On November 9-10 2019 Seabadge 51-NJ-2019 was held at Sts. Joseph and Michael Parish in Union City NJ.
It was the first bi-lingual course with Spanish speaking staff and participants. It was the first Catholic Seabadge course and it was the first course to be offered in an area primarily served by Metrolife (Scoutreach) Scouting. The course did not require overnight berthing which allowed the participants to be with their families
The course was led by NER Seabadge Coordinator Noel E. Guzman as Course Director, NER Vice Commodore David N. Tarantino as Course Boatswain and Log Coordinator, Area 2 Commodore Sal Ciampo as Alpha Crew Leader, NNJC Senior District Executive Joel Lieberman as Bravo Crew Leader, Area 5 Commodore Ann Newman and experienced Seabadge staffer Deidre Buchner as visiting instructors.
Fr. Aro Nathan the Chaplain of Ship 1908 SSS Rising Phoenix was on hand to bless the flags and participants at the beginning of the course. Fr. Nathan as well as Fr. Timothy Tighe offered Mass for the participants of the course on Saturday evening. During the mass everyone who was participating was a Sea Scout Leader from the Cantor to the Eucharistic Ministers, from the Priest to the Sacristan. Our course chaplain aides were on hand to present the gifts during mass.
All participants and staff were registered Sea Scout Leaders! We also had quite a few leaders who have just started a Ship attend the course! We had a huge showing of support from the community of Union City with all of the food being donated by Council Vice Commodore Marc A. Tarantino and his wife Skipper Emeritus Linda Tarantino as well as Ship 1908 Commissioner Lois A. Leggiero. Members of the parish community were on hand throughout the weekend to help with opening up the parish school for us to use as well as making coffee and setting up food for us. All in all SB-51-NJ-2019 was a tremendous success of a course and we are looking forward to seeing our participants receive their Seabadge Pins!