How do you have an event that not only makes Sea Scouting more exciting but also gains a greater creativity and sense of competition for scouts? The Sea Scouts in Texas have figured out a way. Every year, there is an annual competition for ships in Texas called Minto Rendezvous and one of the competition events is called Flotsam Flotilla.
This event gives a specific list of materials that each ship have to build a boat out of and try and make it across the length of the pool. The materials have gotten more interesting over the years ranging from duct tape and cardboard to milk jugs and duct tape. This year the challenge was more complicated than the previous years. The only materials allowed were balloons, twine and garbage bags.
The designs varied depending on the ship. Some of the ships opted for blowing up regular balloons and then placing them in a trash bag. Others made intricate designs where they utilized long and skinny trash bags to make pontoons for their boat. Another tradition at Minto is to award different ships with not only first place but also fun awards like the Submarine Award, for whoever sinks to the bottom of the pool fastest.
Congratulations to the winners of the Marine Engineering Award, the Frankenboat Award, 1st Place, Most Creative Design and the Largest Dispersal Award. This is an event that could be transferred to any place in the US. There are many possible permutations of the materials that could be used.
An event like this could be used to recruit new ship members or a competition between the various ships in your council. I encourage you to think of what is possible to inspire and ignite the creativity for your ship.
Thank you to Mr. Richard Lipham from Ship 846 from Sam Houston Area Council for the photos of Flotsam Flotilla.
Yours in Sea Scouting,
2015-2016 National Sea Scout Boatswain