Avast! Vancouver Maritime Museum volunteers create Pirate Project!

How does the Vancouver Maritime Museum connect with young people? One way is through volunteering. It is one thing to have high school students lending a hand, but another to engage them over the long term; hence the idea for a Vancouver Maritime Museum Youth Team.

Starting in December 2014, a group of 9 high school students from across Vancouver began meeting once a month at the museum. The idea was to create a project that would allow the students to go behind the scenes and gain insight into museums and maritime history.

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Inspired by the museum’s pirate cove the youth team decided to work on an art project that was based on historical representations of pirates and their flags. The idea was that since historians base much of their research on written documents, how do we create visual images based on written accounts? To explore this idea, the youth team came up with a fictional pirate account and then illustrated the narrative using a paper collage technique. The team created nine pages, plus a cover page that was done primarily in watercolour. The finished project will be used by the museum’s programming team when presenting the museum’s popular Pirate Birthday Parties.

Altogether, the 9 member Youth Team contributed 226 hours to the museum, not only working together on the group project, but also volunteering at special events and birthday parties. In the words of one Youth Team member, “I have learned a lot regarding [maritime] history and team work. Thank you for the amazing experience at the VMM.”

Now that we have wrapped up this year’s project, thanks to this year’s fabulous team of volunteers. You all made important contributions to the museum and to the project. Good luck and best wishes to Hudson Bishop, Joy Gong, Kendra Herrin, Zelyn Lee, Lucy Lian, Gamay Ngai, Nora Ran, Myra Song and Jessie Yang. 

Starting in October, the Vancouver Maritime Museum will be recruiting for this year’s youth team. High school students ages 15-18 are welcome to apply. We will begin to have regular monthly meetings starting in November 2015 and we should wrap-up this year’s youth team in June 2016. Young people with an interest in history and museums should get in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator at programs@vancouvermaritimemuseum.com.    

Vancouver Maritime Museum Youth Team Quick Facts 

2015 Youth team hours = 226.25

Youth Team members = 9

Ages 15-18

Meeting from December 2014-August 2015