The 2017 Sea Scout Academy was the best ever in so many ways. Imagine a gathering of 300 Sea Scouts, perhaps the largest ever in Texas. Many of these are old friends whose acquaintance you renew at events like this. Seeing them again is always fun. Others are new and ready to be friends. All share a love of Sea Scouts. Everything at Sea Scout Academy is about relationships and doing things together.

During unstructured times, relationships grew through a variety of activities. Some enjoyed music, others gathered to play volleyball or touch football, others played wild games of cards and spoons, while still others worked on splicing and marlin spike skills. Everywhere you looked, people were laughing, and enjoying the fellowship.

That enjoyment continued into the structured times. No matter what your level of skill or knowledge, there were opportunities to improve. No matter if you just joined Sea Scouts or have been in the program for five years like me, there were fun activities to share with others the experience of learning.

For the older scouts there were special tracks. One track was SEAL prep. This track was for those planning to apply for the Sea Scout Advanced Leadership program this summer. They spent the weekend aboard ship honing skills and building team spirit.

The next track for more experienced scouts, for the first time, gave twenty of them the chance to experience the Elissa, a three masted barque. It has seventeen sails and all the lines that control them, and this group got to learn about the history of the ship and get some experience working the rigging. The final track for older scouts had them teaching various skills to the younger scouts. This youth led instruction allows the older scouts to be role models to the younger ones, and ensures that the tradition of Sea Scouting is passed on.

Finally, all of this happened at one of the most amazing places in the world, Sea Star Base Galveston. If you haven’t been to SSBG, find a reason to get there. You can do anything on the water that you can imagine. Want to row a boat? You can do that. Want to sail a small boat, or a medium sized boat, or a big boat? You can do that. Interested in taking the helm of an 82-foot retired Coast Guard cutter through the Intracoastal Waterway? Also available to you. There is even a 110-foot vessel that is capable of marine science. There is no place like it.

See you at Sea Scout Academy 2018 or whatever floats your boat!

 Monica Attaway, Area 2 Yeoman

Photos by Skipper Richard Lipham

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