NER LandshipOver the weekend of March 20-22, 2015 I had the privilege of attending the Northeast Region Bridge of Honor and Ball in Swedesboro , NJ. 240 Sea Scouts and Scouters from 10 states came together for the weekend to celebrate the many accomplishments of the distinguished youth and adults in our program. I was able to make new friends and reconnect with old ones who staffed and sailed in the 2014 Koch Cup and the Sea Scout Staff from the 2013 National Jamboree.

On Friday, myself and National Sea Scout Director, Keith Christopher were able to meet with Northeast Region Sea Scout Commodore Noel Guzman, the outgoing Northeast Region Boatswain Eugene DeNezza, and incoming Regional Boatswain Sam Goodman.

NER YTF members

National Youth Task Force Members (L-R) Addison, Eugene, Sam, Peter, Catherine

On Saturday, I was able to sit in on the Northeast Region Sea Scout Committee Meeting. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were 3 youth besides myself present and each one of these youth had a voice. I can also report that the Northeast Region has some amazing programs available to their Sea Scouts. For example, their Flotillas host events ranging from winter training, to Safety at Sea, Provisional Summer Cruising, Sailing Championships, Regattas, and Sea Scout Camps, you can read all about these opportunities at nerseascout.org.

Later that afternoon, the National Director and I met with the Skippers of the Northeast Region at the Skipper’s Meeting and the Boatswains of the Northeast Region at the Boatswain’s Meeting.

NER Change of Watch

Sam G, NER Boatswain takes the oath of office.

Saturday night I joined the 240 Sea Scouts and Leaders at the Bridge of Honor. After dinner, I gave the Keynote Address, “Learning to Navigate the Waters of Life,” and Ship 100 of the National Capitol Area Council performed the Landship Ceremony. At the Bridge of Honor, the Sea Scout of the Year Awards were presented to the Sea Scout from each ship who had made the biggest impact in their ship in the past year. Afterwards, the new Quartermaster Sea Scouts, Eagle Scouts, Silver Award Recipients were recognized for their achievements, and the Ships achieving the Gold Standard in the Journey to Excellence program were honored. Afterwards the Carey-Longstreth Sea Scout Service Award was presented to the late Bob Ellis, Commodore of the Erie Canal Flotilla. Following the awards presentation, Commodore Noel Guzman performed the Change of Watch where Mercedes Matlock relived Sam Goodman as Regional Boatswains Mate and Sam Goodman relived Eugene DeNezza as Regional Boatswain.

Guzman Schmidt

NER Commodore, Noel Guzman, presents the Commodore’s Distinguished Service Award.

I would like to thank the Bridge of Honor Planning Team and the Northeast Region Sea Scout Committee for extending the invitation for me to attend the Bridge. I would also like to thank Commodore Noel Guzman for presenting me with the Commodore’s Distinguished Service Award, it was quite an honor! And finally, to the Sea Scouts and Scouters of the Northeast Region, I would like to thank you all for making me feel so welcome.

Until next time,

Peter Schmidt

National Boatswain