Information for Parents
860.572.0711, ext. 5119
Ship to Shore: Overnight School Group Program
Information for Parents
Hello! We at Mystic Seaport are looking forward to welcoming your child's class to Ship to Shore, the School Overnight Program. We hope this sheet will answer your questions about the program and your child's stay with us.
What is Mystic Seaport?
Mystic Seaport is the nation's premier maritime history museum. We're located on 17 beautiful acres along the banks of the Mystic River, in Mystic, Connecticut. The grounds are home to three historic ships and 47 buildings, including a 19th-century village, exhibit galleries, and a working shipyard. In addition to our public programs, we offer a wide variety of education programs for school and youth groups, including Ship to Shore.
What is Ship to Shore?
Ship to Shore is Mystic Seaport's residential educational program. More than 100 schools have participated in the program over its 30-year history; most school return year after year. Students sleep aboard the ship Joseph Conrad by night, and tour the Museum's grounds and exhibits by day, taking part in hands-on projects, games, tours, workshops, and classes. Our goal is to provide memorable learning experiences that could not take place in a classroom, and to enhance kids' understanding of American maritime history.
How will my child be supervised?
Students are supervised continuously while attending Ship to Shore. Classroom teachers accompany every student group throughout the day and supervise the ship's cabins overnight. In addition, Mystic Seaport Educators will work with the students during their stay, organizing and teaching the program. Most activities are conducted on a 1:5 adult/child ratio.
What about health and safety?
The health and safety of the students is our highest priority. We follow safety stands typical of summer camps and residential program. Mystic Seaport has a 24-hour First Aid and Security staff that is trained in emergency procedures. A clinic is located 5 minutes away, and a major hospital is less than 15 minutes away. School staff will be in charge of dispensing medications. Please note that any special health concerns on our Health Form. We don't require a medical exam before attending Ship to Shore, but our program does involve physical activity. You may wish to consult your doctor and/or the classroom teacher if you have any concerns about your child's health.
What should my child pack - and what should be left at home?
Please see the packing list in the "Information for Students" booklet. Help your child choose clothes for comfort and durability rather than style. We spend lots of time outdoors, in all weather, in a rustic setting. Worrying about damage to good clothing might keep your child from participating fully in the activities.
Please don't allow your child to pack valuable possessions, which might be taken, lost, or broken. Mystic Seaport is not responsible for loss of or damage to personal possessions.
Although students may be allowed to use electronic devices on the way to and from Mystic Seaport, we do not allow them to be used during the program.
Please don't pack any food other than lunch or snacks for the ride to Mystic Seaport. Pack all food for the ride in disposable containers. Mystic Seaport's food service offers generous meals, and the program also includes snacks. No other food is allowed, because it will attract vermin to students' sleeping quarters.
Where do the students sleep?
Students, visiting teachers, and chaperones stay in the 1882 training ship Joseph Conrad. Although the ship has a historic appearance above decks, she has been modernized below to provide heat, electricity, and bathrooms. There are two separate cabins, each with about 25 Navy-style bunk beds in stacks of three. Each cabin has a full bathroom with showers. Smoke alarms are tested weekly, and students practice a fire drill before sleeping aboard.
What are the meals like?
Meals are prepared by professional food service staff at The Galley restaurant at Mystic Seaport, and are served buffet style. Choices are provided wherever possible, and special care is taken to serve a variety of kid-friendly foods.
If your child has special dietary needs, please tell your group's teacher as far in advance as possible. We will need advance time to order to prepare alternate menu selections. If your child is on a severely restricted diet or observing dietary laws, you may need to plan for his or her teacher to bring along times that can be served here.
Are phone calls allowed?
Students are not permitted to make phone calls. If a child is homesick, calling home almost always makes it worse. It also makes other students feel envious, singles the caller out for unwanted attention, and causes delays in the carefully planned schedule. We ask that you explain this policy to your child, letting them know that you are confident they can handle the trip and that they can tell you about everything when they get home. Please do not send cell phones. Parents are asked not to call except in case of an emergency. Emergency calls should be directed to the Security staff, 860.572.0711, ext. 5310.