Scouts from Sea Scout Ship 212 and Ship 7916 teamed up to post the color guard and perform the flag raising at the opening ceremony of Quantico Yacht Club‘s first annual Potomac River Festival on May 2nd.
Ship 212, RUNNER, based in Aquia, was represented by Samantha Falk, Breanna Gilson, Reuben Levin, Anna Thompson, Timothy Dodson, and Nicholas Cook. Olivia Holly-Johnson and Nicholas Guernsey represented Ship 7916, BLUE HERON, out of Occoquan.
As coordinator for the scouts, I determined it best to assign one scout as the leader of the conjoined units and let him or her decide the best practice for the day. My choice was made easily, when I saw a tall young man looking sharp in dress whites, while the rest of the scouts had either not yet arrived, were wearing less formal uniforms, or were still in the process of pulling themselves together. As I approached the group, Reuben Levin made eye contact, greeted me, and shook my hand. Reubin, who plans to enter the United States Coast Guard, was not the ranking leader in his ship, his behavior made a strong impression, because, sadly, it is too rare.
I told Reuben that he was in charge, an overview of the event and showed him the staging area. From there he took over, determining where the color guard would stand, how they would proceed, and who would handle the flag raising itself. With the two Sea Scout ships assembled, the young leader had the group practice to make their performance smooth. The two units worked together so well that onlookers would surely not have guessed that this was the first joint maneuver for these Sea Scout ships.
After the ceremony, the scouts even agreed to humor me by participating in a photo shoot with The Adventurous Nanner the Sea Duck. One of them asked what I wanted them to do with the little rubber sailor duck, and I told them “whatever you want,” because I found that puts more creativity and fun in the shoot. “Put him on your head,” one of the scouts suggested to Reuben, and he did so, standing tall and looking serious, crowned by a rubber duck. After a few formal shots, the scouts loosened up and had fun with Nanner.
Four of the youth were able to stay and race with club boats in QYC’s second annual Ocean Research Project Regatta, so I rushed about to assure they were able to board one or more boats, including the Beneteau 49, LIQUIDITY. Since the scouts had a time constraint that prevented them from staying for more than one race, I also arranged that Annabel Lang, of Quantico Marina, would be able to use a launch between races to bring the scouts ashore.
Bill Johnson, skipper of Ship 7916, wrote afterward, that his scouts, “had a good time, and would love to participate…in future club activities.” My work is done!