This past Feburary was the annual Catoctin Sea Scout Winter Training, a yearly training event put on by the Chesapeake Flotilla. Below is the write up of the event done by one of the leadership staff members and National Social Media Team member Cate Boulter, SSS100.
On February 28, over 150 Sea Scouts gathered at Catoctin Mountain Park for an enriching weekend of w inter training. The camp itself is located just outside of Frederick Maryland and borders the presidential retreat Camp David. Sea Scout Winter Training has been held in the same location for 20 years always attracting a plethora of scouts. Classes are taught all day Saturday with a youth dance and open gym basketball after dinner that night. The popularity of the event has increased as the classes taught are crucial for making rank requirements. In recent years the adults have given class opportunities as well; Such as, TroopTrack, boaters safety, and a youth protection course.
A majority of the classes are taught by youth, quartermasters and ables apply their knowledge by teaching and mentoring other scouts; but, there are classes that fill able and quartermaster requirements for the scouts not teaching. The more challenging classes are of course quartermaster requirements like the double braided eye splice and celestial navigation. However this past Winter Training has made a lasting mark on Catoctin history as being the first year all events were run by the youth. A committee of 4 past and present boatswains coordinated Just Dance battles, a Wii bowling tournament, as well as a 2×2 basketball championship. The social events were a huge success with positive feedback. Many scouts remarked that the friendly competitive nature of the activities brought the youth together and created a more relaxed, integrated night.
Another tradition of Catoctin is the Sunday morning service given by Monsignor Brady. This year he shared with us the need to pray for our future leaders of the United States. A scout is reverent, and all scouts at Catoctin who had stayed the night were in attendance of the Sunday service. Father Brady’s words hold true to the Scout Oath “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country…”
While old traditions still hold true, new life is being brought into scouting: refreshing, reviving and reinvigorating old and new scouts alike. Paraphrased from Lord Baden Powell, “Scouting is a game designed by youth, to be played by youth”. This holds true with the Winter Training.