Preparing for competition: AMR

The annual sea scout competition, Ancient Mariner Regatta nicknamed AMR, is creeping upon Western Region Scouts, and its coming fast!

Scouts across the Western Region have begun to prepare for the upcoming event in May. The competition spans three days (Friday-Monday) consists of about 20 events. Each year, hundreds of scouts gather to compete, show off their skills, and have fun!

Each crew prepares for the event in different ways, focusing more heavily on some events rather than others. Many scouts spend months of studying for tests and simulations, called practicals, in order to know what to do and when to do it! Scouts cram for weeks, often several days in a row, to prepare for this one, out of two, scout competition in the Western Region. Excited scouts buzz with anticipation as the days of AMR and fun approach us. Scouts spend weekends upon weekends, often all three days, learning and reviewing information as well as teaching the new scouts all the tips and tricks to memorizing hot to tie a bowline on a bight or the basics of operating a rowboat, and the proper form of sailing in a whaleboat.

Crews, like the Morning Star set aside an extra hour during Monday night meetings to practice drill, and scuttlebutt. Other crews such as Viking spend early Tuesday mornings before classes at rowing practices. Most crews spend 1-2 hour meetings once a week reviewing test knowledge, and simple practical exercises such as heaving line, compass and relative bearing, scuttlebutt, ring buoy toss, and drill. Some crews even have their participants take a short quiz that they must pass in order to be admitted to go to the event.

In years past, the competition had taken place on the historical USS Hornet, in San Francisco California. However, last year it was relocated to the Cal Maritime Academy, which meant scouts has to adjust to the new surroundings, which also came with a new schedule of awards, the dance, and meals.

A typical AMR follows a very loose schedule of arrival some time after school on Friday night, and settling into housing, heads, and rec rooms. Some scouts spend Friday night to get acquainted with the crews bunked next to them,  or explore bunks of their friends they have not seen in almost six months. Saturday begins with an early wake up, and an immediate gathering of all scouts to take the Mariner’s quiz, which must be taken in order to continue the weekend and compete. After quiz, crews follow their own guidelines to complete as many events as possible in in the hours they have before dinner, and the close of the day. Sunday repeats with scouts attempting to complete all their events before the day’s close. Sunday ends early though, with dress inspection after dinner, and the dance shortly after! Scouts gather at the dance and dance the night away, celebrating their victories and having fun with their friends! Unfortunately though, Monday morning dawns with the excitement of awards, following the sad good-byes and departures until we gather again for Southwestern Rendezvous!

I can’t wait to see everyone at AMR in a few months, and keep studying! See you in San Fran!


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