Youth Sailing and Boating With the Sea Scouts
The 2022 youth sailing and boating season was fantastic for the Sea Scouts of Ship 1959, called Seafarers Commitment, which is based out of the Seafarers Yacht Club (SYC) in the Eastport section of Annapolis and chartered by the Seafarers Foundation, the charitable arm of SYC. Seafarers Commitment continues to grow and expand its activities, including its Maritime Explorer Club 1959, which is for the ‘junior’ members of the ship.
A major highlight of the summer season was our participation in the inaugural Seafarers Regatta. Since Annapolis serves as America’s Sailing Capital, the SYC decided to host a sailing regatta, working in partnership with the Eastport Yacht Club. The regatta on September 24 was structured with four classes and one Sea Scout sub-class, which fielded three vessels. Our flagship Sea Scout training vessel, Commitment, a Tartan 37, took first in the Sea Scout sub-class and third overall in its class of nine vessels.
During the July 4 holiday, Sea Scout Ship 1959 served as honor guard for the return of the tall ships to Annapolis Harbor. We have continued a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Clubs Association (CBYCA), which has developed a program to allow Sea Scout Ships to follow a process to access the CBYCA clubs all around the Bay.
A major development last season was the return of the Seafarers summer youth program, after a Covid hiatus. Held at the SYC clubhouse, Sea Scouts both participated in the summer program and helped to lead many of its maritime components, including marlinspike seamanship, navigation, and sailing training in conjunction with Annapolis Sailing School.
Another highlight was a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS)–Chesapeake Chapter to promote fishing as a vehicle for community appreciation for and engagement with the Chesapeake Bay. We began our collaboration at Junior Ranger Day held at Sandy Point State Park. Our Sea Scouts were trained in the NPS “Interpretive” approach and helped to lead several community fishing outings on the Chesapeake Bay and throughout its watershed.
A partnership with the National Geographic Photo Camp–Chesapeake enabled some of our Sea Scouts to begin the program on the Eastern Shore in Chestertown, MD, and end the weeklong program at the SYC clubhouse. The closing presentations of the documentary work of the young participants were awe-inspiring as they explored the theme ‘Water is Life.’
Our ship also continued our collaboration with the Annapolis Maritime Museum as we helped clean, repair, and replace their oyster cages in preparation for a season of growing oyster spat from their docks on Back Creek.
Our late-season events focused on our partnership with the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary. On October 22 our ship participated in the return of face-to-face Safety at Sea at the US Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, and late in October we were invited to organize a booth at the open house held at US Coast Guard Station Annapolis.
For the holidays our Sea Scouts participated in Thanksgiving for Seniors organized by the Seafarers Foundation and the Wreaths Across America, laying wreaths at the national cemetery in Annapolis.
Sea Scouting promotes seamanship, citizenship, personal fitness, leadership, and community service.
Sea Scouts is for boys and girls aged 14-21 (and with our Maritime Explorer Club we include boys and girls aged 10-13).
by Derrick Cogburn, edited by Beth Crabtree