December summary

The new editor of our chartered organization’s newsletter is printing updates about our ship. I send him a summary of our activities. This is a fun way to convey to VFW members and officers the significance of their contribution. They can watch us grow, and find out how their generosity has made a difference to some very cool teens. Here is what I sent Fred for the January issue:

Amanda Grace, our US Yachts 27, is now in a temporary slip at Fairfax Yacht Club, which is courtesy of Prince William Marina. We continue to have weekly Saturday sails with our smaller vessels at Leesylvania State Park as weather permits.

We have 25 registered for Winter Training in early January. This includes 12 adults–many of them new leaders–and 13 scouts. We will spend a weekend of learning and socializing at Mt. Catoctin park with over 150 other Sea Scouts and leaders.

I conducted a Petty Officer training cruise aboard the 46’ training ketch der PeLiKan, and all 6 youth officers attended. Captain Steve Nichols and Commodore Steve Alexander each took a day of duty during which the scouts and skipper enjoyed a highly memorable first nighttime sail. On a fog laden Sunday morning, the Commodore took delight in teaching proper fog bell sounding protocol, and even managed to talk the skipper through making biscuits and gravy for breakfast, which was no small feat.

Four scouts joined me for a one-day trip to the Sultana Project’s Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, MD. We toured several tall ships, including Pride of Baltimore II, Kalmar Nyckel and the schooner Virginia, had dinner at a lunch counter in town, and watched fireworks at the dock.

Our Boatswain’s Mate for Administration planned a successful trip to Commodore Yeckley’s uniform storehouse in Maryland, where a good number of our scouts were generously outfitted with both winter blues and summer whites. Most of our scouts also have their blue chambray work uniform shirts. We are working on obtaining necessary insignia and the Boatswain has informed Alpha and Bravo crew leaders that they are to compete for uniform inspection, the first of which will be at Winter Training.

Our Boatswain’s Mate for Program is coordinating a Rules of the Road course with a Sea Scout from another ship who needs to teach as part of her advancement to Quartermaster.

Sales of Boy Scout popcorn were not as successful as we hoped. It seems the best strategy is to start early and have the salespersons be cute little boys in full uniform. Most people don’t seem to make the connection between Sea Scouting and Boy Scouts, particularly when girls are part of the crew. We are currently looking at other fund raising options.

This fall brought us 7 new scouts and we have tripled our original membership numbers from just over a year ago. Our youth officers are planning ways to help the newer scouts to advance to the first rank, which is Apprentice, while our more seasoned scouts are working on their Ordinary rank.

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