Sat, 1 Mar 1997 19:20:50 -0600
Better late than never. Having read every ones comments on the
leadership objectives, it is well to remember that being a supervisor
and advisor to teenagers means accepting and understanding that "THE
BUCK STOPS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU". When I bring this up each year at
re-chartering it usually cleans house as far as adults are concerned.
Rather a sad commentary. You can talk about leadership but is
ultimately learned by example, the example of responsibility. A persons
ability to handle responsibility has always been the yardstick by which
you measure leadership. The adults in this ship act as "safety lumps".
The explorers do everything while being watched We help when asked
and show by doing and teaching. I have to admire your "gold" medal
winners.... to do a specific job on a sailboat as assigned by the ship's
bosn will require a modicum of concentration even if it is making
sandwiches in the galley. Being able to monitor all the other jobs on
board for safety and correctness and slap some PB&J in the galley at
the same time is truly worthy of a gold medal. In this ship, all
adults have had the "Safe Boating" courses offered by the CG AUX and
Power Squadron and all of the Explorers must pass the course with a 90%
or better to obtain ordinary seaman. They must have completed ordinary
except for the overnight requirement in order to participate in the
qualifying overnight. We have in the past competed with our two
sailboats in our sponsoring yacht club's Wednesday night races.
Positions are drawn by lot, with never the same skipper or helmsman.
Many times our bosn has not been available and we go with what we have.
Many of these races have had another adult leader (Naval Academy Capt.)
carrying the responsibility. All of the explorers have read the rules
but nothing brings them home more than the cry of "STARBOARD",
especially at night. Suddenly the meaning of those red and green
lights becomes crystal clear where hours of classes have failed.
Windward, leeward, room at the mark, crossing, overtaking, believe me,
they might have dozed during classes but now they are full of questions.
I am quite sure of one thing, while beating to windward in the dark
with 20 to 30 other boats, looking for an unlit windward mark in 20kts
of wind with 4 or 5 explorers entrusted to my care, custody and control,
I'll not be tied down to a specific job. In all respects this ship is a
RED, WHITE and BLUE ship in that we use recreational boating to
stimulate a career interest and follow the traditional requirements of
advancement and uniforms. Responsibility is our theme, whether you did
the job right or wrong will be the subject of objective comment. To not
do the job is an act of irresponsibility and that will be alsocommented
upon ! How much do you let scouts/explorers do??? As much as YOU want
to be responsible for. Nice thread.
CDR J.R. Erickson USCG (ret) Skipper Ship 1