G.O.L.D. and Our Future
William H. Sills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue Mar 31 14:47:36 1998
As Bob Amick indicated, now that we know how the GOLD Award works (or
is supposed to work), we should try to inform every other ship and post. Once
the award process was used in my local council, it then went smoothly.
The above brings another subject to mind. I always attend all of our
local council Exploring meetings. I believe that all "salty old" Sea Scout
commodores, skippers, mates and committee members should participate. The main
reason besides "showing the flag" is that we and our ships generally have 10,
20, 30 or more years in Senior Scouting and most posts and their adult leaders
have a lot less tenure and can use our experience. For example, I bring along
and mention the Exploring Awards fliers. Generally, the post people have never
seen them before. I also bring displays of the awards themselves, the knots,
samples of available literature and a calendar of Sea Scout multi-council events
which accept Explorers.
Sadly, because of the new FASB standards and National Council, BSA
policies, National, Regional and Area events are being discontinued. That leaves
Sea Scout events as the only multi-council events in most locations. Since many
of them are not exclusively nautically oriented, Explorers and Senior Girl
Scouts are welcome. A good example of such an event is "Operation Rising Tide"
during the weekend of 26 to 28 June 1998 at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in
the North Shore suburban area between Chicago and Milwaukee. This would have
been a Central Region or at least an Area 3 event in the past. Now, it isstill
considered a FLOTILLA activity but it is officially a Northeast Illinois Council
invitational event. The books are handled by Program Director Tim Dosemagen
(847)+433-1969 x613 and it is headed by their commodore Jim Harper. Because this
event, Milwaukee Council's Commodore Tole Rendezvous, our Nautorama, SEAL,
SeaBadge, Advanced training, US Sailing Basic classes, Safe Swim Defense, etc.
events are only in the Sea Scout Calendar, Explorer Posts don't get to know
about them unless we tell them.
This situation will get much worse, in my opinion, after 1 August.
There will be only about 200,000 youth in the Venturing Division. BSA will
necessarily concentrate on LFL Exploring. That is where the numbers and the
business money will be found. Sea Scouting is relatively well organized but is
quite small. High Adventure is larger but is not even close to being cohesive.
Plus, it lost its organizational structure during its absorption into the
Exploring Division. Therefore, I believe that until these traditional posts
develop the equivalent of Sea Scouting's squadron, task force, flotilla, fleet
structure, Sea Scouting will need to help them, especially in local councils. In
my own council, our squadron structure is the only one that always meets, always
performs and has something to do. Our EOA is quite erratic and, without help
from Sea Scouting, would whither away. Now, it will be worse since many posts
will be LFL.
Finally, Sea Scouting is highly organized and enjoys great training,
publication, and other resources but we are tiny. Therefore, we need the
numbers, albeit small, of High Adventure post members to survive. So, the
web-footed Scouts and the "Green Weanies" <VBG> desperately need to work
together or our traditional programs will be the recipient of the "benign
neglect" that Sea Scouting has suffered for the past fifty years.
The green and the blue are stuck with each other!!! <VBG>
PS. Now that the Ranger and Silver Awards appear to be returning (about
time!!!), perhaps High Adventure Posts could get their CREWS and Crew Leaders
back. I firmly believe that they would work as well in traditional posts as boat
crews and coxswains (crew leaders) do in Sea Scouting. My ships use them to
transition Scouts into the ship, for intra ship competition and for identy
within the ship's company. What do you all think???