When Dennis Gaynor was assigned to Sea Scout Ship 441 in the Pathfinder District/Greater New York Councils, he did not know how to approach the task at hand. Dennis, an Eagle Scout, is a highly trained and experienced commissioner in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing programs but did not know much about the Sea Scout program.
When he met with Skipper Noel Guzman, Dennis was invited to join the ship as a committee member. From this point on, he began to understand the complexities of this unique and specialized program, which will celebrate its centennial this year. In the past year, he has acquired an understanding of landships, ship’s quarterdeck, advancement, and the types of activities that reflect the nautical environment.
Having taken SSALBT, he is set to take Seabadge in the fall, and is shown above learning basic piloting with local Sea Scouts under the watchful eye of Cathy Atela and Jim Pellegrino of the Hempstead Bay Power Squadron. Dennis is also planning to take Seabadge Underway, which requires navigation skills.
According to Dennis, the invitation to join the ship was the best way to understand marketing and recruiting of youth members and the most important aspect—programming. In addition, this approach will help commissioners identify the parameters of a ship that would need assistance to stay viable.
Dennis hopes to pass on this experience to other commissioners who wish to help and service Sea Scout ships.