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  • Seabase 2014

    Hello all -- this coming January, I'm planning on putting in our troop's first-ever bid for a Seabase reservation.

    On our end, we have the understandable problem of few willing to commit to an event that is more than a year away, because it does throw a wrench into the whole reservation idea. Right now, I have four Scouts and four adults that would like to go. Ideally, I'd like to have two crews of 6-8, that way we can split up the four adults between the two crews. I can't really guess whether or not I will get 4 to 8 more Scouts signed up. Anyway...

    Other than that issue -- does anyone have any recommendations about putting together a Seabase trip?


  • #2
    Monthly payments starting in January!!! Start at $100/month until you've nailed down your budget. If someone falls behind it is a good indication they can't afford the trip without some help.

    Contracts! Make it very clear that you (the troop) are not responsible for finding a replacement. If someone cancels, they are responsible for finding their replacement, and it's up to them to negotiate return of payments. If they don't, the money they put in stays with the crew unless the replacement actually pays full fare.

    Really, times are tough and you may need to bail somebody out before the thing is through. Let your committee know that they should increase fundraising goals.

    Definitely shoot for recruiting four more youth. A 50:50 split between adult and youth is not optimal.

    Are your adults trained to a direct-contact position? Make this a requirement before signing them on.

    If the boys blab about this to their sisters/girlfriends, brace yourself. There may be a venturing crew in someone's future.


    • #3
      Getting local scouts to come in and really discus previous seabase trips will certainly help. Making sure to really think about whether the scouts are really interested in any particular type of trip and what they would want to do.

      Also this trip is likely a year and a half away. Yes you might desire to reserve this far in advance in order to get a choice week but many scouts simply don't plan this far in advance. Interests change in over a year some will likely not longer be in the troop at that point. Concentrate on what you are doing for this summer first and then bring up future plans in those planning meetings and at troop meetings.


      • #4
        qwazse had great advice.

        IMHO, ultimately the ones that go are the ones that commit. It's an educational point that others will need to learn. That to achieve and be part of something special, you need to invest yourself long in advance. It's the same for jobs, relationships, education and anything worthwhile. It is always easier to stay non-committal, but then you automatically lose. That's life.

        Try to get more to sign up. If you are borderline for a 2nd group (one or two short), open it up for cousins, non-scouting brothers or former scouts that just turned 18 or similar. I'd rather stretch the rules slightly then to have scouts that want to go lose out because of a numbers game.

        I've been to Sea Base and I loved it. MUNSON. munson. MUNSON. munson.


        • #5
          Thanks, guys...

          At last night's troop meeting, I heard about another father-son pair that want to sign up. However, dad is 300+ pounds, so I had to broach that delicate subject :-).

          I know that the 50:50 split is not optimal -- ideally, if I get four more Scouts, we can do two sailboats with two adults on each. Then I just have to clamp down on new adults joining the group.

          Of the four (adults) presently signed up, three are direct-contact trained. One is not. He's pretty affable, but I think when I explain the situation, he might not balk at becoming trained.

          Qwazse -- it's funny you should mention the Crew idea. Our older Scouts, on their own, have been discussing starting up a crew. Our SM is not opposed to the idea, because he has daughters that are aging (but not presently ready to join). On top of that, our SPL is somewhat of an achiever -- he is a 14-yr-old Eagle, has about 120 merit badges (with a plan to finish the rest -- he is irritated with all the new ones, because he is shooting for a moving target), has a Hornaday Award, but is looking for the medal, is working on the National Outdoor awards, and started on STEM/Nova.

          So what's missing? Ranger/Silver :-). He's pushing for the Crew.

          I admire their initiative, but I'm not so keen on becoming a CC for a Crew, unless I can be convinced it isn't much work.



          • #6
            Guy, my crew CC does next to nothing. We're a bit dysfunctional that way. But in general crew committees do little more than rally adults to support the youth based on the youth's requests for support. The crew youth are much more responsible for it's workings. The adults that come to chaperon activities don't see it as much of a chore.

            I think most of us would agree that the most time consumed is the Advisor's. So if you don't have a person willing to clock the hours (and given your set-up a lot of those hours will be coordinating with your SM), it's a non-starter. Anyway, you can browse some of the old post on the venturing thread to see how things get going. But usually it is a group of driven youth, and we adults just try to keep up and channel that energy -- a wild ride indeed.


            • #7
              Thanks, Q.

              A quick Seabase reservation question: my understanding is that I'll place a specific bid for a specific Seabase adventure, with dates (and perhaps alternates). For example, let's say I have an accepted bid for two crews of 6 (4 Scouts, 2 adults). Is it easy to add Scouts at that point, up to the max of 8 total per boat?



              • #8
                Keep in mind I last did this two years ago, but I doubt things have changed all that much. I was able add/remove crew members up until a couple months before setting sail. We wound up recruiting four crew from across the Eastern Seaboard. The last two didn't sign on until 5 months prior to casting off.

                Also, one thing that a lot of folks don't understand: the sailboats don't stay close together. It's a big ocean, and each captain sets his own course! You'll cross paths from time to time. You may or may not anchor in the same location for the night. Often that depends on the day and the tides and the mechanics of the boat. If your boys have been working the patrol method, and get the notion of camping some distance apart, that shouldn't be a problem.

                If they are a tight knit group, you can put a bid on a larger 10-12 person adventure. That's what I wanted to do for our last trip, but lost the lottery. We got our two boats in the second round. (Basically, we got offered the adventures of units who won but passed on their bid when it came time to pony up $$ for the down-payment.)


                • #9
                  If you get a 10-12 person adventure, you only need two adults. Just say'in.


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys --

                    I think if we get two boats, and they have diverging paths, so much the better. Of course, there may be some argument about who goes on which boat, but that will work itself out.

                    But offhand, I don't recall which adventures are 10-12. That is certainly a good option. As of yesterday, I have 5 Scouts and 4 adults. Three more Scouts would say yes in a second, but they'll have to work out the payment issue.

                    A side note: this trip is a little selfish on my part. Seabase opened up shortly after I aged out, and my old troop did go. Ever since, I've been filled with envy. So now, over 30 years later, my son joins a troop without a high adventure program. So, it's taken time, but now we have an actual 5-year plan (although we're unsure whether to try for Philmont or one of the other excellent-looking council-based high adventure programs in a few years). The only problem, of course, has been getting families re-oriented towards thinking two years out.

                    For example, last week a mom told me they'd like to sign up, but they're just not sure what their son will be doing in two years. My attitude is that it's such a great opportunity, why not plan around it? I already know my older son will not be going -- in two years, that same week, he'll be on an exchange trip to Germany, which he has wanted to do ever since he figured out that other countries exist :-).

                    Thanks again --


                    • #11
                      My attitude is that it's such a great opportunity, why not plan around it?

                      You will hear all kinds of excuses. Let the bottom line be the bottom line. If they don't want to start putting money down, they probably don't want to go. If it's important to the boy, the family would jump on it.

                      Your "great opportunity" might be one other family's "one obligation too many."

                      Focus on helping those boys with payment problems find a job!


                      • #12
                        Why not have the Scouts ask their friends from other troops?


                        • #13
                          I have to laugh- We put out a brief questionnaire to gauge interest in a 2014 trip. Very vague. Just an approximate price and what activities are available. One family returned it and said it would conflict with their family vacation. Two years from now? And we didn't even give a date! Just say you're not interested or it's too expensive.


                          • #14
                            Hi guys -- I have an interesting development on this front. Our council announced a council contingent (up to 16 slots) for the very same week we were targeting. I did have a quick discussion with the council staff high adventure adviser about the contingency fee built in, and I'm happy with his response (the "padding" seems reasonable, given they take care of all the administrative aspects that I would otherwise have to take care of). Together, we decided that we could try the lottery and then if that doesn't work out, we can talk to him about the council slots. I suspect, however, that we may be limited to 2 adults.



                            • #15
                              Options are always nice to have. As with all such things: communicate, communicate, communicate. Don't suspect anything. Find out from your high adventure guy how many adults your troop can supply. It may be two, but it could be one or none.

                              You also want to be clear if this contingent is recruiting among crews in your council. That means it could be co-ed. This may be a problem for some of your parents. (It usually is not for the youth.)

                              On the flip side, it's a great way for your boys to meet and work with youth from all over your council. That usually winds up being a very big plus.

                              I had a scout/venturer be part of a council Philmont contingent. For a while, he was our go-to guy when it came to backpacking weekends. It was a positive for our crew and troop on many levels.