On Saturday, October 2, from 1 to 4 p.m. boys and girls, ages 14 to 21, and their parents, are invited to the Fort Rodman Marine Educational Association DBA Low Tide Yacht Club (1000 S Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744) for an Open House featuring informational Q&A, fun activities, and registration/ application into the first Co-ed Sea Scout Ship #1930 on the South Coast.
“We are recruiting teens and adult leaders from Westport to Wareham,” said Dennis Pacheco, who will be the Skipper (adult leader) of this newest Sea Scout Ship. “The next closest programs are in Westerly, Rhode Island and Falmouth, on the Cape. The time has come for local South Coast teens to learn about our maritime history, become better citizens, build character, improve boating skills, and gain experience of water safety through adventures on sea and land.”
Sea Scouting is a Venturing Division of the Boy Scouts of America. Cub Scouts have packs, Boy Scouts have troops, and Sea Scouts have ships. The Scoutmaster is called the Skipper. His assistant is the Mate or XO. There also needs to be a youth committee consisting of a minimum of three people — a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer. At least two adults must supervise regularly scheduled meetings, which will be held twice a month, on Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Low Tide Yacht Club, in Fort Rodman, New Bedford.
Sea Scouts will become proficient in safety, swimming, boating, sailing, marlinspike, piloting, seamanship, signaling, cruising, galley preparations, first aid, lifesaving, navigation, boat and engine maintenance, sea history, equipment, forecasting weather, using a marine radio properly, ethics, customs, and ideals. Sea Scouts across the country hold jamborees, rendezvous, regattas, and even enter international competitions for trophies.
The scouts can work as a team or set personal advancement goals through ranks of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster … as explained in the Sea Scout Manual. More importantly, they will make long-lasting friendships while enjoying adventures on land and sea. Teens already participating in Girl and/or Boy Scouts are welcome to join Sea Scouts also.
A Sea Scout ship chooses its program based on matching the interests of the members with skills, equipment, and resources available. Some plan their program around a nautical specialty such as sailing, scuba diving, aquatic sports, or maritime careers. Scouts in Ship #1930 will proudly wear uniforms, which they will purchase. There are national dues as well as Ship dues to be paid. Financial aid is available.
During the boating season, the Scouts will have the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned, on a real boat, provide by the sponsoring organization — The Fort Rodman Marine Educational Association DBA Low Tide Yacht Club.
The enthusiastic Commodore Joseph Pacheco, said, “We are thrilled to be spearheading this Sea Scout Ship #1930 because it fits right in with our club’s mission — To educate others about marine activities such as boating, sailing, navigation and boating safety and to support other groups who promote and further maritime interest.”
In addition to Skipper Dennis Pacheco and Commodore Joseph Pacheco (no relation to each other), the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 65 (New Bedford) is pleased to act as liaisons to this new venture; thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding.
According to Rick Washburn, National Coast Guard Auxiliary Commodore, “In August 2018, an agreement between United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Boy Scouts of America made Sea Scouts the official youth program of the Coast Guard Auxiliary…This partnership gives Sea Scouts an opportunity to benefit from Coast Guard seamanship and vocational training, while introducing Sea Scouts to the Coast Guard.”
“The BSA is proud to continue our partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary as we continually strive to improve leadership development, real-life skill-building and unique STEM training through the Sea Scout program,” added Mike Surbaugh, BSA Chief Scout Executive.
“This win-win partnership will thrive only with the inclusion of local volunteer adult leaders,” added Jason Oliveira, who was chosen to spearhead the USCG Auxiliary’s First Northern District as Liaison with the Sea Scout Program.
Jason’s wife, April Oliveira, the Vice Commander of Flotilla 65, will also be volunteering. She explained, “Adult leaders must be over 21 years of age and can be male or female. The first requirement is to take the online Youth Protection Training course. There will also be a CORI background check on all leaders to give parents peace of mind. Future leaders can take online training seminars in Sea Scout leadership and get assistance from national staff at the Narragansett Council.”
Sea Scouting started in U.S. in 1912 and has had a long and rich tradition. Massachusetts was the first state to have a ship. Arthur A. Carey, of Waltham, used his schooner Pioneer and was subsequently appointed Chairman of the National Council Committee on Sea Scouting. Over the past 109 years, thousands of young men and women have had the opportunity to follow the traditions of the sea, while having fun and developing critical skills.
Commodore Pacheco believes that, “This is a priceless experience that every teen deserves.”
For more information about Sea Scouting in general, visit the website www.seascouts.com. If you are interested in assisting with the program and/or having your teen participate, please attend the October 2nd Open House.
In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, attendees to the Open House are encouraged to bring one non-perishable canned item for the New Bedford’s Salvation Army Food Bank.
Click here to download the entire 9/30/21 issue: 09-30-21 CannonFire
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