Scouting, Seamanship, and Service: those are the first three "s"'s in S.S.S.
YORKSHIRE, with a fourth little "s" thrown in for social. YORKSHIRE gave
all four "s"'s a real workout this past weekend by helping our affiliated Boy
Scout Troop 25 with their annual Webelos Cross-over Weekend at
For Sea Scouts in the crowd who were never land Scouts, I'll mention that
Webelos (We'll Be Loyal Scouts) are the 2nd year Cub Scouts who are ready to
cross-over from Cub Scout Pack 25 into land Scout Troop 25. Each year
at this time, Troop 25 stages an elaborate cross-over weekend to accomplish
this feat at the York-Adams Area Council's Wizard Ranch in Hellam Township,
York County, Pennsylvania. The location is called Wizard Ranch because
it was a gift to the Council over forty years ago from Mahlon N. Haines, a local
shoe merchant who called himself "The Shoe Wizard". Haines
was also the first York-Adams Area Council Squadron Sea Scout Commodore back
in 1932, so you can see that Sea Scouts have been providing service to our
Council for over seventy years.
Pack, Troop, and Ship 25 have in recent years enjoyed substantial
growth in numbers. All three units are sponsored by Yorkshire United
Methodist Church, 125 Edgewood Road, York, PA. The pack has approximately
150 Cub Scouts, the Troop has about 88 land Scouts, and the Ship has 12
active and 4 reserve Sea Scouts. We Sea Scouts realize that to stay afloat
as a ship, we need to constantly recruit new, young members, and so we
leap at any opportunity to show off to impressionable land Scouts and the
little friends of Garfield (the Cub Scout mascot) why "Sea Scouts have
more FUN!" Accordingly, when the land Scouts of Troop 25 asked YORKSHIRE for
help this year to run their cross-over weekend, we were delighted to be of
service. Here's how the four "s"'s came together for us:
YORKSHIRE showed up in force Friday night at Wizard Ranch. We
discovered that God loves Sea Scouts: why else would He send water from the heavens
to keep us happy while stuck on dry land? We erected our camping area
in the same way we do a land ship. (We've been getting a lot of
practice in doing land ships lately). For having set up in the dark in
the middle of a rain storm, things didn't look too shabby the next morning,
all things considered.
Boatswain's Mate Matt (this year's SEAL candidate from the YORKSHIRE)
supervised proper sanitation measures for the breakfast dishes - separate
basins for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing.
YORKSHIRE standing tall for morning colors at eight bells in the morning
watch (0800). Yes, we had our half-hour glass, and yes, we rang out
ship's bell time to keep the Cubbies and the land Scouts organized.
We hoisted the national ensign on our landship right on the dot at 0800
(after a National Bureau of Standards electronic time check). Our land
Scout brethren had a little difficulty keeping to such strange things (to
them) as a pre-planned schedule, and so asked for an additional half-hour to
get ready for morning colors at the Ranch flagpole. We took pity on
them and said, "Sure - why not?"
A fierce-looking Color Guard if ever there was one! I wouldn't want to
bump into these folks on a dark night. The skipper scowls at the
photographer as Boatswain's Mate Matt, Purser Leah, and Storekeeper Isaiah
stand at parade rest in the intermittent rain ready for Morning Colors.
"Color Guard, Post!"
Up does Old Glory! Long may she wave, o'er the land of the free, and
the home of brave.
Sea Scouts in white hats dress up any formation. Yes, the bugs are
centered, even though you can't see them.
"This morning's Color Guard was provided by Sea Scout Ship 25 - S.S.S.
YORKSHIRE. You land Scouts who want to know how do to it right, take
note of how these Sea Scouts did it." Thanks for the praise,
Chris, but as Sea Scouts, we're just "do'in what comes naturally".
The ship 25 landship was augmented by SSTV WINDROSE, our sturdy,
shoal-draft, four-berth, trailerable sloop. One way to advertise to
land Scouts is to show them the neat stuff we Sea Scouts get to use.
J.B., our Health and Fitness Specialist, and Isaiah, our Storekeeper, are
snug and dry in the "fiberglass tent".
Did I mention that the fourth "s" in Sea Scouting stands for
"social"? Matt, J.B., and Ashley share some body warmth on a
cold, damp morning under the landship crew tarp.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so we were
flattered indeed when the land Scout Committee Chairman Mrs. Grove modeled a Sea Scout
white hat and P-Coat for us.
To return the compliment, Boatswain's Mate Matt modeled the Chairman's
swell, new land Scout ball cap. No offense, Matt, but I think we'll stick with white hats.
Even when working on the fourth "s", Sea Scouts keep in step.
Did I mention that, "Sea Scouts have more FUN!"
While the land Scouts breakfasted on smoked pop tarts and cold cereal, the
Sea Scouts dined on .... you guessed it - Mountain Man Breakfast cooked in a
real cast iron Dutch oven! Eat your hearts out, land Scouts!
YORKSHIRE conducts a "Ship Open House" for visitors and curious
mean you Sea Scouts actually get to go to sea?" "Yes,
Ma'am. We've sailed the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to the
Chesapeake, plus the British Virgin Islands, too."
Now here's a little girl who knows what she wants to do as soon as she
graduates from Middle School.
Meet Morgan. We're going to adopt her as our Ship's mascot and cabin
Saturday early evening, the land Scouts and the Sea Scouts line up to
welcome the former Cub Scouts as they "cross over the bridge" to
become real Boy Scouts. Quick question - which group looks more
"squared away" and which group has the neater uniforms? Aw
shucks, that was an easy one.
Purser Leah won the "Be a Boatswain for the evening" contest, so
here "Boatswain" Leah conducts a uniform inspection.
Boatswain's Mate Matt shows "Boatswain" Leah how to blow the
The scout honor guard precedes the Cub Scouts crossing over the
bridge. Say, who's that good-looking sailor bringing up the
rear? Why it's none other than Sea Scout Apprentice Eagle Scout
Greg. Did I mention that Sea Scouts stand out in any crowd?
The honor guard crosses the bridge.
Quick question - only one member of the Honor Guard was carrying his torch
correctly - can you guess which one? Hint - there was only one Sea
Scout in the Honor Guard. Good - I knew you'd get the correct answer
with a little help.
The first new member of Troop 25 crosses over.
Ahoy - new Scouts! What do you want to be when you turn 15 and graduate
into High School?
I'll say this for the land Scouts, though. They CAN do an impressive
The YORKSHIRE ship's company and their white hats glow in the light of the
Boatswain's Mate Matt ponders upon how far he has come in the last few years
from when he was a mere land Scout, and realizes it is true that, "You'll never
forget the day you became a Sea Scout!"
J.B. and Isaiah share a moment in the warmth of the camp fire.
Morgan, our YORKSHIRE mascot, has adopted J.B. and Isaiah as her new
There is nothing like a good camp fire to bring out the Scouting Spirit.
Front row: Isaiah, J.B., Morgan, and Matt. Back row: Ashley,
Amanda Rose, and Cody.
Sunday morning: all is well in the landship, and in SSTV Windrose.
After an extended parliamentary debate and three votes, the girls won the
right to sleep in Windrose for the night and the guys had to make do
with a tent. In a ship pretty evenly divided number-wise between gals
and guys, you get some pretty interesting motions, discussions, and votes
Yeoman Amanda Rose gets served breakfast in bed by Eagle Scout Cody.
What girl wouldn't like this on a campout?
The twelfth point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Reverent", and
all Sea Scouts are bound not only by the Sea Promise, but by the Scout Oath
and Law as well. Accordingly, on Sunday morning, we led the
land Scouts (new and old) up to our favorite Susquehanna River overlook at
Wizard Ranch for the Scout's Sunday Service. "They that
go down to the sea in ships, that do business upon the great waters, these
see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep." Psalm
107, verses 23 and 24. Amen!