Trading in California is part of CCOA’s living-history programs, where participants reenact and role-play while learning important lessons from the past and connecting them to the present. They also make timeless discoveries through activity-based learning about science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), leadership, and teamwork.
Each day, a new class of students was met by our education staff, fully in character playing the ship’s officer roles and a variety of personalities, and invited to time travel back to the maritime trade of the 1800s. Once on board, they immediately learned the importance of self-discipline and working together to accomplish various shipmate responsibilities and activities, including raising the ship’s 1,500 lbs. foresail. The students exercised their math skills by learning navigation and calculating how much money the ship stood to make off the hide trade. They learned about ship maintenance and the importance of reliability when they hoisted each other (and some brave teachers and parents!) up in the air on the boatswain’s chair.
The students mastered the mechanics of simple machines to load 250 lbs. barrels of cargo. They even helped prepare the “Moo Stew” dinner that was thoroughly enjoyed before their final muster to reflect on the lessons and history learned and how they applied to their own life. All were then safely brought back into the 21st century to disembark and head home.
Based on feedback from students, parents, and teachers, CCOA’s maiden offering of Trading in California was a great success. The crew of the Mystic Whaler had a blast and look forward to delivering it to other schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Living-history programs are just one of several program types CCOA will offer, joined by programs in marine science, nautical-skill training, and social/emotional development. But we are thrilled that our first trip through time was loved by the young lives of Santa Barbara, and we can’t wait for future adventures!