Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scouts Dazzled by Lone Sailor Dinner

The teenagers’ sparkling eyes were wide in amazement as they caught sight of the
great hall. They saw circular tables draped in blue and gold, flanked by delicate gold chairs and adorned with fresh flowers, candles, and a miniature pewter statue at each place setting.The young women are youth officers from Sea Scout ships in the Northeast Region, who were treated to an unforgettable evening on September 15, 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.”

The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans “who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.” Past recipients include elected officials, as well as author James Michener, golf pro Arnold Palmer, and actor Tony Curtis.

Having previously heard about the dinner and viewing pictures, Sarah was very excited when she received the invitation. “I spent all day jumping off the walls,” she said. Brenda wasn’t initially sure exactly what the event was, but in talking to her skipper and to Sarah about it, she realized the magnitude of the invitation. Brenda was shocked, “because it was such a high class dinner and a real honor. “I was like, whoa, my skipper asked me to go to this?” she said.

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

Sea Scout Day, Sep. 25th

Join Sea Scout Ship 7916 for hands-on activities, displays, and presentations showing what this co-ed, nautical high-adventure program is all about!

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

Scouting Presentation to the Board of Supervisors

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, Ship 7916 scout Caitlín Keller participated in the Occoquan District Scouting presentation to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, at the invitation of Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins. Caitlín opened the presentation, followed by a Bear Cub Scout and a Boy Scout/Venturer.

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.