BRUCE C JOHNSON (JOHNSON@MAIL.LOC.GOV)
Mon, 20 Jun 1994 15:30:15 GMT
(I'm really sorry that I apparently missed the beginning of the
discussion between Eric Kozowski and Mike Walton on Sea
Exploring, but here goes ...)
Eric, I couldn't agree with you more that Sea Exploring
should be an integral part of EVERY council. Some of the
strongest and most interesting Ships live in relatively
land-locked areas of the country like Oklahoma, Arizona, and
Kansas. I particularly think of the challenge of providing a
meaningful "Scouting" experience for older young men (not
coincidentally with older young women). While many Boy Scout
troops do "hold onto" their older "boys" well, I have to wonder
whether Sea Exploring isn't a better way to pro-actively provide
an age-tailored program for them.
I'd say generally that BSA doesn't provide anything like
enough support of Exploring. Sea Exploring nationally receives
the support of about 5 percent of the time of one of the
Associate Directors of Exploring. He does his best, but he has
MANY other things to do.
There is quite a bit of good Sea Exploring literature
available. The general Sea Exploring promotional flyer is (last
I checked) being revised. National is, however, providing
promotional literature files (WordPerfect 5.1) to every Scout
Council for a variety of Exploring programs, Sea Exploring
included. (I know this because I was asked to help write the Sea
Exploring flyer. I haven't seen how much of my thoughts made it
into the finished product, though.)
Promotion, as you might guess, has been an on-going concern
of the National Sea Exploring Committee for some time now. One
of the more tangible results of this concern has been a large
and, I think, very successful exhibit at the 1989 and 1993
National Jamborees. At the latter event, we recruited 120 new
Ship organizers and followed up with most of them. Quite a few
new Ships were started because of this. If you'd like to have a
copy of the packet we gave out to new Ship organizers, write to
me off line. (It's particularly aimed at new Ship organizers
Uniforming and insignia have been continuing "challenges".
While some councils have done a terrific job stocking Sea
Exploring stuff (including those mentioned by Mike), others don't
feel that they will sell enough of it to justify the expense of
carrying it. In that case, your best course of action is to call
the 800 toll-free number of the BSA national supply distribution
center in North Carolina. I've had very good experience with
getting things ordered that way on average in about 2 weeks ...
not too shabby. Yes, you're right about the uneven quality of
the patches. I'm not too sure what we can do about that. While
BSA hasn't made Sea Exploring uniforming available directly in a
long time, you can order it from either the Navy or the Coast
Guard (details in the back of the new (1993) printing of the Sea
Exploring Handbook). There is also a uniforming supply outfit
operated by Skipper Rod Mortensen, 2607 Church, Modesto, CA, who
you may want to check out.
You're certainly right that SSS City of Rose is one of the
older Ships in the country. I don't think anyone really knows
the oldest, but if I had to guess, my money would go to SES
Privateer of Chicago Yacht Club (Ship 5870), which should be
about 73 years old this year. Chicago has about a half dozen
Ships in the 70-75 year range.
Does this help any? If you'd like additional help and
contacts (I have some names in Western Region Sea Exploring at
home), please don't hesitate to contact me directly.
Bruce Chr. Johnson
Commodore, Sea Exploring
Northeast Region, B.S.A.
. Bruce Chr. Johnson Telephone: 202-707-1652 .
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