The class of 2020 has just begun their freshman year of high school. These new freshman will be part of a new generation of Sea Scouts, BSA in our first year as a stand-alone program of the Boy Scouts of America. These youth have grown up in an age of social media, rapid communications, and carrying smartphones with more processing power than used to land on the Moon. Like every Sea Scout before them, they all seek adventure, making friends, and everything Scouting has to offer.
Every Sea Scout Ship is encouraged to welcome the class of 2020 with open houses in September and October. A Sea Scout Open House should play to your ship’s strengths, whether it is kayaking, sailing, rowing, or cruising. The heart of Sea Scouting is helping Sea Scouts get on the water. Whatever a Ship plans, give yourselves at least four to five weeks to announce an open house. An excellent white paper on planning an open house from the Pacific Skyline Council is available on SeaScout.org.
The Sea Scouts of 2020 are looking for the same opportunities for intellectual growth, social recognition, and emancipation from pre-adolescent interests as every other Sea Scout over the last 104 years. The “Psychology of Sea Scouting,” that Dr. William Menninger identified in 1939, still rings true in the 21st Century.
Now is the time to build our future with an open house to welcome new Sea Scouts. Leverage social media to promote your open house; post flyers about your event on community message boards in super-markets, teen sections of libraries, and Starbucks; and share the information with online neighborhood groups such as Nextdoor or the Patch. Some Ships have even started converting invitations to images that Scouts to text to their friends. Moreover, share this information with your Boy Scout Council Commissioner and Vice President of Marketing, so they can include it in the council newsletter and at district meetings.
Let’s make the fall of 2016 a time of growth for Sea Scouts, BSA.