Living Classrooms Foundation

Allie K. steers the Sigsbee through the C and D Canal going to Philly
Gordon A. teaches students about navigation on the Mildred Belle
Annual baby oyster planting in the Chesapeake Bay
Sigsbee
The crew hauls away on the Sigsbee to set the mainsail
Sigsbee: A Chesapeake Bay Skipjack
Jan M. teaches students about watershed science
Sigsbee at Masonville Cove running a summer camp
Jenna L. teaches a student how to navigate with a traditional chart
Sigsbee near Fort Carroll planting baby oysters
Captain LP teaches stududents about local fish species
Mildred Belle: A Chesapeake Bay Buyboat
Mildred Belle
Gordon A. teaches a student to navigate with a hand bearing compass
Captain Tim teaches a student to steer the Schooner Lady Maryland
Captain LP teaches students how to steer the Sigsbee
Jenna L. and Tony B. on the Mildred Belle
Motor Vessel Mildred Belle
Sigsbee on route to Philadelphia in the C and D Canal
The Sigsbee Crew 2021

Work on the water and teach students about environmental stewardship on traditional Chesapeake Bay vessels.

During our typical season we take students from a variety of backgrounds and economic means on day-sail programs in the Chesapeake Region. During our Maritime Environmental STEM Voyages, students work together to trawl for marine life, perform scientific experiments and explore the commerce, history, natural resources, and ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay.

On the Patapsco River in Baltimore, MD and on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

About Living Classrooms Foundation

Would you like to work on the water and teach students about environmental stewardship and local Baltimore history on traditional Chesapeake Bay vessels?

This season we anticipate running day trips with students as well as some private charters. During the summer we hope to offer some overnight extended programs. Educational day trips are typically 3-5 hours long and serve up to 30 students per day. However, given the limitations of social distancing, we may end up running multiple shorter trips each day to accommodate all our students. We serve grades 4th and above but mainly see 4-8th graders. Programs are designed to introduce students to the environmental and ecological significance of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Among the many activities onboard, students learn about water quality, oysters, estuarine ecology, navigation, weather, plankton, and the economics and history of the Bay. Each boat trawls for fish and occasionally dredges for oysters. It is important to note that each crew member teaches every day. When running our Star-Spangled Banner War of 1812 history programming we teach students about the Battle of Baltimore and how the city was successfully defended against the British navy and army. It was during this battle that the words to our national anthem were written by Francis Scott Key.

Most of our programming this season will be in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River. However, we are planning to offer programs in Philadelphia aboard Sigsbee and in Washington, DC aboard Mildred Belle.  In late October, we plan to send both boats to the schooner Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend festival in Chestertown, MD. Our season ends shortly before Thanksgiving.  At the culmination of our sailing season, the crew are expected to assist in winterizing the vessels, a process including down rigging and covering each boat.

The Employee Experience

The Maritime Education Department is the oldest program run by the Living Classrooms Foundation. We have been sailing boats and teaching students since 1986 when the Schooner Lady Maryland was built by local Baltimore teachers and their students. We value experiential hands-on learning where students lead by asking questions about the world around them. We look for crew members who are curious, thoughtful, and hard-working. This season we plan to carry on the 35+ year tradition of taking kids out of the classroom, showing them the natural wonders of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay, and hoping the experience with inspire them to be better stewards of our shared environment.

It is not easy to teach students every day and also maintain the traditional wooden vessels that we use to run our programs. Our season is 9-months long and certainly has its sweet and sour parts. No one really like to scrape, sand, and paint the hull of the boat during the annual yard period. But, I think that everyone agrees that steering that same boat with the wind in your hair and the river stretching out before you makes all the hard work worth it.

Because the work is hard and the days are long, the crew always forms tight bonds with numerous inside jokes and a common culture. Some of my best friends were made during my seasons working and teaching on the boats. Working on the water on traditional boats teaching students to love the environment and appreciate their local history has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

Ideal Candidate

We look for crew members who are curious, thoughtful, self-motivated, and open to new experiences. To be successful at Living Classrooms you should be: flexible, inventive, hard-working, and adventurous.

A FEW IMPORTANT DETAILS:

  • To be officially employed you must first pass an initial Coast Guard regulated drug test and then be in a random testing pool throughout your employment.
  • You must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination will be required.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
  • Everyone who is hired will undergo finger printing and a background check (at employer's expense) since you will be working with children.
  • All crew members are required to have current First Aid and CPR.  We will provide training to new crew.  If you have a current First Aid & CPR certification that will not expire before your employment here ends, a copy of the certification is all we need.
  • All crew members are expected to teach every day. We will rotate through teaching stations so that no one has to teach the same lessons day after day.
  • All crew members are expected to help with vessel maintenance. There are times during the season where you may be expected to help during annual yard periods, when the boats are hauled out of the water.  Maintaining wooden boats in top condition is hard work and these yard periods are often full of long, dirty, physically taxing days.
  • This is a physically demanding job that requires a moderate level of physical fitness.

Room and Board

All our current openings are for seasonal-salaried positions. Housing will be available to crew members aboard Sigsbee or Mildred Belle to start the season. We hope to be able to offer shore-side housing on our campus for crew later this season, however, there is no firm timeline yet. Lunches will be provided onboard the boats. However, crew members are on their own for other meals.

Sigsbee and Mildred Belle Housing:

Both boats have bunk-style accommodations. Each crew member will be offered a private bunk in the main cabin of the vessel. Each boat has a small toilet, called a "head", and running cold water. We also have shore-side bathrooms with running hot and cold water, showers, and laundry. Many of our crew members are local and thus have their own housing already, so there will be plenty of room on board the boats for anyone who wants/needs the accommodation. There is very little storage on board the boats, you will have your bunk and one shelf/cargo locker to store your things. You can also store things in our shore-side offices. You will have access to our office which has internet and places to sit and relax. The boats dock on a private pier which is closed to the public at night and on weekends. The pier is located in Fell's Point which is a historical neighborhood in downtown Baltimore, MD. This location puts you right in the action, close to bars/restaurants, public parks, museums, and other local attractions. Plus, it has an amazing view of the harbor which is positively magical at night.

Potential Shore-side Housing:

We are hopeful that our shore-side housing will be finished sometime during this season. We are planning to renovate the first floor of the building where our office is located to accommodate seasonal crew during the season. This space would have bunk bed style housing with private bathrooms and showers. There would be a living space with couch, TV, basic kitchen area with toaster, microwave, crock pot, coffee machine, etc. We will be able to provide more details about this space as the current school year wraps up and we start outfitting the space to our needs.

Employee Perks

All our current openings are for seasonal-salaried positions starting at $15/hour.  Housing will be available to crew members aboard Sigsbee or Mildred Belle to start the season. We hope to be able to offer shore-side housing on our campus for crew later this season, however, there is no firm timeline yet. Lunches will be provided onboard the boats. However, crew members are on their own for other meals.

Other tangible perks:

  • if you don't already know-how, we will teach you to sail!
  • discounted parking in a private garage near our campus where the boats dock for anyone who needs or wants to bring a vehicle
  • free CPR/AED First Aid training course
  • opportunity to purchase discounted health insurance through employer
  • discounts from local merchants and big retailers like REI and West Marine
  • employer provides field trips to local attractions like Fort McHenry, the Port of Baltimore, Domino Sugar Factory, Nuclear Cargo ship Savannah, annual Orioles baseball game, crab feast, and others TBD.

Other intangible perks:

  • opportunity to live in Downtown Baltimore in the historic Fell's Point neighborhood
  • live on the water near to bars/restaurants, museums, public parks, and get a front-row seat to yearly festivals like: Fleet Week, 4th of July Celebration, Fell's Point Funfest, Pirates of Baltimore Festival and many others

Getting Here and Getting Around

Crew members can bring their own vehicle if needed/wanted and can purchase a discounted parking pass for a private garage located near our campus where the boats dock. Bikes are encouraged! We have a few bikes available for the crew to use during the season.

Our location is easily accessible by public transportation. If you arrive by airplane, train, or bus there are local buses and the light rail system that can get you to our location in Fell's Point. We could also come to pick you up!

There is excellent public transportation in our area. Baltimore has a free bus system called the "Circulator" which has 4 lines that can take you to most places in the city. There are also traditional buses that charge a small fee. There is a light rail system that is relatively inexpensive and water taxis that can take you all around the harbor. I love getting around by renting electric scooters!

Plus you could always bike or walk to work. And if you live on the boats, you wake up where you work!

For Fun

Our campus and the dock where the boats live is in Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland. Fell's Point is a waterfront historic neighborhood in downtown East Baltimore. This location puts you right in the action, close to bars/restaurants, public parks, museums, and other local attractions. Plus, it has an amazing view of the harbor which is positively magical at night. Picture yourself exploring cobblestone streets on your days off, visiting maritime museums, exploring parks, viewing monuments and public art, ducking into little music shops, going out to dinner, and drinking beers on tap in local bars.

Baltimore has a great zoo and hosts the National Aquarium, both are easily accessible by car or public transportation from our location. There is a free art museum uptown, a Museum of local Industry, and the wonderful magical Visionary Arts Museum. Plus, Fort McHenry Historic Monument and Shrine is a great place to explore and wander since it is free and open to the public. Baltimore also has an arboretum, conservatory, botanical gardens, and the original Washington Monument (built before the one in DC)!

Patterson Park and Federal Hill are both city parks that offer a respite from pavement and storefronts. Patterson Park is about a mile from where the boats dock and is a great place for jogging, soccer games, or reading under a tree.

If you have a car, Baltimore is near many state and county parks like Patapsco Valley, Loch Raven, Druid Hill, Oregon Ridge, Leakin, and many others.

Some yearly festivals include: Fleet Week, 4th of July Celebration, Fell's Point Funfest, Pirates of Baltimore Festival and many others.

How to Apply

To apply please email us with your resume and references. We will contact you right way for the next steps which would be a conversation via phone or Zoom.


Contact Living Classrooms Foundation