New Perspectives
New Perspectives

Feb 23, 2006, 10:38

San Clemente, California
Captain Scott McClung, Founder

Launched five years ago by Captain Scott McClung, the Waterman Academy is a 21-day program for young men ages 13 to 19. Students live onboard the Rapture, a 145-foot ship that houses a maximum of 60 participants. Waterman is a "highly" structured program that works with young men with minor behavioral and/ or emotional problems and does not enroll students who are very resistant to the program. The program utilizes a positive vs. negative consequence model to teach students traditional aquatic skills while helping them to become responsible and focused. Students are not allowed to send email or letters and may make only one 10-minute phone call throughout the 21-day program.

The curriculum includes: Marine invertebrate exploration and identification; dissections; chemical oceanography; marine mammal exploration; marine algae lab; biological oceanography; cartilaginous and bony fish identification and observation; marine geology; and experiential education and scientific methodology.

Students graduating from the academy can receive certifications and/or endorsements in CPR, First Aid, Shipboard Firefighting, Seamanship, Small Boat Handling, Open Water Lifeguard, Land and Sea Navigation, SCUBA and Rapture Marine Expeditions. The Rapture employs "highly trained and experienced" personnel from various backgrounds including: United States Coast Guard Masters and Mates; firefighters, law enforcement, ocean life guards and Naval Reserve Special Warfare Personnel.

By focusing on these skills, the students are taken away from the unhealthy temptations in their home environment, and plunged into an arena of high expectations where mastery of these skills helps the students acquire "a new sense of pride, self-confidence, accomplishment, respect, character and integrity…. Many participants are able to accomplish skills and tasks they never thought possible." In a real sense, the challenges these young men face will be a kind of "rite of passage."

Editors Note: The information used in this New Perspective was gathered from the Waterman Academy website.

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