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Kalmar Nyckel Foundation announces Flagship Field Trip Fund

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation launches a new Flagship Field Trip Fund.

The fund was started with help from an anonymous donor outside of Delaware who believes in the Tall Ship of Delaware’s education mission and wants to give more students a chance to sail on it.


"They wanted to fund this opportunity for all students in Delaware - K through 12 - for this academic year,: said Sam Heed, senior historian and director of education at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. “That means anyone who can or anyone that wants to can come sail on the ship and get our four-hour standard field trip program. Three stations, about an hour-and-a-half are on the ship underway, sailing up and down the Christina.”


Heed says over the past two decades, the foundation has refined its programs to offer a wide range of activities and concepts.


The emphasis remains on experiential learning that provides hands-on lessons.


Heed says trips onboard the Kalmar Nyckel cover a lot of ground.


“Our typical program is a four-hour program. It starts at 9:30 and runs until about 1:30; it’s timed to the (school) buses and the schools," said Heed. "And typically we will spend about an hour-and-a-half underway on the ship and there we run three separate classrooms that rotate around; one wil cover sail handling, another will cover life at sea and a third will look at navigation.”


Heed says on land the program offers students a chance to travel back in time and discover Delaware's colonial and maritime history -using hands-on experiential learning 


COVID pandemic protocols remain in place at the Kalmar Nyckel with visitors required to wear face coverings and capacity limited.

He says education stations in the Copeland Maritime Center and the outdoor shipyard campus include learning teamwork to raise sails and simulate firing a colonial cannon, playing an interactive trading game to see how the original Swedish settlers traded with the Lenape Indians and exploring artifacts from Fort Christina in the 1600’s. 


Schools seeking to schedule a field trip this school year should call the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.