The Sea Scouts of the Pacific Skyline Council have hosted “Cub Cruises” for Cub Scouts and their families since 1993. This annual cruise has been a great activity showing how Councils and Sea Scouts can work together to provide a quality adventure for Cub Scouts during the summer.
The “Cub Cruise” takes place in Redwood City, California. Cub Scouts and their families board the Sea Scout boats for an hour cruise down Redwood Creek out towards the San Mateo Bridge. Each Sea Scout vessel on average takes 40 Cub Scouts and families out on each cruise. Participating vessels do at least two cruises each, some years as many three.
The Cub Scouts each get a turn to steer the boat, under the watchful eye of Sea Scouts and adults. The Cruise is a hands-on adventure, with Sea Scouts giving steering instructions to the Cubs.
The Sea Scouts divide up into teams. One group will be on watch in the wheelhouse, focused on navigating the vessel down the channel, keeping a lookout for other vessels, monitoring the VHF radio for traffic, and proceeding at a safe speed. The Sea Scouts not on watch give tours to guests and answer questions.
The Pacific Skyline Council promotes the cruise to all of the Cub Scouts in the council service area. The council marketing committee promotes the cruise in annual activities guide. The Cub Cruise is featured in the weekly council newsletter for approximately a month before the event. The “Cruise” often attracts Cub families from neighboring councils. Council staff help organize the Packs and families to board different Sea Scout boats.
The Pacific Skyline Council Sea Scout Ships include the Gryphon of Redwood City, a 65-foot Army T-boat, and the Intrepid of Palo Alto and Challenger of Redwood City, both Ships with 95-foot former Coast Guard cutters for their vessels. The Ships alternate which two are participating in the Cruise each year.
Many Cub Scouts have gone on to become Sea Scouts. There are currently multiple Sea Scouts who went on Cub Cruises as a Cub, including one Sea Scout Skipper.
Cub Cruises are one way Sea Scouts can participate with their council in having joint activities with other programs. Two other options include Nautical Merit Badge Days and Boy Scout Cruises. All of these activities, and more, are important ways Sea Scouts can provide program opportunities for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to be introduced to the Sea Scout Ships within their council.