An Interview with Sea Scout Quartermaster, Kimberly Houghton, of Ship 502:
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your involvement with Sea Scouts.: How and when did you join? What did you participate in?
A: Sea Scouts was a family operation for me – I joined because my dad was a leader and my older siblings had both been scouts. When I turned 14 in 2007, it was like a coming of age and I got to go to the meetings, where everyone knew me and had been waiting for me. I would guess that’s not a unique experience, but it probably isn’t the typical either. It was never really a question of if I’d join or not, I’d had my first tastes of sailing and there was no looking back. I participated in everything I could with the ship such as Rendezvous and Sea Scout Academy, I did SEAL, the Eagle, and Koch Cup. I just wanted to be on the water whenever I could. I still do.
Q: How did Sea Scouts impact your decisions for college and career? How has it helped you in your everyday life?
A: For one thing, I didn’t know what it was like to have a passion for something until I started sailing. I think knowing what your passions are, is key to being able to live a full life, and living up to all your potential. That’s hard to do if you can’t even recognize what passion is. And then there are all the practical skills like tying knots and theoretical skills such as problem solving that work their way into being useful once every couple of hours…
I spent several years leading youth as part of my ship’s quarterdeck, and now I’m a youth minister at a church, so I’m basically a professional youth leader at this point. I think scouts helped me realize this was just a natural place for me to be. I love being a youth leader, and I don’t know how I would have discovered that if I didn’t have the experience in sea scouts.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a scout that has just joined the program?
A: Three things. First, the people you meet in scouting are valuable resources. Listen to their wisdom and keep those relationships for the rest of your life. Second, don’t be afraid to get in the water. Third, wearing uniforms wasn’t really my thing either, and I always felt a little goofy in them, but it’s so worth it. Knowing how to sail makes people think you’re so cool – it doesn’t even matter how dorky you look in a uniform. #humblebrag