If you take a ride in the Schaal minivan, you will most likely hear it. It’s like our soundtrack for road trips. Our children have most of the songs memorized. My wife and I even joke that we have gone several minutes on a date night before remembering to turn it off because it’s so normal. Both of us listened to it when we were children.

What am I referring to? Patch the Pirate.

What is Patch the Pirate?

Patch the Pirate is a series of audio adventures for children published by Majesty Music. Since 1982, Majesty has released one adventure per year.

For over 35 years, the Patch the Pirate adventures were written and directed by Ron and Shelly Hamilton. Ron became “Patch the Pirate” after his left eye was removed due to cancer. The kids at Ron’s church loved the patch he was required to wear after surgery. Ron’s humble submission to the Lord’s leadership during this difficult time led to a fruitful ministry which touched the lives of thousands of children.

Ron passed away on April 19, 2023. You can read a tribute to him here.

In 2018, the Hamiltons’ son-in-law Adam Morgan took over at Majesty Music and Patch the Pirate. He and his wife Megan (Ron and Shelly’s daughter) continue to publish adventures in their parents’ tradition.

What is a Patch adventure like?

Each adventure consists of a captivating storyline punctuated with a dozen or more original fun or sacred songs for kids. The main characters are sailors aboard a ship named “The Jolly Roger.” Several of the main characters are children. There are also several animal characters in every adventure––for instance, a sea gull, a lion, a whale, an elephant, a swordfish, etc.

Often, the adventures strike a light-hearted tone. The voice acting is engaging for children, and there is plenty of humor sprinkled in for the parents. Many of the songs are catchy and upbeat.

What is the point of Patch the Pirate?

The purpose of Patch the Pirate is to teach children biblical truths and build Christ-like character.

For instance, there is an adventure about the fruit of the Spirit. Another adventure focuses on the importance of being a servant. One of my favorite Patch the Pirate recordings from when I was a child was “Kidnapped on I-Land,” which addresses the sin of selfishness. And there is an entire adventure dedicated to the truth that “you reap what you sow.”

Why recommend Patch the Pirate?

Like I said, we listen to a lot of Patch the Pirate at our house. (We own most of the adventures.) Here are three reasons I recommend them.

  1. Solid, biblical teaching – Listening to the adventures again as a pastor with a Master’s degree in Bible gives me a newfound appreciation for them. If you have your children listen to Patch adventures, they will receive sound doctrine.

  2. Appealing to children – I haven’t met an elementary-aged child yet who doesn’t enjoy Patch the Pirate. Your kids will want to listen to the adventures again and again, and in doing so, they will be internalizing the doctrine mentioned above.

  3. Truth that sticks – As every hymn-writer knows, music is a powerful tool for making truth “sticky.” As your children memorize the Patch songs, they will be hiding God’s word in their hearts. We live in a media-filled world. Much of that media is dedicated to messages that oppose Christianity. Why not expose our children to engaging content that will build them up in Christ? The Patch the Pirate adventures I listened to as a kid were formative in my life.

Any disclaimers?

In general, it is good parenting to watch/listen to the media your children intake to help them process it better. No resource is perfect, and everyone’s sensibilities will be a little bit different. To me, the humor in some of the older Patch adventures makes me a bit uncomfortable. Also, the stereotypes in a few of the older adventures may be less culturally aware than some would prefer. However, overall, this resource is awesome! 🙂

How can I access Patch the Pirate?

You can stream all 43 Patch the Pirate adventures using the Patch the Pirate Plus app (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play). Several of the adventures are also available in the Apple Music app and in Spotify. Or, you can download individual adventures (or order them in CD format) at majestymusic.com.

Happy listening!

Kristopher Schaal

Growing Fathers Team

Kristopher serves as as the youth and discipleship pastor at Northwest Valley Baptist Church in Glendale, AZ. He and his wife, Elise, have four young children—Anaya, Felicity, Mollie Jo, and Klayton.

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