Well if you know me, you know I like encouraging young people to get off their iPhones and get out there! A world of opportunity awaits, but you have to engage it! I have been wondering how to get groups of young people out there experiencing the wonder of life and adventure. Now I think I see a way. Turn them into PIRATES!

With the support of HRH the Crown Prince of Tonga and BLUE BASE on Nomuka Iki, we hope to not only work on and bring to life Maritime Heritage sites, but also in the future, create opportunities for final year school children of all nations, to explore, interact and understand their natural world and the pristine environment and cultural beauty of the Kingdom of Tonga. Importantly we want to show them the world of adventure! I need people with a similar vision to help do this. The opportunities to inspire the young are limitless. All it needs is imagination and commitment from the right team of people to help the first group of young Blue Treasure “PIRATES” graduate from “PIRATE CAMP!”

So how is this going to happen? With the help and input of people like you! Here is your chance to make a difference.

We have a base of operation now on the beautiful uninhabited island of Nomuka iki . This season we hope to be very busy working with the Nomuka community on Wrecks. At the same time, I will be looking at opportunities to develop a program for 2014, where on a few special occasions, we can offer an opportunity for Australian school kids to sign onto BLUE BASE for two weeks of “Adventure, Discovery and Education”. It would be a comprehensive structured program, (yet to be developed). It would include specially selected Tongan Kids doing the same activities together. We will hope to involve the Nomuka community in many ways. This will be a “growing experience” that may better equip the budding Blue Treasure PIRATES to face the real world ahead of them, often a daunting task.. They will sail away with better risk management skills and should be able to make sound value judgments, often sadly missing in today’s young people. It may even inspire them to go onto great things. It will certainly create new relationships between Tongans and Australians.

After the first few ‘Pirate Camps” are completed and the first PIRATES graduate, we the organizers, will also have learnt from the experience. We can then grow on that foundation. From that I would hope to build on the success and offer opportunities to other schools from other countries, more often.

What will the Pirate camp look like? We are starting with an open book??…send me your ideas??.but it may be initially for just three , six person teams, each team made up of four Australians and two Tongans. 18 students in total. Later it can grow. They build their own camp, cook and live a natural life. They learn about team work, facing personal fears and challenges, learn how to fish and snorkel, learn Tongan customs, culture, music and history. They discover navigation, boat work, VHF radio’s, safety planning, basic first aid, expedition planning, risk management, kayaking, sailing, underwater and marine biology, understanding solar power, desalinators, composting toilets, generators, outboard motors, weather, rope work and survival skills. They would visit the Nomuka township, school and church on the next island, make a Tongan thatched hut, discover traditional Tongan foods, kill, clean and cook a pig and chickens for a graduation PIRATE FEAST!..the potential list is endless..

So why is it here on the Blog??. I want people to help with ideas and making this something special, so put your thinking caps on! me anytime..there will be a new section on the website about this Pirate camp soon…we need all the plans in place and the invitations out by the end of this year. We need people to help on the island, sponsors, educators, everyone!! When I get to Tonga I will be speaking to many of the locals about this, as I see this exciting program could grow.

Lets see if we can all make this happen?? THANKS>>>DON