After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, what steps have you taken to assure my my child's safety?
Terrorist attacks are extremely rare events. Still, St-Malo is as easily accessible from London airports as from Paris. Parents who are nervous about safety in Paris can opt to use London airports and send their teens to St.-Malo via ferry. We can help organize that.
How long does it take to process an application?
Generally less than a week.
How long have you been taking kids sailing on leadership courses?
QBE was founded in 1992. But Will has been taking kids on character-building cruises since the 1970s.
Is the ELS accredited by any industry association?
Organizations like the AEE (The Association for Experiential Education), which operate largely in the U.S., help regulate activities that otherwise are unregulated and unsupervised. For example, you don't HAVE to have a license to take kids rock climbing, backpacking, or canoeing. So industry associations step in to address safety concerns. On the other hand, sailing in Europe has been heavily regulated for years. All ELS skippers are licensed by the Royal Yachting Association, the governing body for sailing in the United Kingdom. That means that apart from being accomplished, experienced sailors, they are well-trained in first aid and emergency procedures. (The director, Will Sutherland, was formerly an instructor at a RYA school.) In addition, by law, all boats are given thorough annual safety inspections by the Marine Coast Guard Agency.
What makes your program different from other sailing courses and "camps"?
Well, of course, we all share some things in common. But there are important differences: 1) Our director has extensive experience teaching sailing and other outdoor expedition skills at one of Europe's finest international schools. Over the years, many of the world's most accomplished people have entrusted their children to him. 2) Our school is based in Europe. That means it brings an extremely rich cultural component to the table. The tuition includes admission to museums and other significant heritage sites at several stopovers. 3) The facilities, i.e., the boats, are not run-of-the-mill 30-footers. They are truly "old-school" extraordinary. Participants get to experience the romance of sailing beautiful classic yachts. And 4), We find the combination of a challenging maritime adventure, compelling discussions about what it means to lead, and stimulating cultural excursions creates a powerful synergy that generally makes a profound difference in the lives of young adults.
Does QBE offer similar courses for adults?
Yes, in the fringe season. In the past, QBE has conducted leadership courses for businesses and educational excursions for groups and families. A wide range of programs and itineraries can be organized. Contact us to request more information and check availability.
Has there ever been a serious accident?
No. Our safety record has been excellent. Knock on wood!
What happens in the event of a medical emergency?
There is excellent medical care available throughout Europe, including St.-Malo, the Channel Islands, and ports along the French and English coasts.
Do you have to speak some French?
No. Not a word. The working language of the Leadership School is English. But it helps if you know a few words of French when you're out and about in, say, St.-Malo. If you speak English as a foreign language, the boats and most destinations are great places to practice your English with native speakers.
Are the boats co-ed?
Sometimes. In our experience, mixed crews offer advantages when creating a learning environment. But of course, we always have separate cabin arrangements. Moreover, all movements on a boat are easily heard and thus easily supervised.
What things should my child bring?
There is a list included in the information package that will be forwarded to you when you make a deposit.
Does my child need any previous sailing experience?
No. Most of the participants have never sailed before.
In the event my child has to withdraw due to an unforeseen emergency, is tuition refundable?
Tuition is refundable up until sixty days before the beginning of the course. We recommend parents purchase cancellation insurance in the event their plans suddenly change at the last moment. You can purchase it here.