Sea Explorers hold open house in effort to recruit more deckhands

November 01, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Eight youngsters of the Sea Explorer ship Sea Wolf turned Building No. 14 of the Curtis Bay U.S. Coast Guard Yard into an imaginary water-going vessel.

The Sea Explorers, a unit of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, had hoped to help their skipper swell the ranks during Thursday's open house.

But two weeks of advertising failed to draw new deckhands -- no one outside the faithful membership showed up.

But skipper Ed Wright, the scoutmaster, was unperturbed.

"We want to start doing this on a regular basis. But we really didn't have anybody show up," said the skipper, who has two sons involved with the Scouts. "All we can do is keep trying."

Sea Wolf, for young men and women ages 14 to 21, was formed three years ago. The youngsters, who generally spend one day a month on the water, have participated in three regattas, finishing third each time. And the water Scouts traveled to Japan in 1992 as part of the Baltimore-Kawasaki Sea Scout Exchange. They played host to the Japanese Sea Scouts this summer.

Being a Sea Explorer "seems pretty cool," said Linthicum's Steve Hewitt, 14, who became a Sea Wolf a few months ago. "In the Sea Scouts, you can go out on the ocean and meet ships from who knows where."

The youngsters are restricted during the winter to such outdoor activities as camping and hiking, Mr. Wright said.

Other meetings are held weekly.

Twenty ship hands are listed in the skipper's log, Mr. Wright said. But some have gone off to college. Others expected to show up Thursday night probably had to do homework.

"We're in the building mode right now," trying to recruit more members, the Linthicum resident said.

The group has three boats, and adults who are interested in the program let the children use their boats from time to time.

As their fathers watched, 12-year-olds Dwayne Campbell Jr. and Matthew McCurdy followed the orders of Mr. Wright's son, Donald, 19, who led the meeting.

"I think it's kind of neat," said Dwayne Sr.

"I wish I had gotten involved in something like this."

The Sea Explorer unit, which also has a program for 12- and 13-year-olds, called Cabin Boy/Cabin Girl, mixes fun with building leadership skills, character and self-confidence, Mr. Wright said.

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