And the race is on! While preparations for the annual Ancient Mariner Regatta are part of a yearlong process, it always seems that once the New Year rolls around, crunch time officially begins. And with every turn of a Sea Scout manual, every practice test taken, and every run of Scuttlebutt or Breeches Buoy, the level of excitement and anticipation gets higher and higher.
Everyone has their own reason to count down the days until AMR – it could be the unique experience of living on the USS Hornet, the fierce and thrilling competition, the chance to meet Scouts from all over the country during Ghost stories or over ice cream, or simply the opportunity to strut your ship’s stuff after a year of hard work and preparation. I too, have my own reason for the count down calendar decorating the walls of my dorm room, and it’s simple. My first AMR with the SSS Morning Star marks the beginning of my Sea Scout career, and it has been the most unbelievable ride since. And whether it’s on a bus stuffed with Scouts, or driving a VW bug as a grad last year with two of my closest friends (that incidentally broke down on the side of the road en route to the Hornet), making the drive up to Alameda always reminds me of that first weekend, and how lucky I am to be a part of the world of Sea Scouting.
I am thrilled to be returning as this year’s Regatta Boatswain because it gives me the opportunity to be even a small part of the team that works so tirelessly to make AMR the unique and eye opening weekend that it was for my freshman self and has continued to be every year after. For me, it’s the ultimate way to cap off my scout experience.
I lived and breathed scouting all throughout high school, and although I love being a student at Boston College, I have definitely missed the competition and camaraderie that you can only get from being a Sea Scout. Since that first Memorial Day weekend, I have had the luck (and resulting high blood pressure) to have competed in every AMR event during one year or another, scoring highly in some and not quite so high in others, and have attended everything from Boatswain meetings to Ghost Stories.
I sprained my ankle during Drill Off my Junior year and hobbled around on crutches the remainder of the weekend, and crushed a finger during Scuttlebutt the following year, so I say that I have, quite literally, put my heart and soul into this competition.
I have wonderful memories of being Drill Coxswain for three years, where we managed to make it to Drill Off five times between AMR and Rendezvous, without ever quite getting our hands on that trophy. (Luckily, I have a younger sister who’s ended that streak for our ship.) I served as Boatswain’s Mate and eventually Boatswain for a ship of wonderfully enthusiastic, dedicated, crazy girls who made me work hard for my position every single day, and who made me a better teammate and leader over the years.
I had so much fun returning last year as a grad, judging Semaphore and Fleet drill, watching my shipmates continue to compete, and doing my best not to intervene and pass on some of the advice I’ve learned over the years. But while last year was amazing, I know that this one will be even better.
I am so happy and honored to be your Regatta Boatswain at the 2013 Ancient Mariner Regatta, and promise to dedicate myself and put in the time and energy to play even the smallest role in making AMR the fantastic weekend that it always has, and always will be.