On September 9th – 11th, Sea Scouts from around Texas will gather together at Bovay Scout Camp for the weekend to compete in the Minto Rendezvous.  Minto will challenge the youth of all levels of advancement to perform tasks necessary to sailing with skill and proficiency, as well as provide a fun time for the whole ship.  Youth will be tested for teamwork and leadership skills, manners, dress, and of course, knowledge.

Events will include radiotelephone operation, nomenclature, knots, sailing, first aid, and many more.  Each event requires a certain number of scouts to participate, and as such it is common for the youth to create crews for maximum competition.

A particularly fun event is Boatswain’s chair, where one scout must tie a boatswain’s chair around him or herself, and is then pulled to the top of a ‘mast’ (usually a tree) by his or her fellow shipmates.  The ship with the quickest time wins.  These events are designed to follow advancement, while others are designed for pure fun, such as the Flotsam Flotilla Race or the Blind Man Canoe Competition.  For the Flotsam Flotilla, a first time event, youth will build a boat using only cardboard and packing tape.  This boat must hold two scouts, who must paddle (or whatever method of movement they can create using the materials at hand), through a race course.  There are not just active events though, but also written tests.  All scouts take two exams, the Seamanship test, and the First Aid test.

Throughout the weekend each ship will be graded, and the ship that wins the most events will claim first place.  Though while there may be competition between ships, there is also comradely, and friends are made.  So good luck to the ships competing this year, and most of all, have a blast!

Eva Hogan

National Sea Scout Boatswain

Ship 502 – Houston, TX