, lots of chickens, two cats, and sometimes goats.

Thank you, Wilder Auto, for sponsoring youth scholarships!

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