The Team, or Patrol, is the unit that makes Scouting go.
A Patrol is a team, with all the members playing the game of Scouting, all of them working towards the same goal — “All for one, one for all”.
Each Sea Scout Team has a name of its own. If you join an old Team that name will have a lot of history and plenty of tradition behind it.
The Team does not stand alone. It is part of the Scout Section, or Troop; and just as certainly as the Team belongs to the members in it, the Scout Troop belongs to the three or four Teams that make it up. Every Scout is proud of their Troop. They wear a scarf with the Troop’s colours and on their sleeve carries the Troop name. Scouts do their best so that the Troop in turn will be proud of them.
The way in which Teams and Scouts help their Troop — and themselves at the same time—is by getting behind the Kaiarahi (or leaders) and backing them up in their work to make the Troop a real Sea Scout Troop.
The Team plans ahead. They know definitely what they are going to do for the next two or three months and have a general idea what they expect to accomplish after that. Members should not spend all their time planning and dreaming about the Team’s “great future”. Decide on the things that are immediately ahead and get cracking.
Every Team needs a box or sea chest. The sea chest must stand up to some pretty rough handling and at the same time it should be possible for two Scouts to carry it. Let’s look at some of the things which may go into the chest— will help you to decide the best size and how to make use of the interior:
Signaling— flags, buzzers, cards etc.
Mapping—charts, rules, dividers, compasses.
First Aid— bandages, splints, etc., for practice.
First Aid Kit—for real use only.
Sundries—paper, pencils, drawing pins, glue, chalk, crayons, etc.
Games— tennis balls, etc.
Rope Work— knotting ropes (one per Scout) each about 2 metres long, lashings, twine, rope for splicing, etc.
Cleaning— clothes brush, shoe brush and polish, needles, and thread, etc.
Books— record books, The Scout Badge Programme Book, Scouting for Boys, Pathfinder and Senior Scout Handbooks, N.Z. Sea Scout Handbook, Rules for Water Activities
Your sea chest can be painted in the Team colours and may bear the Team emblem.
Be proud of your Team and your Troop. Help your Team Leader to make yours the best Team in the Troop.
The Sea Scout Patrol Leader
The responsibilities of the Sea Scout Team (or Patrol) Leader are exactly those of his or her Scout counterpart, but in addition the Sea Scout Team Leader must be able to take charge of the Tean standard boat for instruction in boat pulling and on Team cruises. This means that as well as wearing two stripes the Patrol Leader should have a
Boating Adventure Skills
Gaining these badges not only marks a standard of seamanship and skill in boat handling, but also reflects the Team Leader’s ability to take charge of the crew. If every Team Leader makes Boating Adventure Skills badges his or her number one requirement, then the standard boat really achieves the objects for which it was designed and the Team can spend many pleasant hours learning the ways of the sea and exploring the coastline around the Troop H.Q. as a unit.
To make the most of the boats available and to ensure that all Scouts have ample opportunities to further their knowledge of practical seamanship and boat work, the Youth Leadership Team (or Patrol Leaders’ Council) must set about planning the main outline of the Troop’s boating programme, including training for regattas and other aquatic displays, early in the season, so let us consider a few likely annual fixtures.
Opening Day. Most Groups celebrate in some way the opening of the boating season. This generally consists of an inspection of the Group and the ship by an official of Scouts Aotearoa, Harbour Board or Yacht Club and is followed by a demonstration of boat work by the Scouts. No need to be too ambitious about this first display of the season—it is really a day to let the whanau see the results of your work on refitting and maintaining the boats during the winter, so an inspection, a row past, a few well run races and a speech from the guest of honour, followed by some light refreshments for the visitors while the Scouts take the Kea and Cub Sections for a short cruise, is just about enough. Try it on a Saturday morning around late September or early October.
For the next few months, training of the Team, especially the new recruit, will be towards Boating Adventure Skills Badges also to see they all qualify as swimmers. The Team Leader will be responsible for teaching his or her own Team boat pulling so, before you even set foot in the boat, have a clear idea of how much you hope to accomplish each day and make sure you know your stuff before you start.
A few pointers to bear in mind when teaching the Scouts to row:
Take charge of the crew and see that they pay attention.
Be clear in your explanations.
Be patient in dealing with faults.
Don’t lose your temper or start shouting.
Correct faults individually, not by general remarks to the whole crew.
Have your Assistant Team (or Patrol) Leader move around the crew, assisting those who have difficulty in getting the knack.
For the first few lessons it is a good plan to have the Team turn up at H.Q. with lunch and make the trip an all-day cruise. If training is confined to a small area around H.Q. the boat will be alongside as often as it will be away while the crew are ‘resting”, so go somewhere and instruct while on the way.
Zone and Troop Regattas. If you are lucky enough to be near another Sea Scout Group, then plan to have a regatta with them during November or early December. Much the same arrangements will need to be made as for Opening Day, and the programme can follow the races generally run at National Scout Regattas. Rowing races, remember, are much more spectacular than sailing races, so time the rowing events for that part of the day that you want whanau to be present. Include a few novelty races to liven up the programme if you have time.
The Zone Regatta has one disadvantage from the Team’s point of view in that the Team seldom operates as a unit, the various crews being made up from the best oarsmen in each Team, but you will have done your bit if some members of your Team have been chosen to represent the Troop.
The Group Regatta, on the other hand, is almost completely a Team affair and most events are inter-Team competitions. To avoid undue delay between races, try starting from just off the beach and out around a buoy and back. In this way no time is lost while the crews pull out to the start line. Dinghy rowing and sculling races, centipede races where the crew paddle the boat along instead of rowing (without rudders), and a steeplechase can help to make an entertaining programme. A steeplechase could well start off with the boat being sculled over the stern, switching to paddling at the first mark, to towing by the crew swimming at the second mark, with the boat going over a moored spar and the crew under it, finally ending up with the crew rowing the last lap. There are endless possibilities and a meeting of the Youth Leadership Team is bound to come up with enough ideas for a first-class show.
The Christmas Camp is an excellent opportunity to polish off those outstanding Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, whether or not you have been able to take the boats. Remember a week in camp covers around the same time as six months of Scout Section meeting nights, so make the most of it. If you are lucky enough to have the boats along, then aim to have each member of the Team come home with Boating Adventure Skills Badges. Also, while at camp, encourage the Scout who is a weak swimmer. Confidence is all they need, and the Team can do a lot to help them gain it.
In the New Year it is time to think of introducing the Team to sailing. Doubtless they have all been away on a few cruises prior to this, but it is the new member of the Team we don’t want to overlook. This means that an Kaiarahi will be along with a Charge Certificate to help out but will expect you to handle the boat and crew and to have done some preliminary instruction before actually going away under sail. Don’t be one of those helmsmen who sticks to the helm all day—pass it round—every Scout needs to be able to do every job in the boat. The Team Leader doesn’t have to hold the helm to be in charge; all they should do is make sure the Scout detailed off to take the helm knows the orders to give and has had experience in the other positions in the boat.
Toward the end of the boating season the Scout Section should think of another display day, using the boats, and the parents will expect this to be a much more polished effort than your opening day programme, so plan well in advance, rehearse each event, and make sure everyone is smartly turned out on the big day.
During the winter months get on to marline spike seamanship and make a display of all the articles of rope work and canvas work you have made for inspection by the whanau attending the Group’s Annual Celebration. Don’t forget to name the Scout responsible for each exhibit, include a series of photographs showing what the Team did over the summer period.
Finally, see that the Team is smartly dressed whenever they are away in the boat or anywhere else. Scarves and shirts are the only items of the uniform necessary in the boat except on formal occasions, but they do at least identify you as Sea Scouts,
You are the leader—you set the standard, the rest is up to every Scout in the Team doing his or her best to maintain the standard you set.
National Scout Regattas
Sea Scouts are “webfooted” Scouts. Basically the training is the same; consequently we compete with our fellow Scouts in camping competitions on a Zone and National basis and fraternise and take part in Jamborees, but with the growth of the Sea Scout section and the advent of the New Zealand Standard Sea Scout Boat it became possible for Sea Scouts to meet and compete with one another in friendly rivalry at a camp of their own and do the things Sea Scouts want to know and do.
It was felt much good could be gained from such gatherings in experience of Scoutcraft, Campcraft and Seamanship as it applies to Sea Scouting.
The first National Scout Regatta was held at Picton in 1945 and from it developed the enthusiasm and the scope of the present-day camp and regatta, making it the ambition of Sea Scouts to attend at least one of the National Regattas.
The minimum age has been kept as low as possible, as have the minimum requirements for Camping, Cooking and Swimming, to encourage the younger Sea Scout to participate and gain experience of camp life, and with the enthusiasm that is engendered at these gatherings to return as a Sea Venturer in three years’ time.
The camps and regattas have been held in different parts of New Zealand, alternating as much as possible between North and South to allow the young people the thrill of adventure in travelling to other places, and to act as a stimulus to the Area in which the events are held.
To attend a National Scout Regatta is to see Sea Scouting in its true perspective. Here the Groups fend for themselves and compete in friendly fashion to outdo each other in Campcraft, Scoutcraft and in Seamanship, competing in rowing, sailing, swimming, and lifesaving.
The awards are designed to encourage the young people to do their best in all parts of our training, for in these great “canvas towns” adjacent to water, Sea Scouts need to put into practice all they have learned, and they gain much more from seeing others living and working together as a team in the true Scouting spirit.
Spare-time activities are encouraged for the leisure hour and for those “knocked out” in the early heats of aquatic events. They include fishing competitions, talent quests, films, overnight hikes, daylight explorations, adventure cruises and hikes.
The local organising committee organise a fun filled challenging programme in the form of challenge awards for Scouts and Venturers.
Royal New Zealand Naval Recognition
Recognition is granted to the top Troops at the National Scout Regatta.
The presentation of the Recognition Pennant will be made at the Troop’s H.Q. following the inspection by a naval officer.
The badge is worn by Sea Scouts, Sea Venturers and Sea Branch Leaders who are members of recognised Groups.
Venues of National Sea Scout Camps and Regattas
5th National Jamboree, Kaiapoi
Motuihi Island, Auckland
6th National Jamboree, Tokoroa
Pan Pacific Jamboree, Auckland
8th National Jamboree, Hastings
Motutapu Island, Auckland
(Since 1985 Scout Regattas have been held at 3-year intervals)