The Cradle of Liberty Council sat down with Steve Leopold, Council Commodore, Council Advancement Committee Vice Chairman, District Member at Large (Roosevelt District) and Ship Committee (Ship 484), to learn about Sea Scouts, what it provides and much more!
With lots of create news to share about the Sea Scouts program, here is part one to get your family more informed!
Q: How many years have you been a Scout? Talk a little bit about your journey.
I’ve been an active member of the Boy Scouts of America for 41 plus years, but my journey started long before I was registered as a Scout. In the pack I eventually joined, I was known as a “Tagalong.” A Tagalong was a younger sibling of a Cub Scout, who came to the meetings because the parent/guardian was a leader in the Pack or it was just too long a trip for the parent/guardian to drop the Scout, go home, and then come back to pick him up. As long as the younger sibling would behave, the Tagalong could participate in the Den or Pack’s activities. This is a practice that continued for many years, in many packs, until the introduction of the Tiger and Lion Scout programs.
Once I entered Cub Scouts, I worked my way through the ranks (Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, WEBLOS) until eventually earning my Arrow of Light (highest award in Cub Scouting) (Note: the Arrow of Light can be worn on the youth Boy Scout uniform and a Knot representing the Arrow of Light can be worn on any Adult Scouting uniform).
After crossing over into the Boy Scouts, I again worked my way through the ranks (Boy Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life) until I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. I was able to achieve this goal while being a student/athlete and a Chapter officer in the Order of the Arrow (National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America).
Upon turning 18, I served Scouting in many different capacities and at many different levels (Asst. Scoutmaster, Pack Committee Chairman, Troop and Pack Committee member, Pack Trainer, Unit Commissioner, District Roundtable staff, District Training Vice Chairman, District Activities Chairman, District Training Chairman, District Vice Chairman, Chapter Assoc. Adviser (Order of the Arrow), Chapter Advisor (Order of the Arrow), Lodge Vice Chief (Order of the Arrow), and Lodge Executive Committee member (Order of the Arrow)). Even 12 years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and 2 years as Service Unit Representative.
Currently, I serve as Council Commodore, Council Advancement Committee Vice Chairman, District Member at Large (Roosevelt District), and Ship Committee (Ship 484).
I have also received the following Scouting Awards: Union League of Philadelphia, Good Citizenship Award, Cub Scouter Training Award, Boy Scouter Training Award, Sea Scouter Training Award, District Committee Scouter Training Award, District Committee Key, Wood Badge Training Beads, Sea Badge Training Trident, Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, District Award of Merit, Vigil Honor (Order of the Arrow), Lamb Award (Lutheran Religious Award), and the Silver Beaver (Cradle of Liberty Council).
Q: How did you get involved in Sea Scouts?
In spring 2010, my daughter was growing wary of the Girl Scout program. She wanted to do the stuff the Boy Scouts were doing. Having several members of her family involved with the Boy Scouts (mom, dad, little brother, grandparents, uncles, cousins and an aunt), my daughter was quite familiar with the program. My brother at the time was involved with a Ship and suggested I sign her up for Sea Scouts.
Now one would think, because of my involvement in the Boy Scouts, that I would have signed up with her. The fact of the matter was I wanted this to be her thing and not to feel influenced by Dad being one of her leaders again. Besides, I already had a full plate when it came to Scouting and coaching my son’s baseball team, not affording me much more time.
Finally, it was my daughter, who settled the issue of my involvement that December. She turned to me while in route to one of the meetings and said “Dad…you bring me to most of my Sea Scout meetings and activities, why don’t you just sign up? C’mon, you know you want to.” Smart girl, I signed up that night.
Q: What is Sea Scouts?
Sea Scouts, BSA is a program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14 to 20.
Sea Scouts is a specialized program, organized to address a youth members’ boating skills and promote knowledge of our maritime heritage.
Sea Scout units, called “ships,” focus on sailing and cruising either sailboats, power vessels or paddle sports. During the boating season, Sea Scouts learn to maintain and operate vessels, with a focus on learning the safe and proper methods of handling boats. Sea Scouts also learn the meaning of buoys and lights, how to take advantage of wind and tide, and how to drop anchor or approach a dock.
Most ships hold formal meetings conducted in either full dress or work uniforms. Swimming, lifesaving, first aid, Coast Guard Auxiliary Sailing and Seamanship, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation courses are taught with the ship by their own youth officers or other adult mentors. The state safe boating course is also offered to their members by many ships. Occasionally movies are shown, regattas between crews are held, or inter-ship rendezvous are arranged.
Be sure to check back shortly for part 2 of this Sea Scout Series!