The Western Region Boatswain and I were invited to cruise on with the Sea Scout Ship Tiki Too on their vessel Liberty. The cruise was a wonderful example of how to incorporate all 4 S’s of Sea Scouting into a weekend adventure.
It also made me think, what are the key elements that make a Sea Scout cruise a Scouting activity, opposed to merely a boat ride?
Scouting is Fundamental
Sea Scouts, BSA would just be a youth boating program without “Scouting.” Sea Scouts is about learning skills that will serve you in life. This might be from working as a team to prepare a meal in the Galley, or how to organize your shipmates into watches for vessel operation, or the simple act of wearing matching t-shirts to be in uniform while cruising.
Good Seamanship is Not a Spectator Sport
Sailors might be known for sea stories, but those sea stories are born from adventure.
Getting underway requires Sea Scouts who take the helm, operate the engines, and stand by their dock lines to take their vessel to sea. Moreover, being underway requires Sea Scouts plot courses, stand as lookout, and maintain a proper watch to ensure the safety of all onboard.
Everything Sea Scouts do underway is to ensure the safety of those onboard, because 1) it is the law, and 2) every time we state the Sea Promise it is our commitment as Sea Scouts to be responsible mariners on the water.
There is also a great maxim that sets Sea Scouts apart from others: stay active.
The crew of the Tiki Too completed numerous projects while underway, such as splicing dock lines for a newly donated vessel; replacing life lines on the buoyant apparatus; and prepping a fire monitor for painting; and painting the fire monitor.
Work and skill building should be fun. This was evidenced with the Tiki Too crew practicing “lassoing” the bit on the foredeck.
Service is a Part of Scouting
Part of Scouting is to do a good turn daily. Moreover, the Scout Law reminds us all to be Kind.
After securing in Walnut Grove, a sailor in advanced age asked for help carrying groceries down to his boat. Being good Scouts, the Tiki Too helped the sailor with his supplies.
Nothing Says Social Like Ice Cream
Ice cream improves any Sea Scout adventure. Once secured in port after a long day underway, the crew of the Tiki Too continued the tradition that many other Sea Scouts over the decades have enjoyed, and ventured up to the iconic ice cream shop in Walnut Grove.
Set Special Sea and Anchor Detail
There are many great Sea Scout cruises taking place across the entire Western Region, from Seattle, to San Diego, to the Great Salt Lake. The boats might be different, but the 4 S’s of Sea Scouting are constant across every Sea Scout cruise. Sea Scouts have fun, learn new skills, and make memories that will last a lifetime.