BSA Sea Scout Ship Nine in Alameda is designed for boys and girls ages 14 – 20, and is fully integrated with and supported by Sea Fox Boy Scout Troop Nine for boys ages 11 – 14.
In July, 2018 two Sea Fox Troop Nine Scouts, Jack Murphy and Ethan Wasserman, drove with parents to the Long Beach Council south of Los Angeles to attend a week of water focused scout training in a camp environment hosted by the Long Beach Sea Base Sea Scouts. Both boys registered for three of the 20 merit badge course options; Watersports, Home Repairs and Motor Boating. As the Sea Base does not offer an overnight program, and is not open for overnight camping, the boys stayed in a rented home with family members half a mile from the Sea Base.
Each morning the boys walked together from their temporary home, along the water and over the bridge to the Sea Base on the Island of Naples. Once there, they met with many other scouts from many other units; primarily from the Los Angeles Area. The boys started the day early with their double period Watersports course; which focused on developing water skiing and wake boarding skills. The boys reviewed motor boat operation safety skills, learned about weather and water safety issues, and the roles of the boat operator, safety observer and skier. During the five day course, the boys took turn in the water skis, and learned how to get up on the skis, to ski across the wake of the boat, and how to safely release the ski lines and to re-enter the boat.
After lunch along the water, the boys spent an hour and a half learning Home Repairs skills, including painting, tile repair, woodworking, basic electric wiring and soldering. The boys learned paint, tool and small repair skills that are equally valuable in their homes or on a boat. The final hour and a half each day was Motorboating merit badge, which was a good review of man of the skills the two scouts had already learned during their two years as members of the Sea Fox crew, and on summer cruise. The motor boating merit badge course allowed the boys to validate their knowledge, skills and abilities as small boat operators and crewmembers, and they learned how to safely trailer, launch and recover small boats from the water.
Both scouts enjoyed their week of training at the Sea Base, and meeting other boy scouts, sea scouts and learning about the shared use Sea Base concept. Both boys earned three merit badges that will help them in their advancement towards higher scout ranks. Ethan and Jack are looking forward to returning to Sea Base Long Beach in 2019 to attend another week of camp.