Every Tuesday during the summer at Courageous is Trash Race Tuesday! Last week, Emily wrote about Trash Races but I would like to write a bit more about the full instructions and intention of this activity.
Trash Races are a game that I came up with specifically for Courageous Sailing Center three years ago. The race is a “race against the clock,” and not necessarily a race against one another. Everyone is a winner in this game because we all benefit from cleaning up trash and preventing marine debris.
There are two versions of the Trash Race- one on the water and one on land. In Boston Harbor after a big rainstorm, we often have a Trash Race on the water because the ocean is filled with trash from overflowing sewers. Land based trash races are great on days after big festivals when there is a lot of debris around your facility or when you have about 30 minutes of free time.
For a Trash Race on the water, advanced sailing students can work on their sail handling skills of slowing, stopping, starting, and practicing man-overboard-drills. When students see trash in the water they have to work with their fellow sailors to retrieve the item. When students arrive back on land boats can get prizes for picking up the most items, the most unusual items, the item that would have been the most harmful to the ecosystem, or other categories that you can imagine. If there is time, boats can show the debris items they found to the group. When doing a Trash Race on the water it is extremely important to remind students to communicate with the other boats on the water to avoid collision.
With a land based Trash Race students race against the clock to see how many pieces of trash they can pick up as a group in a short period of time.
Whether you are facilitating a land or water Trash Race the rules below need to be stressed:
Do not pick up anything sharp or dangerous!
Make sure to wear gloves of some kind and only pick up trash with gloved hands
Do not pick up anything with bodily fluids or that has been near bodily fluids
Make sure all trash that is picked up goes in a trash bag that ends up in a trash can or dumpster!