RE: The REAL problems aboard ship
Cooke, Gordon x01243e2 (email@example.com)
Fri Jun 12 17:50:25 1998
I come from a ship of similar make up. There were only about 5 of us
that were active when I was there but we did have a good time. We were
all close friends who had brought each other into the ship. We werent
driven by trying to make rank. To be honest we didnt wear uniforms and
very seldom saw the sea scout book except over the winter when the
skipper pulled it out to use the diagrams to show us something.
This may sound completely awfull- "My goodness! They didnt wear
uniforms! Didnt work for rank!" (I can hear some teeth grinding out
there) but we DID learn stuff. I ought to go back and try and find out
what rank I could be right now.
We all just wanted to go out on the river and sail- so once a
week thats what we did. We sailed on a 24' 1962 O'Day moored on the
hudson river. Out of necessity we learned how to row (the only way to
get to the boat) the skipper would skipper the boat- give us
instructions- but he always explained how and why he was giving orders.
He would give someone the tiller and come up to show someone who didnt
know- how to rig up the Jib. Ussually we showed whoever was new how to
do it. We all learned by doing.
Then every now and then the adults would go out on a boat one of
them owned and put us on the ship by ourselves. They would keep an eye
on us and get some good chuckles. We fumbled at first trying to decide
who was in charge and what we wanted to do. But we were always proud of
ourselves for being able to do it when we came in- picked up the mooring
on the first try and had a good time.
I even remember one time one adult took a new fender and threw
it over board. He then sat back and said- "hey guys- thats my new $30
fender- go get it!" and sat down to watch. It took two passes but we
picked it up. Deffinately good practice.
So we may not have worked out of the book. We definately were
not driven by advancement and badges. We wanted to sail and learn how
to do it. Thats just what we did. This summer I am getting the boat I
used to sail on because the ship had a newer one donated. I dont have
any worries about going out because I know what Im doing. To me the
goal of scouting has always been education and fun-- not advancement.
Advancement is ment to be a motivator but if you dont need- dont use it.
You could try keeping track of what people have learned and awarding
them badges when they earn them. Maybe your ships members dont wnat to
earn stuff and just want to learn some skills and have fun together.
I hope this gives some ideas you can take to your ship. Good luck!
Hudson Valley Council, NY
> Normally, I'm not one to air the dirty linen but I guess I have to,
> since basically I'm asking for ideas relating to my feeling as to a
> of personal success with my ship and how to make it better.
> Background - FORGET IT! I just wrote three paragraphs and it started
> sounding like I was looking for a pat on the back for the tons of
> thankless hours I've put in.
> Current - I have been a Mate for two years and Skipper of this ship
> three. I am a seven day a week Skipper. Membership is adults 4 youth
> male,2female). I have one Mate(great guy). We have trained the youth
> officers in leadership and planning skills and we function as advisors
> not dictators. We try to ask them questions to consider when they are
> working an issue and occasionally have to remind them of the rules
> relating to various things and put our foot down. We have a ship
> membership meeting twice a month and a Quarterdeck meeting once a
> We(one youth and one adult per boat)race a couple Cal 20 sail boats
> week(other youth waiting till schools out). We just had a Memorial Day
> weekend cruise at Catalina Island and are planning to go back next
> weekend. We have a once a month vessel maintenance day and a half day
> harbor trash cleanup day. We have a 32' Grand Banks Trawler, six cal
> sailboats, a whaler tender, small sailing dingies, and just purchased
> double kayaks.
> Problems -
> 1. Oldest youth age 19 was only youth under old skipper and opposes
> authority, advancement,and is really only around because he's dating
> of the girls. We have unsuccessfully tried to give him leadership
> opportunities.He sets a bad example and have discussed this with him.
> Other youth follow his lead. The Charter Rep. wants to kick him out.
> I've got another boy(Mate's son) dating the other girl. They really
> resist supervision but I have Capt. Blhye about two deep, adult female
> attendance and especially not dissapearing, which hasn't gotten me the
> good guy award.
> 2. Membership recruitment - We have posted flyers all over the city
> at the local schools. I think it's all about really getting the
> out but flyers aren't it.
> We attended the area Boy Scout roundtable(Scoutmasters meeting)they
> suggested we put on a boating day so at the local yacht club, we put
> kinds of boats in the water to take scouts out in the harbor, bought
> food for a barbeque and NOT ONE Scoutmaster or youth atteded. I
> spoken to them since.
> 3. Rank advancement - Two of eight still havn't passed apprentice
> a year (one is my Mates son). The rest are Apprentice. I thought about
> incorporating Ordinary Rank training into our 7 day summer cruise
> balanced with the fun stuff but there is only a limited time. We have
> scheduled classes on these subjects but nobody is interested. Some one
> on one has worked but too time consuming. How can I make this training
> fun, time effective, and entice them to attend. Food won't do it!
> 4. Training - I asked the youth if they wanted to go to Rendezvous
> year and told them that I felt every one of them could go and getting
> passing score on whatever the planned to compete in. They initially
> it should be a fun outing. I did not want to take them if they don't
> practice because I'm not going to take them anywhere to fail or waste
> alot of ship funds. After a discussion they decided that they did want
> to go and needed to schedule regular practice to be able to do well.
> practice days have been set. I will keep reminding them about time
> slipping away.How do these other units get so well trained?
> It seems the only thing they are really interested in is getting away
> from adults (including us)and having fun.
> I would be the immediate hero if i were to announce NO training, no
> details, no vessel maintenance, and no environmental harbor cleanup.
> This to some degree is the mantra of the 19 yearold and his mother who
> always reminds us that this is NOT the Navy or Coast Guard.
> I have discussed the breakup of Exploring with the whole ship and
> informed them that our Chartering Organization and myself have no
> intention of breaking away from the 26 year charter as a traditional
> Scouting Unit and degrade itself to a sailing social club. This may be
> the opportunity for the youth and parents that would like to be "just
> social" to do so if they can find a sponsor.
> When I get tough on them and start forcing them to do their stuff they
> rebel, when I advise them and give them their lead, it is painfully
> or never gets done. This balancing act is my eternal dilemma.
> I guess I would be referred to as pretty tough if you asked the
> of youth and some parents and not tough enough if you asked other
> Any ideas on these subjects?
> PS please excuse the typing, I just had eye surgery and can't see too
> well yet.
> Kevin Buffington
> SES 618
> Redondo Beach. Ca
> Ship Home Page http://home.earthlink.net/~bk618/