Why I started a Sea Scout Ship
by Don Cravens
(Farmington, NM, USA)
In 1968, I was working as an Engineer on the Farmington Fire Department.
I purchased a Luger Kit Boat and it was delivered to my house. It was a 16 foot Luger Leeward sailboat and I started to put it together.
This was my first boat and I knew nothing about sailing. I thought: "What is there to know? Put the sails up and go!".
I talked my brother into going with me out to a small lake near town. Four hours later we had to hail a small fishing boat to tow us back to the ramp! My brother said he would never get on a sailboat with me again, so there I was with a boat I could not handle and no one would come near it.
I went to the library and got three books on handling a small sailboat, still I could not get even my wife to go with me much less anyone else.
My wife said why don't you start a Boy Scout Troop to get a crew. I contacted the local leaders and they said you need Sea Scouts. I then started reading about Sea Scout Ships and Even sponsored the unit myself.
I love working with youngsters that want to learn somthing new. I learned from the books the basic skills and worked up from there. At one time the unit owned 8 small boats (power) and 8 small sailboats. We had the Luger of mine and 3 Sunflowers ,a Larson 12 foot cat rigged boat, a Klepper Fold Boat, and others, the names of which escape me.
My Scouts never failed to amaze me. In fact one of them is now in my Coast Guard unit. After finishing high school he went into the US Coast Guard and became a Coxswain on a Surf Boat. While in the Scouts he earned the Quartermaster Award, which is the same thing as Eagle Scout. When he returned to Farmington after many years working here and there, I talked him into joining the Auxiliary and now he is one of my Staff officers.
That's how I became a Sea Scout Skipper and stayed with the Scouts for more than 24 years. I gave them up as of December 31 2009. Most kids now just want to do video games anymore and most schools will not let you talk to students anymore.
Thanks for reading this,