Seascout-Net Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: 13 year old sea Scouts
Re: 13 year old sea Scouts
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 13:10:49 EST
JRE and Alphonse
I reserve the right to occasionally not have a strong opinion on some things.
However since I have been challenged, I will make some observations with weak
The age now is 14 and in 9th grade or 15 and any grade. Are we talking 13 and
in the 8th grade or 14 in any grade?
Pro - From a recruiting standpoint, it is the parents that start acting
different between 13 and 14. Once their child starts high school they start
to sweat and everything must have direct application toward the future.
Sports equal potential scholarship, etc. Engineering club looks real good to
college admissions. American Field Service shows global thinking and social
concern. We are not as widely known for the full range of our leadership and
character-building program as we once were, so we often lose in the "no wasted
time extra-curriculars'" competition. If we sell ourselves as simply a yacht-
racing orientation organization I think we lose. Also in high school the
recruiting by many of the organizations is right on site by the students.
Around here they even get an activity period school time. This is hard to
compete with. The junior high school/middle school entry route allows the
parents to get a year of appreciation ahead of high school "sweat mode."
Contra - From a manning (used genderlessly) standpoint, there is a great
developmental chasm between 13 and 18. Whatever the lowest age is we pick
that is where our future center of gravity will be. It always ends up a
pyramid if you have an advancement program and I am very much for an
advancement program. I find many of my youngest have real problems with
abstract thinking such as chartwork, semaphore, tidecharts, etc., and from a
maturity standpoint often try to appear dumb and helpless when they aren't.
If the child and/or parent is super enthusiastic to get aboard, I weigh the
factors toward guest status. They for the most part will overcome the
immaturity factor if they are super enthusiastic and realize they are getting
a special break. I am somewhat less enthusiastic about opening the door wide
to any 13 year old off the street.
My only strong opinions are:
No one under 13. The oldest minimum requirements were age 15, first class, and
105 pounds. There are 13 year olds who at 85 pounds will grab a halyard and
get pulled straight to the masthead (and probably not think to let go).
No one under 8th grade. There are 13 years old who the school system has not
advanced to 8th grade because they are not mature enough emotionally or
Sea Scout Ship 101 Viking
"We sail to the ends of the Earth."
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