Local scouts set sail for high adventure

On March 30, sixteen members of Buffalo Troop 358 (3358 boys and 5358 girls) took a flight to Florida where they would embark on a great adventure, spending a week sailing around the Florida Keys and living on a 41-foot sailboat.  

Sea Base is a unique scouting opportunity that offers aquatic programming where kids gain hands-on experience learning to navigate open water, fish, scuba dive, and run various nautical equipment.  

Troop 358 Committee Chair Adam Thompson, along with three adults, led the group of scouts who ranged in age from 13 to 17. Thompson said the trip was, “Largely scout-led, adults were there just to make sure everyone remained safe. The kids ran the boat.” 

The scouts were responsible for much of the trip’s planning and preparation. While living on the sailboat, the scouts were in charge of cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the various operational aspects that come with managing and running a sailboat. Each morning, sails were raised, anchors pulled up, and the crew prepared for the task of navigating the ocean waters. 

At night, the scouts each took two hour shifts in which they were responsible for keeping an eye on the boat’s one-hundred-foot anchor, making sure it didn’t come loose and cause the boat to drift. Keeping lookout was also a requirement of the night watch, maintaining an alert and keen eye for other vessels in the area to make sure they didn’t collide. 

The troop was split between two sailboats, each consisting of a captain, two adults, and six scouts. One boat had bunks underneath the deck where the crew would spend their nights. Members of the second boat slept under the stars, spreading sleeping bags and blankets across the deck to keep warm on chilly ocean nights. 

Life on a sailboat requires cooperation. Thompson said he was proud of how the kids communicated and worked together. “They got up each morning at 6:00 a.m. and worked together to raise and set the sails and prepare to travel through thirty miles of the Florida Keys.” 


Trip Preparation:

The Scouts spent three months in preparation for the trip, taking advantage of the pool at BCMS where they practiced snorkeling and diving, tying nautical knots, baiting fishing rods, and learned how to keep a sailboat tidy. “There are not a lot of places in Minnesota where we can practice for life on the ocean during the winter months,” said Thompson.

Troop 358 is sponsored by the Buffalo Lions Club. To raise money for the adventure, the Troop participated in various fundraising efforts throughout the community of Buffalo, selling concessions at Buffalo Days events, the Buffalo Rodeo, and bagging groceries at Cub Foods. Mr. Thompson appreciates all the hard work of the scouts and the support they received along the way, “A huge shout out to the community for all they’ve done.” 


Life Lessons:

Scouting gives boys and girls the opportunity to learn new skills, make friends, and grow as human beings. Thompson, an Eagle Scout, stated, “Scouting did a lot for me as a child. I’ve seen kids come to scouts and have a difficult time looking each other in the eye. Scouting gives them confidence.” 

Kids in scouts come from all different backgrounds. They learn to work together and overcome obstacles for the greater good of the group. Scouting helps to prepare kids for life by teaching leadership, cooperation, and communication skills, which they will carry through adulthood.


Scouting Participation:

Scouting numbers are down to the levels they were in the 1930’s. Adam invites anyone who is interested in scouting to stop by and see what it is all about. Troop 358 meets at Zion Church in Buffalo every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to stop by or visit the Scouting America website (goscouting.org) to learn more. 


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313


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