The goals of Seabadge include developing volunteer management, mentoring and communication skills to help Sea Scout Ships.
Sea Scout, Boy Scout and Venturing attendees came from Seattle, Southern California, Arizona, Oahu and Kauai for Seabadge. The course instructors were from Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Orange County. It was a very diverse course.
Trained Sea Scout leaders are vital to successful Sea Scout Ships. There is no way to focus on youth without having dedicated volunteers who are educated on Sea Scouts and how to mentor youth.
Nothing is better evidence of this than the first period of Sea Scout growth in the 1920s, when 500 leaders a year were being trained to operate Sea Scout Ships.
Going to Hawaii
Seabadge Hawaii was a successful adventure that provided Sea Scout volunteers quality material to help their Ships. The adventure began on Thursday for many attendees and staff who fly in a day early to Kauai. The local Sea Scouts hosted the visiting Sea Scout leaders on the SSS Decisive.
I came in one day earlier to help with logistics. I attended the SSS Decisive’s Wednesday night meeting. I was impressed with the Scouts, their energy and organization.
Their main meeting topic was booking flights on March 8 for the Ancient Mariner Regatta. At least one Sea Scout is applying for SEAL and another for the Eagle cruise. Another Scout working on her Quartermaster was given a sextant for the Celestial Navigation requirement.
The crew did their part to help prepare for Seabadge by constructing a Mast for the Landship ceremony.
The Mast will be used at future Decisive meetings.
A Boy Scout (a younger brother of a Sea Scout) and his Cub Scout friend attended the Ship meeting, enabling the crew to post 8 Sideboys for me to board.
I gave each an AMR challenge coin.
Sailing The Course
The Seabadge course was held at Camp Allen Feye.
The Camp cook prepared some of the best food I have ever had at a Seabadge.
However, it did rain buckets during the course on Saturday.
The course was an in-depth look at what makes a successful Sea Scout program.
The material covered Sea Scout traditions and the purpose of Scouting; mentoring and counseling of Scouts; mental and emotional development of teenagers; teaching methods; marketing; and many other sessions.
The two Seabadge crews were also given several small group projects, including planning a summer cruise.
The overall theme to the course is “Focus on Youth.” The instructors zeroed in on how to empower youth, small unit leadership and best practices in working with Sea Scouts.
All Seabadge attendees must complete a “Rutter” to successfully pass the course. The Rutter includes setting different goals, including planning a long cruise of at least 5 days. Once the Rutter is completed, the Seabadge attendees will be entitled to wear the Seabadge pin.
Two Things to Remember
There are two important things to remember:
1) We are here for the Scouts; and
2) It is supposed to be fun.
We did our best to make Seabadge educational and fun for the attendees. Good food was key. We also gave everyone Seabadge t-shirts and a hat.
Additionally, we stopped for shaved ice on our way to the airport and took a group picture overlooking Waimea Canyon.
Those who went home on Monday had an extra adventure with a short cruise on the SSS Decisive. We were lucky to see humpback whales, including an amazing breach.
The Western Region prospectively has three course directors lined up for the next three years. Between 2014 to 2016, one Seabadge course can potentially be offered annually along the West Coast.
I strongly encourage those who want to attend Seabadge to leave their home port. The greatest impact Seabadge can have on a leader is meeting leaders from completely different geographic areas. Seeing the diversity and commonality between diverse programs truly enables leaders to return home with new ideas on how they can help youth in Sea Scouts.