Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wearing their dress uniforms, the Sea Scouts dined in style in a grand ballroom with lofty ceiling, lighted fountain and beautifully prepared gourmet food, while watching Bill Cosby speak on stage. Seventeen-year-old Sarah Fucello—newly-elected Boatswain of Sea Scout Ship 7916—and fourteen-year-old Brenda Renninger—crew leader with Ship 548 and boatswain of the NCAC council—enjoyed this and more at the 23rd Annual Lone Sailor Award dinner hosted by the Navy Memorial at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The building was decked out beautifully for this very special event, with dramatic lighting and greenery. Sarah had “never been somewhere so fancy,” before and Brenda agreed, saying the building probably the nicest I’ve ever seen.”
Both scouts had their uniforms dry-cleaned for the event. Brenda said she “made sure all my patches were right, washed my cover to make sure it was clean.” Sarah “spent all day very carefully getting ready, making everything as perfect as I could make it, thinking the whole time on what it would be like to go and see Bill Cosby…I’ve never been in the same room with someone that famous before.” Brenda appreciated that “everybody was all dressed up in their uniforms and dresses and looked beautiful” at the dinner.
This year’s Lone Sailor Award honorees were the actor/comedian William H. Cosby, Jr.,PhD, a United States Navy Veteran; Eddie LeBaron, famed Washington Redskins- and Dallas Cowboys Quarterback and Korean War Veteran, United States Marine Corps; and Lanier Phillips, the first African-American Sonar Technician, United States Navy, World War II Veteran and Survivor of the USS Truxtun shipwreck. During the dinner, the scouts enjoyed watching what Sarah called “a captivating slideshow of each honoree,” and then heard the gentlemen speak.
Brenda said “their stories were so interesting to hear…Bill Cosby was my favorite; he was so funny and really made his story interesting!” Sarah said she “wasn’t expecting all the honorees to speak and was cool they really could speak tell their view of their experiences. It thrilled me!”
Sea Scout attendees are selected from a group of award-winners in the NCAC (National Capitol Area Council to fill the 4-6 seats given to the nautical scouting program. A somewhat mysterious donor, Robert Dorion—about whom little is known—makes the seats available. He has sponsored a table at the dinner for about the past six years, sends representatives in his place and always includes room for Sea Scouts. If given the opportunity, each of the young women would thank Mr. Dorion. Brenda thinks it is “really generous of him to donate a table like that to Sea Scouts,” and Sarah would “tell him I really appreciate his giving us this opportunity. It’s very generous to donate to Sea Scouts…we’re in our teen years, so we don’t have the decorum of the adults he would usually invite to that.”
After the event, Sarah enthusiastically said that if she were invited again, “I would accept in a heartbeat. I had a very fun time and enjoyed many experiences I had never encountered before.” Brenda exclaimed that “this was really a once in a life time experience and I wouldn’t have asked to go with a different group of people to share the experience with!”
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Come upstairs to the VFW meeting hall, where you can meet Sea Scouts scouts in uniform, try your hand at Mayday radio communications, strengthen your knotty knowledge, learn how to “heave a line,” watch videos that show some of our cool adventures, and have a tasty snack, too.
Sea Scout Day
Saturday, September 25, 2010
10:00am - 6:00pm
VFW Post 7916
204 Mill Street, Occoquan, VA 22125
NOTE: This event coincides with the fall Occoquan Craft Show and parking will be available at designated lots only, with access to the town by shuttle bus, bicycle or on foot.
Known as “scouting’s best-kept secret,” Sea Scouting is a high-adventure coed branch of the BSA for youth age 13, who have completed the 8th grade, through age 20. Sea Scouting develops nautical skills, leadership, and confidence through sail training, and a scout who obtains the highest rank of Quartermaster--equivalent to the Eagle Scout award--receives the advanced pay grade of E-3 upon enlisting in the United States Coast Guard. Boy Scouts who join Sea Scouting are encouraged to also stay with their troop, and advancements can be earned in both programs simultaneously.
Though Ship 7916’s main focus is sailing, we also participate in activities involving scuba, powerboating, kayaking, piloting a historic vessel, volunteering for community events, Chesapeake Bay water quality protection, regional events, advancement ceremonies and social activities.
Come join the fun!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
To see the presentation given by these young people, go to this page, and under the video image on the left--beneath the All Items/Current Items box--scroll down about 2/3 of the way and click Item 12. "Presentation 7:30pm." The scouts speak after the Pledge of Allegiance.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
This is usually done by Rebecca, but as she was busy for most of the time meeting the requirements for Quartermaster, I took up a bit of the slack.
"Are you tricking people into praising you for making them eat half their Oreos later?" - Cameron
"We're going to turn in a more sailing-like direction. I think...that way!" - David
"Cameron--look like a lookout!" - Caitlín
"Everybody go around a say a chore you hate and why you hate doing it." - David
I am so not having fun!" - Random whiny sailing student in Annapolis
"Show the Mates the picture of me when I was stoned." - Eric
"I know, it's so creepy, looking at ourselves." - Cameron
Caitlín: "That's so sexist it burns!"
David: "It burns like the stove you should be slaving over!"
"I'm sad because I have no emotions." - Cameron (reportedly made up when he was 6 years old)
"I tried to train my GPS--every time it talked I hit it." - David
"The [engine] blower is chicken-flavored." - Cameron
"I'd come and squish you from the other side, but that would be very bad for the steering of this boat." - David
"Oh my gosh, we stay closer to the nuns?!" - Daniel
Cameron: "Darn you people who bring us delicious food!"
Daniel: "She doesn't eat Crustations, remember?"
"YES, I want a yummy sandwich!" - Cameron
"You killed him good, but you killed him all over the ruler!" - Daniel
"Are you telling me that if you didn't wear a hat, your head would turn into a Chia Pet?" - MT Peters
"The more trash we generate, the faster we go!" - David
David: "We don't have any hot irons."
Cameron: "They're in the bathtub somewhere."
"We were just using an ocean liner as an aid to navigation; I don't think we care all that much what it is as long as it's not moving." - David
Monday, August 9, 2010
Ship 7916 arrived at Fells Point, Baltimore, MD about 9:30am yesterday. Scouts stowed gear and provisions and prepared the boat. The crew followed instructions for the engine checks, however, someone had switched the caps for water and radiator, and so water ended up in the oil. This necessitated pumping out the oil and replacing it—a task that took about 4 hours. While our crew was sitting at dock, the wind was coming from the west, perfect for sailing. They watched “all these sailboats passing by, sailing along on nice tacks, heeled over about 20 degrees.”
With this setback, der PeLiKan left the dock at 4pm. By then, the wind had shifted to the south, so sailing to Annapolis was out of the question, so they motored the whole way. The “best part was going over wakes of 4 tankers, yelling ‘WAKE’ and bouncing up and down. It was good we had ramen for dinner because it was easy to prepare under way.”
Each scout had a chance to take positions at Nav, Helm and Lookout. They arrived in Annapolis around 9pm. Emily steered the boat into the harbor to pick up mooring ball, where David and Daniel snagged it on the first try. It was good cruising at night last night, to get a taste of it. It was pretty dark past the Bay Bridge, then another hour to the mooring in true darkness.
They decided to wait until arriving in Annapolis to change Bosun of the Day (BoD). MT Enright brought brownie bites and they ate those, looked at the stars, talked about Annapolis, then went to bed at 10:30. Sleeping on deck was quiet. “Usually we’re here later in the week, but it’s very quiet this time."
Rebecca is BoD today and woke her crew at 6 am. Evidently, it took some effort to rouse Eric. “We pulled Eric out of his sleeping bag to wake him up.”
“We’re at the row of mooring balls closest to the Naval Academy. The cadets are singing America the Beautiful and sound horrible.”
“Depending on the wind, we plan to sail in morning, hang out in Annapolis in the afternoon, and sail at night. Right now, it looks calm. Cameron and Eric are cooking pancakes and sausage for breakfast and it smells so good and I’m starving!”
Published: May 25, 2010
The forecast was for rain on a recent Saturday morning, but teens from Sea Scout Ship 7916 of Occoquan didn't let a little water from the sky stop them. They gathered for a car wash fundraiser anyway.
The young men and women, ages 15-20, kept their hopes up and didn't mind getting a little wet for a good cause. Their goal was to raise money to help save the National Capitol Area Council's Sea Scout Training Vessel, der PeLiKan.
The 46-foot Morgan ketch is owned by a non-profit that operates and maintains the vessel for Sea Scouts throughout the council and beyond. The well-used and aging boat needs a new main mast, standing rigging and roller furler for the jib before it can be sailed this year. Total repair cost is estimated at $20,000.
Sixteen-year-old Daniel Schmoker coordinated the car wash because he knows first hand the value of this vessel. "A lot of ships only have small boats and der PeLiKan is forty-six feet, so [scouts] have the opportunity to work with more people on a single boat, which is great for team building and getting to know each other better," said Daniel.
A bigger boat also means youth can "take longer trips and see more of the Chesapeake, like Annapolis, St. Michaels and even take a tour the US Coast Guard station at St. Inigoes," he said.
Daniel participated in five der PeLiKan cruises in 2½ years, including two of the ship's annual "long cruises," which last about a week. Some of his favorite memories include "meeting [Sea Scouts] from New York on our first long cruise, anchoring in St. Michaels and meeting a family that lives aboard the sailboat they built, watching the Coast Guard bust some illegal crabbers at the dock in Annapolis…and the night sail during the Quarterdeck training cruise."
Ship 7916 has made the Save der PeLiKan Campaign a ship project. The scouts previously hosted a car wash in the fall, donated the proceeds of their Halloween party fund-raiser, and collected donations in their booth at the Aquia Harbour Marina's annual Marina Fest in September.
Other Sea Scout ships, as well as friends and families, have also donated to the repair fund. So have local businesses like Prince William Marina and Patriot Scuba, both in Occoquan.
The current total is just over $13,500, leaving about $6,500 to be raised in the next few weeks.
To help with the repair costs, seven young men and women from Ship 7916 washed cars for four hours under brooding clouds and occasional rain. They raised $555, some through online donations from supporters who could not attend.
One of the customers, Ella McKay, 36, drove from Springfield to have the scouts wash her car, and said, "I heard the story of…those Sea Scouts and I just had to participate to help save their boat!"
Scout parents brought snacks for the car washers and delivered pizza for lunch. Route 1 Pontiac Buick GMC provided the strategic location, as well as water for car washing and bottled water to keep the scouts hydrated. According to General Manager Mark Sable, the auto dealership regularly supports area youth groups.
Daniel's father, Dan Schmoker, a sales consultant with the car dealership, expressed pride in his son, who "could have spent a cloudy day home playing video games. Instead, he was with his shipmates working on a fund-raiser so hundreds of Scouts…can have the opportunities to sail and learn. I am amazed in the changes in my son from Sea Scouts," said Schmoker.
Rebecca Siegal, who currently serves as the unit's Boatswain, or youth leader, was in on the car wash. Her mother, Ann Cameron Siegal, also praised the Sea Scout program, saying, "What a difference two years [made] in our shy teen's life. The encouragement, guidance and opportunities she has received as a member of Sea Scout Ship 7916 and as a crew member aboard der PeLiKan, have been invaluable in helping her gain self-confidence and learn leadership skills."
Sea Scouting is a co-ed and high-adventure arm of Boy Scouts of America. Many young men and women have found their measure of success through Sea Scouting. Ship 7916 welcomes youth ages 13-21 to join them as they sail locally aboard boats owned by Woodbridge Sailing School, and for longer cruises aboard der PeLiKan.
Daniel coordinated the car wash "because it helps get der PeLiKan back in the water not only for my ship, but for all ships to enjoy. I don't think you'll find a Sea Scout who says they don't like to sail der PeLiKan. We need to get her running before a lot of peoples' summers are ruined," he said.
Tax deductible donations of all sizes are needed and appreciated and accepted by check or online via http://www.derPeLiKan.org, where you can also learn more about the vessel, read a progress report and see photos.
Shay Seaborne is the skipper, or scoutmaster, of Sea Scout Ship 7916.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Unlike the past two years, this year the scouts are doing the majority of the planning for Long Cruise 2010. (Well, the adults are working out things like transportation, but they will be the ones transporting us, anyway!)
Even though each of us are planning different bits, it's been a lot of work, and makes me realize how much effort the Skipper and other adult leaders put into planning long cruises 2008 and 2009. At first it was really overwhelming and nobody had a clue, but now I think it's coming together quite well. Tuesday August 2nd will be our last pre-cruise meeting, and we depart from Henderson's Wharf on August 8th.
As our Boatswain, and as part of her Quartermaster requirements, Rebecca has been the sort of "general director" and has made sure people keep moving on their assignments and kept track of everything. She's done an amazingly good job of this, especially despite the fact that she was involved in summer activities and without internet access for the past few weeks.
Cameron, as the recently-appointed Purser, has done an excellent job collecting payment and making sure everybody is up-to-date on their dues (a requirement for long cruise participation).
Emily, our Yeoman, gathered everyone's menus, made sure we weren't eating the same dish every night, made grocery lists, and will be in charge of the shopping.
As Boatswain's Mate for Program, I accepted school of the ship outlines, came up with possible travel itineraries, and checked with der PeLiKan's captain, Commodore Steve Nichols, for the plausibility of our plans. After taking ideas for things to do and places to visit and researching marinas to stay at, the plans were finalized.
I'm sure there will be things we forgot to do--things nobody thought about, that we will realize mid-cruise and say, "Ooops!" but that's part of the learning experience. We'll deal with it, and next year, it won't be a problem.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Checking out boats on the dock.
Our host led the way to the covered dock where "Bay Dreamer," owned by the Crofts, is berthed. He noted various types of boats and their particular attributes, demonstrated the finer points of tying a cleat hitch and showed us a nifty way to stow long docklines.
Trying out the nifty way to stow docklines.
Afterward, Mr. Croft gave us a detailed tour of "Bay Dreamer," which is a very nice boat! He showed us the engine, told us how much fuel she uses, and took small groups of us up into the flying bridge to check out the Garmin and other cool equipment.
Mr. Croft in the flying bridge.
We hung out on the dock for a while, going through Q&A, before heading up to the clubhouse for our meeting. We noticed these interesting depressions in the mud under shallow water. Mr. Croft told us they were fish nests, and we could see the fish protecting their clutches of eggs. Neat!
Many thanks to OYC, especially Mr. and Ms. Croft, who were so kind to us and shared their interest and knowledge.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Lunch was a brown bag affair in the mess deck where the skipper had eaten hundreds of times in her youth.
With painting complete, the scouts turned toward installing chafing gear on two of the dock lines. This took coordination and teamwork. Jared, Rebecca, Caitlin and Sarah took the pressure off the line, holding tight while their shipmates installed a piece of old fire hose to stop chafing on the line.
The scouts worked hard and felt the satisfaction of completing important work, helping to preserve a historic vessel.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Groups contribute to Sea Scout campaign
By SHAY SEABORNE - For the News & Messenger
Patriot Scuba of Occoquan recently presented a check for $200 to Friends of Sea Scouts of Maryland, at the National Capitol Area Council Sea Scout Wardroom Dinner.
The donation arose from the dive shop's Discover Scuba Diving fundraiser for the Sea Scouts' "Save der PeLiKan Campaign." The project aims to raise $20,000 to repair the regional Sea Scout training vessel.
Numerous individuals, groups and businesses have made contributions totaling $12,000.
The 47-foot ketch named der PeLiKan has served hundreds of Scouts from across the country, providing opportunities for youth to work as a team on a vessel much larger than most Scout units can own. The boat is out of commission until the final $8,000 is raised and repairs are completed.
Patriot Scuba hosted the fundraiser in January, with help from Woodbridge Sport & Health, which donated the facility pool at no charge. The event allowed scouts to learn basic scuba skills and use the equipment under water.
"It was a pleasure for our staff to donate their time and for the store to donate the majority of the proceeds. We had a great time," said Patriot Scuba co-owner Jeff Currer.
Currer, a Navy captain, and his wife, Merial, attended the Wardroom Dinner and saw the Sea Scouts' formal landship ceremony. Currer said the couple appreciated "the chance to see these bright young Sea Scouts demonstrate their pride and professionalism, and have a lot of fun at the same time."
Watching the young men and women at the ceremony "further galvanized our support," said Merial Currer.
The business owners said they "hope other merchants in the area will also see the value of investing time or money in the Sea Scout program and the leaders of tomorrow."
Patriot Scuba continues to support the Occoquan Sea Scouts. Currer has joined the unit committee and has sparked the scouts' interest in the Sea Perch underwater robotics project.
Currer hopes that building and using the robots "will not only be fun and exciting, but also strike the imagination of these scouts as to what great things they may accomplish as they choose their careers and life path."
Patriot Scuba opened its doors in June. President Merial Currer and her husband chose Occoquan as the location for many reasons, including the uniqueness of this small town.
The Currers involvement in the neighborhood comes naturally from their military experience. "We love to work with people, build relationships, offer supreme quality in all that we do," said Merial Currer. "We take care of our customers as we take care of our community; they are family now."
Tax deductible donations to the Save der PeLiKan campaign can be made by check or by online PayPal transaction at http://www.derPeLiKan.org.
Shay Seaborne is skipper of Sea Scout Ship 7916 "Blue Heron," VFW 7916 in Occoquan.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Amanda Grace with snow piled up, and cleaned off.
Tonight's fall on top of that might have been too much, and she could have ended up like some of the other boats on Dock F.
These boats did not fare so well. (See the mast sticking out of the water in front of the dock on the right hand picture?) The heavy snow made them list, their gunwales went under, they took on water, and, down they went!
We are very lucky to have such a conscientious sister ship!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sea Scout Cameron Peters, age 15, took on the responsibility of handling the administrative needs. He informed his shipmates of the details and required paperwork and coordinated with the venue and Patriot Scuba. “It was a little bit of work, but watching it come together as well as it did made it worth it in the end,” said Peters.
The Currers were Cub Scout leaders when their now grown children were young, so they know the value of scouting, and the enjoyment that can belong to a scout leader. “We love the kids,” says Capt. Currer. “It’s great to see them focus, feel a sense of accomplishment and take on leadership roles. Scouts have a wholesome venue and a productive way to see the adventure and excitement out in the world and understand they can affect the people and the world around them.”
Our ship has taken on a special cause in raising the $20,000 needed to repair der PeLiKan, a 46’ ketch that serves as the regional Sea Scout training vessel. The boat is currently out of commission until its standing rigging is replaced.
Thanks to an outpouring of donations from individuals, businesses like Patriot Scuba, and other scout units, the Save der PeLiKan campaign has gathered more than enough to order the mast, which will take 3-4 months to manufacture. In the meantime, the new goal is to raise enough to ship the mast and install it and the spreaders, shrouds, lights, and roller furler, about $12,000 more. Plans include additional fund raisers, as well as continuing appeals to individuals and businesses.
[A longer version of this article was published in the January 26, 2010 edition of the News & Messenger: Occoquan scuba shop comes to Scouts "SOS"]
Friday, January 1, 2010
This was a post to a Sea Scout newslist in December 2000, written by Roger Crossland, Skipper of Sea Scout Ship 101 Viking, Stratford, CT. I've added some links to those I've found online:
With the onset of the fireside season, this is a good time to set sail for distant waters with minimal risk. I recommend the following to my crew and invite suggestions for additions to the list.
Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim, The Secret Sharer, Heart of Darkness, Two Years Before the Mast
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Anything nautical by C. S. Forester
Anything nautical by Jan de Hartog
Thor Heyerdahl: Kon-tiki
Victor Hugo: The Loose Cannon (short story)
Terry Jones: The Saga of Eric the Viking
Jung: The Perfect Storm
Rudyard Kipling: Captains Courageous
Jack London: The Sea Wolf
Nicholas Marryat: Mr. Midshipman Easy
Anything nautical by Philip McCutchan
Herman Melville: Moby Dick, Typee, White Jacket, Billy Budd
Nordhoff & Hall: The Bounty Trilogy including Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea, and Pitcairn's Island
Joshua Slocum: Sailing Alone Around the World, Voyage of the Liberdade, The Voyages of Joshua Slocum,
Tim Severin: The Brendan Voyage
Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island, Kidnapped
Herman Wouk: The Caine Mutiny
Jules Verne: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Mysterious Island
Alan Villiers: By Way of Cape Horn
Or browse around www.sea-room.com or [defunct URL deleted] for something to your liking.
Good reading...er, cruising.