Sea Scouts informational meeting set
ALPENA – The skipper of a local Sea Scout troop will host a meeting for those interested in the organization 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Alpena County Library.
David Powierski will host the meeting to tell people about the division of Boy Scouts of America, he said. It’s open to boys and girls ages 13 to 21. Additionally, students must have completed the eighth grade. The organization is dedicated to teaching all things water, from sailing to knot tying to the customs of the United States Navy and Coast Guard.
Youths in a ship, as a troop in Sea Scouting is called, make the decisions on what they’re going to do, with the adults helping to make it happen, Powierski said.
“They can do anything above, on or below the water,” he said.
The organization was founded in 1912 by Arthur Waltham in Massachusetts, Powierski said. Membership grew through the 1930s, then exploded during World War II. During the war, it operated like the Coast Guard Auxiliary, helping with search and rescue, and maintaining channels and navigational aids.
“That’s mostly because a lot of the men that would’ve normally done that were off to war,” he said.
Sea Scouting still exists, although the numbers have dwindled, Powierski said. There’s no program in Alpena and he’d like to get one started. Powierski is the skipper for a Sea Scouting ship in Harrisville, so he already has connections to people who can help an Alpena ship learn about water activities.
“We do have equipment available to us,” he said. “We have canoes, kayaks, a 27-foot Catalina sailboat and a 37-foot Islander sailboat. There are adults that have motorboats that would be willing to take us on them, and we even have somebody that owns a sea plane that said they would be willing to work with us.”
The cost to join Sea Scouts is $40, with more to come depending on what scouts opt to do, Powierski said.
Powierski urged anyone interested in the organization to come to Tuesday’s meeting.
“It doesn’t cost anything to check it out,” he said.