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Old 05-15-2015, 11:07 AM   #1
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Default Sea Scouts? Advise needed

Any Body know anything about this? Got a couple of boys in mind that could really benifit from a program like this:

As in PNJ today:

Sea Scouts looking for recruits Saturday

They're a different type of Scout.

There are no archery or forestry merit badges to be earned. And their campground is the high sea.

Or at least a nearby marina.

They're the Sea Scouts, a Boy Scout-affiliated group dedicated to providing education and opportunities in the nautical world. And on Saturday, young boys and girls ages 14 and up will have the opportunity to learn about the local Sea Scout chapter at an open house at Landfall Marina.

"We off a great way for kids to get on the water within the safety and security of Boy Scouts of America," said Mark Wenzel, leader of the local Sea Scout group.

Wenzel, a retired Navy commander is actually Sea Scout Skipper of Ship 609. (Instead of Troops, Sea Scout units are "Ships.") The unit was formed in 2007 at Pensacola Naval Air Station, but is now sponsored by Perdido Bay United Methodist Church. Wenzel is also Scout Master of Troop 692.

"It's our goal is for the Scouts to learn about the water and all it has to offer," said Adana Elder, the ship's mate — second in command. "They learn to handle vessels and learn and appreciation for the water and what it takes to be part of a crew."

Sea Scouts don't just learn in the classroom. Sea Scout Ship 609 has a fleet of boats — all donated — at Landfall Marina, ranging from 31-foot sailboats to catamarans. The Scouts learn how to operate the vessels, navigate, boat safety and crew dynamics.

And while there are are Sea Scout units nationwide, few offer the maritime opportunities of Ship 609, with its access to Northwest Florida's numerous waterways.

Sea Scout Daishon Johnson, 19, knows the nautical opportunities in Pensacola are special. Johnson, a former multi-sport standout at Pensacola Catholic High, is now a freshman at Benedictine College in Kansas, where he plays cornerback on the school's football team. He's also an avid water sport enthusiast who feels like a fish out of water in Kansas.

"We've got a couple of lakes," Johnson said. "But nothing like we have here."

Johnson has been a Sea Scout since he was in 9th grade, even though he was never a Boy Scout.

"I love the water and always have," said Johnson, a civil engineering student. "I also lifeguard. When my Mom found out about (Sea Scouts) she asked me if I wanted to join, and it was a definite yes. I've learned to sail, water safety. There's a lot to learn."

Some of the Sea Scouts do have a Boy Scout background.

Braxton Page, 14, is also a Boy Scout in Troop 692 — Wenzel's Troop.

"I've always been good with the sea and enjoyed being on boats," said Braxton, who is working on his Boy Scout Eagle badge. "It seemed like a good fit for me."

Though the Sea Scouts do get training on motorized vessels, the main focus is sailing. Which is what most prefer anyway.

"Sailing is better because there's more control and skill involved," Johnson said. "Anyone who can drive a car can drive a boat. But sailing is a talent."

Open House for Sea Scout Ship 609:

When: Noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Landfall Marina. Landfall Marina is located in the Landfall subdivision on Gulf Beach Highway, west of Blue Angel Highway.

What: Dues for Sea Scouts are $100 each year and include uniforms, insurance and learning opportunities on a variety of boats. The open house is free, and will include food and drink, sailing opportunities and sign-up information for boys and girls ages 14 to 21.

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Old 05-15-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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That's pretty cool. Mine just turned 1, so he still has a while.
Shooting tomorrow's trophies today.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:58 PM   #3
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I have been there. They gave me a tour of the whole operation, dorm type rooms, big cafeteria, large dive tank with windows on the outside. They can take care of a beginner diver, certify them up to the experienced. They maintain and fill all their on tanks. Dive boats are newton dive specials, I think they have 2 or 3 and they also have a couple Catamarans for the closer dives 2 or 3 of them. I think they can dive almost 200 kids a day. Worlds largest dive organization, on the amount of people they can dive, house, and feed. Pretty dang awesome. Oh they have a waiting list. LOL I just read your whole post I didn't know they had a new one , the one I'm talking about is down in the Keys. Islamorada Florida.

Last edited by T-total; 05-15-2015 at 02:01 PM.
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