OceanGrafix recently donated print-on-demand charts to Sea Scouts, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. The charts were put to good use on the SSS Sea Dart II, a 65-foot vessel operating out of Linden, New Jersey, during its cruises to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, New Bedford and other locales this fall.
Pat Geiger, a volunteer with the Sea Scouts, contacted OceanGrafix to inquire about updated charts in preparation for the group’s upcoming trips. “Our charts were either very old or nonexistent,” says Pat, who notes the significant role Sea Scouts plays in young mariners’ lives. “From these boats, former scouts have grown up to become unlimited masters, tug captains and hands and commanding officers on Navy and Coast Guard ships.”
Sea Scouts is part of the Boy Scouts’ Venturing Program and offers young adults the opportunity to travel and learn skills that could be useful in their future careers. The Sea Scouts take on a number of important tasks during their trips, such as navigating, cooking, standing watch as lookout, serving as helmsmen and working in the engine room. In addition, they take on the hard work of refurbishing the boats and ensuring they are seaworthy. “One scout is our chief engineer and another storekeeper,” says Pat. “The scouts maintain the boat, tend the lines and even maintain our ancient BUDA diesel main engine.”
As a former Sea Scout, Geiger understands first-hand the impact the experience can have on young adults. “Volunteering with the Sea Dart II has been a great experience for me,” adds Pat, who works on the tugboat Zachery Reinauer when not volunteering for the Sea Scouts. “It’s my turn to ‘give back’ since I got so much from my experience as a teenager with the Sea Scouts.”
Sea Scouts is for boys and girls ages 14 (or 13 if they’ve completed 8th grade) and under 21. The SSS Sea Dart II is male only at this time due to the boat’s facilities, but co-ed ships are available at the Linden, New Jersey base. For more information about the Sea Scouts aboard the SSS Sea Dart II, visit www.ship228.com.