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Sea Scouts


Here is a picture of a family of triplets who are Sea Scouts. You can read about their story here.  I’m not related to this family, but I was a member of a ship when I was 14 years old. Sea Scouts are a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.

My mom was a high school teacher who worked with another teacher by the name of Bob Joy.  Bob was a member of the same church we attended and he also was in charge of a local troop of sea scouts–which sounded very exotic to me. After all, growing up in Abilene, Texas there weren’t many seas close at hand.  Anyway, mom thought it would be a good idea if I joined and I was excited about the idea too.

Unlike the photo above, in my day women couldn’t be a part of sea scouts.  Somehow we couldn’t wrap our brains around that concept.  But like the picture above, we got to wear cool uniforms that looked strangely like real Naval uniforms.  We even met at the local naval recruiting center.  Hmmmm!  Instead of being called scouts, we were called cadets.  Like the regular boy scouts, we had our own Sea Scout Manual and there were badges you could earn if you wanted to.

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Bob Joy was a perfect sea scout leader.  As such he was called the Skipper. He taught us how to build and repair boats, took us on camping trips, taught us each how to sail,  tie knots and all the other scout stuff.  Those were good times and Bob and his wife were great people to give of their time so unselfishly. He even took our ship (troop) down to the gulf coast to rent a sailboat to the Bahamas! Mom thought I was too young to sail to the Bahamas–so I didn’t get to do that.

Here’s a clip from the history page of the local Kiwanis in Abilene, Texas.

The Sea Scout Ship sponsored by the Club is on a ten day trip to Miami and the Bahamas under the leadership of Skipper Bob Joy. The club approved assistance in the amount of $200.

I didn’t know then that local service clubs helped to sponsor us–so please allow me to give an almost 50 year belated thank you to the Abilene Kiwanis Club!

I couldn’t find a picture of Bob Joy, but I did find  small news story about him that indicates he’s still giving to the community!

Sailing was a great activity for a young kid and gave me something to do during those early formative years. It also placed some interesting ambitions in my head.  I remember fantasizing about selling yachts in Florida.  I thought being a Yacht Broker would be a great career. I guess I could still give that a try.  Thank you God for saving me from that!

I’ve sailed in a lot of regattas–but I discovered that I enjoy getting out in the boat and sailing aimlessly more than racing. I’m not a very competitive kind of person.  Hey if you want to be faster than me–have at it!

I love sailing to this day.  I have owned three different boats and have great memories of sailing outings and screw-ups and even a time when I rented a boat to sail to the Channel Islands in California.  The latter memory qualifies as one of those fond screw-up memories.  For a while there I made a lot of good friends through sailing–but no more.  I haven’t owned a boat in years–I suppose I’m over that.  I’m contented with the fond memories.