John S. Swift Base in Knob Lick, Missouri turned into a Sea Scout paradise this summer. The Central Region Task Force Area Three worked to enhance the Swift program Sea Scout Style. At Swift during specific weeks a Sea Scout could work on sailing proficiency, advancement, and regatta training along a SCUBA course.
Sea Scouts had the opportunity to train on the 280 acre Nims Lake. Every morning a group of highly trained Sea Scout Instructors led training courses tailored to all levels. Many new sailors were given one on one attention on small boats before going out alone. For the more advanced students, a larger boat was available to teach more cursing techniques and learn to use multiple sails and command a crew of up to five students. During the first week alone over 60 youth took sailing lessons.
Every afternoon a fleet of new and experienced sailors waited for the sound of the committee boat’s horn. All of the boats raced a triangular course. Many new sailors learned from their previous races and qualified later. Most afternoons three races were run and the winner of each race would advance to the championship.
Sea Scouts could also work on advancement. Anytime during the day a scout could talk to a specialist for each requirement or rank. Many of the participants earned the Small Boat Handler by spending an afternoon in a classroom learning about navigation, safety, and so on. Later during their stay they completed a sailing session and were awarded the Small Boat Handler Bar.
Sea Scouts could also take advantage of many of the Swift Programs. Scouts could spend the afternoon waterskiing or tubing. They could kayak, canoe, and row around the lake. Many evening programs were also offered like a water carnival, beach party, and a dance. At Swift you could never be board.
After a successful summer Area Three decided that the program would be offered again next year. In 2012 the program will be offered enlarged, with more instructors, more specialists, and enhanced program to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sea Scouting.
Central Region Boatswain
Springfield, Il Ship 123