Saturday, February 2, 2013

Midwinter update

After graduating most of our youth, the unit is revitalizing with an almost entirely new crew of scouts. Most of these came to us through the summer sailing program, which tends to catch the teens’ interest. They have completed most requirements for Apprentice rank and are starting on Ordinary—though they still need service hours.

Early February brings the start of the ship’s Sea Perch underwater robotics program. We received a grant for the robotics kits from the Naval Research Lab, and construction will be under tutelage by volunteers from Patriot Scuba in Occoquan.

The scouts are excited about attending the regional Winter Training 1-3 Mar at Catoctin Mountain, where they will take classes that help them with advancement. Socializing with other Sea Scouts from around the region and beyond is also part of the Winter Training experience. The connections they make at such events help to build camaraderie and a competitive spirit.

After Sea Perch, the group will focus more on scuba, aiming to be certified in time to participate in Scuba Jam in August.

Finally, Ship 7916 now has a new skipper, Capt. Jeff Currer, USN (RET), a submariner and co-owner of Patriot Scuba.