By Skipper Kathy Weydig
This past weekend the SSS Heatwave, with support from SSS Raven, hosted our first Aquatic Merit Badge weekend for Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts in the London Bridge district, Las Vegas Area Council at Windsor State Park, Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
We are ‘the little ship in the desert’, but have this amazing body of water called the Colorado River. We have 40 miles of navigable water before having to jump a dam. This is most important water system to Southern California and Arizona. (That is for another blog post)
This event was to introduce Boy Scouts to what Sea Scouts is all about, offer aquatic merit badges that are often not accessible to all scouts, plus a little recruiting along the way doesn’t hurt. We offered subject matter experts from Arizona Game and Fish, Lake Havasu Fire Dept., the local radio club head, president of Anglers United- Arizona, head lifeguard/swimming trainers and local boat captains. People that were eager to teach the youth scouts for all the right reasons.
Friday night offered an hour to accomplish their BSA Swim for those in need in our local Aquatic Center. Saturday troops from Needles and Blythe, CA; Boulder City, NV; and local Troop 55 from Lake Havasu City, AZ participated in Swimming, Lifesaving, Radio, Fish & Wildlife Management, Oceanography, Motorboating, Kayaking, Small boat Sailing, Rowing, Fire Safety, Fishing, and Fly-fishing. Sea Scouts used these badges to get signed off of requirements for advancements. (Male Sea Scouts can get credit for BSA badges, while female Sea Scouts cannot in our BSA Advancement system.) All got credit towards their respective rank.
Apprentice: BSA Swim,
(Rowing) 7 d
(Sm. Boat Sailing) 16c
(Radio) 5 e & f
Able: (Fires Safety) 5 c & d Live fire drills with extinguishers
(Fish and Wildlife Management) towards Hornaday Award
Saturday afternoon brought Pack 992, the local Cub Scout pack, to camp with us in the park, allowing the Cubs to see what Sea Scouts is. In the evening Troop 55 hosted the campfire for all to enjoy. Every den, troop and ship performed a skit!
Sunday, more badges and SSS Heatwave held a landship to induce four new Sea Scouts for all to see.
Our local Roundtable was held on Tuesday night and our District Executive said that we were the talk of the evening. Yes, this will be an annual event. The benefit is tenfold, from exposure to the community and scouts, to the recruitment opportunities that have opened, we are eager to do it again next year.