While everyone has heard of the Boy Scouts of America, most are not familiar with its Sea Scouts program. For over 100 years, the Sea Scouts have focused on educating youth (ages 14 to 21) about seamanship, boating skills and maritime history.
Member Doug Temple has donated his time to the Sea Scouts for over 40 years and feels strongly about teaching the youth of America about boating safety and navigation rules. “A lot of knowledge has been lost over time,” says Doug. “States require a safety course, but they don’t go into the details that we do. We teach kids knowledge they don’t get elsewhere, like how to read a chart and how to get from one point to the next. We even teach them how to use stars for navigational purposes.”
Although enrollment in the program waned throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the Sea Scouts are making a comeback of sorts and reactivating one of the program’s ships. Doug credits the Elks Lodge #1075 for helping to make it happen. As the official sponsor of the Sea Scouts, the Elks provide funding, help with fundraisers and provide a location for meetings.
As navigation plays an important role in the Sea Scouts curriculum, Doug and his team were also in need of navigational charts. OceanGrafix was happy to oblige, providing the requested complimentary charts to the program.
Says Doug, “Nautical charts are a wonderful thing. If you’re on a body of water, you can look on the chart and see exactly where you are. For instance, if you pass a buoy on the water, you can locate that buoy on a chart and determine where you are. Paper charts provide you with the big-picture perspective you can’t really get from electronic tools.”
If you’re interested in learning more or helping the Sea Scouts financially, you can check out their Facebook page.