Nearly a year ago I launched a website called The Tabor Boy Project. From the Welcome Aboard:
For over 50 years, the schooner Tabor Boy has taken young Tabor Academy students to sea under sail. This remarkable ship has played a significant role in helping Tabor Academy transform adventurous teenagers into confident young adults.
The Tabor Boy Project is a living history project and social network by and for Tabor Boy sailors and supporters. While it will help create and preserve the rich stories that make up the schooner’s history, it will also connect shipmates that have been “lost” for years.
On April 1, 2008, The Tabor Boy Project welcomed it’s 100th member, a 2007 Tabor Academy graduate. Members span 6 decades: from the 1950’s to current students. There are hundreds of wonderful photographs and sea stories that tell this amazing ship’s history.
None of this would have been possible just a few short years ago. Photos that languished in shoe boxes in the back of alumni closets have experienced a new life on the website gallery and long lost shipmates have been able to reconnect through the member pages.
Web 2.0 social media tools allow us to build communities around common causes, interests and passions. They allow us to reconnect and have meaningful conversations about things that are important to us. They also allow us to collaborate to capture history, experience and knowledge in ways previously unimaginable. The Tabor Boy Project utilizes the Ning social networking platform which is powerful, flexible, easy to use and inexpensive.
I believe that the most important part of these types of projects is setting a strategy and having a few catalysts who can help build excitement. I was lucky to enlist 2 of my shipmates, Captain Bob Glover and Jamie Hutton (pictured below) from the beginning to jump aboard and work hard to spread the word. It’s all part of that teamwork ethic that was integral to the sail training experience and which has been a major part of each one of our lives since the days we first stepped aboard the Tabor Boy.
The Tabor Boy Project is an independent project and not something created, authorized or maintained by Tabor Academy. It’s content is generated by its members all of whom lives were touched by positive experiences at the School by the Sea and the schooner. Despite this, The Tabor Boy Project has been incredibly fortunate to have received interest and support from Tabor Academy leadership. Interim Development Director Kerry Saltonstall has been a huge advocate for The Project. We really appreciate and benefit from her frequent mentions in the Tabor Alumni and Friends e-newsletter Currents. Each time it appear, there is a nice uptick in new members. Thanks Kerry!
On April 14th, The Tabor Boy Project will celebrate it’s first anniversary. If you are reading this and have any connection what so ever to the schooner Tabor Boy, please join us. The Tabor Boy Project is a website for everyone who has ever sailed or who just is interested in the great work this ship (and school) has done to transform adventurous adolescents into young adults.
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