Youth Development

Venture into the unknown and change your life forever
Come sailing on the R. Tucker Thompson and have the opportunity to learn about yourself and fulfil your potential. More importantly, you’ll have an adventure, make new friends and have fun!
The R.Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust runs life-changing adventures, building confidence, developing teamwork and growing leadership skills for young people aged from 13 to 18. We offer a range of adventures, whether it be a short sailing in the Bay for a school group, or a full 7-day voyage off the Taitokerau Northland Coast.

7 Day Voyages

Our voyages take place between Easter and November and are an approved activity for those who are participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award  or the St John Cadet Ventureship Gold Badge award. We are also an accredited provider for the Ministry of Social Development.

We are big on evidence and have been recording feedback from trainees and their parents since 2009. In 2016, we partnered with the University of Otago and they have been gathering surveys from our trainees before and after voyages as well as more in depth follow up interviews.

An experience of a LIFETIME that Leiton will never forget. Friendships formed, skills gained & a 7 day adventure that will impact on his life

So incredibly grateful & thankful.

Parent feedback

Evidence & Research

The results remain fairly consistent year on year and clearly indicate that the experience is making a big difference to our trainees, particularly in the area of confidence across a range of activities. The University of Otago’s research specifically examines the resilience of young people and the research indicates that our voyages are very beneficial in improving self-esteem.

For those studying youth development or simply interested in the research please take a look at: “Promoting resilience in adolescents: A new social identity benefits those who need it most” (Elizabeth Koni, Saleh Moradi, Hitaua Arahanga-Doyle, Tia Neha, Jillian G Hayhurst, Mike Boyes, Tegan Cruwys, John A Hunter, Damian Scarf).

“Positive youth development in Māori and New Zealand European adolescents through an adventure education programme” (Hitaua Arahanga-Doyle, Saleh Moradi, Kaitlyn Brown, Tia Neha, John A Hunter, Damian Scarf).

What our young people are saying: 

  • Making new friends and connections 90.28% 90.28%
  • More confident trying new things 77.78% 77.78%
  • Leadership skills/take on responsibility 73.61% 73.61%
  • Communicating with others 69.44% 69.44%

School Sailings

Whether you are a Kura Kaupapa Māori, Primary, Intermediate or Secondary school, we are able to offer an awesome educational experience for your students. It’s a fun experience that they enjoy as well. We are a traditional sailing ship which means there is plenty of opportunity to learn how sails work. Students also get a chance to put on a harness and climb out on the bowsprit or up the rig. For NCEA students, there are curriculum links to History Level 1 and 2, Geometry Level 1 and 2, Sailing Level 2 and Tourism Level 2.

Thank you to our supporters

There are a number of organisations who support our work and we would like to acknowledge their contribution.

In addition, there are a number of generous people who make donations that assist us in doing the work we do. If you would like to support us, find out how to by visiting our donations page.

Contact Us

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