PILOTS = Passion + Integrity + Loyalty + Optimism + Tenacity + Service
Established in 1973, the Mystic Seaport Museum PILOTS program was designed to give members a greater understanding of the Museum’s day-to-day operations. Working as a team to accomplish a variety of work projects, PILOTS receive special insight and behind-the-scenes views of Mystic Seaport Museum as they work alongside Museum staff for a spring and/or fall weekend each year. Since its inception, the program has grown to more than 275 pilots who contribute more than 1,300 hours of service annually.
As extraordinary supporters and advocates for the mission of Mystic Seaport Museum, PILOTS participate in an assortment of on-grounds projects ranging from thought-provoking research to challenging active work. Many of the Museum’s seasonal and often unglamorous chores are completed by this wonderful group of dedicated workers. All areas of the Museum welcome and greatly appreciate the help provided by the PILOTS.
Saturday begins with a hearty breakfast and job assignments, followed by a morning of work. The PILOTS break at lunchtime to catch their breath and refuel and then it’s back to work in the afternoon. Jobs typically conclude around 3:30 or 4 p.m. so the PILOTS corps and staff can catch a break and freshen up before cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. A buffet dinner is served and this is followed by a slide talk or other presentation by a Museum staff member about new projects, exhibits, or other Mystic Seaport Museum news.
For those who stay overnight, Sunday begins with a continental breakfast followed by a PILOTS-led chapel service in the Fishtown Chapel. Around 10 a.m., a behind-the-scenes tour or hands-on activity is led by a Museum staff member to help give the PILOTS a deeper understanding about the depth and breadth of Mystic Seaport Museum.