Wizard Cross-over

Updated 04/09/2003 20:54

Cross-over Weekend at Wizard Ranch

4-6 April 2003

Scouting, Seamanship, and Service: those are the first three "s"'s in S.S.S. YORKSHIRE, with a fourth little "s" thrown in for social.  YORKSHIRE gave all four "s"'s a real workout this past weekend by helping our affiliated Boy Scout Troop 25 with their annual Webelos Cross-over Weekend at Wizard Ranch.   

For Sea Scouts in the crowd who were never land Scouts, I'll mention that Webelos (We'll Be Loyal Scouts) are the 2nd year Cub Scouts who are ready to cross-over from Cub Scout Pack 25 into land Scout Troop 25.  Each year at this time, Troop 25 stages an elaborate cross-over weekend to accomplish this feat at the York-Adams Area Council's Wizard Ranch in Hellam Township, York County, Pennsylvania.  The location is called Wizard Ranch because it was a gift to the Council over forty years ago from Mahlon N. Haines, a local shoe merchant who called himself "The Shoe Wizard".  Haines was also the first York-Adams Area Council Squadron Sea Scout Commodore back in 1932, so you can see that Sea Scouts have been providing service to our Council for over seventy years. 

Pack, Troop, and Ship 25 have in recent years enjoyed  substantial growth in numbers.  All three units are sponsored by Yorkshire United Methodist Church, 125 Edgewood Road, York, PA. The pack has approximately 150 Cub Scouts, the Troop has about 88 land Scouts, and the Ship has 12 active and 4 reserve Sea Scouts. We Sea Scouts realize that to stay afloat as a ship, we need to constantly recruit new, young members, and so we leap at any opportunity to show off to impressionable land Scouts and the little friends of Garfield (the Cub Scout mascot) why "Sea Scouts have more FUN!"  Accordingly, when the land Scouts of Troop 25 asked YORKSHIRE for help this year to run their cross-over weekend, we were delighted to be of service.  Here's how the four "s"'s came together for us: 

DCP_2031.JPG (944016 bytes)  YORKSHIRE showed up in force Friday night at Wizard Ranch.  We discovered that God loves Sea Scouts: why else would He send water from the heavens to keep us happy while stuck on dry land?  We erected our camping area in the same way we do a land ship.  (We've been getting a lot of practice in doing land ships lately).  For having set up in the dark in the middle of a rain storm, things didn't look too shabby the next morning, all things considered.

DCP_2030.JPG (721015 bytes)  Boatswain's Mate Matt (this year's SEAL candidate from the YORKSHIRE) supervised proper sanitation measures for the breakfast dishes - separate basins for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing.

DCP_2032.JPG (673285 bytes)  YORKSHIRE standing tall for morning colors at eight bells in the morning watch (0800).  Yes, we had our half-hour glass, and yes, we rang out ship's bell time to keep the Cubbies and the land Scouts organized.

DCP_2033a.JPG (738251 bytes)  We hoisted the national ensign on our landship right on the dot at 0800 (after a National Bureau of Standards electronic time check).  Our land Scout brethren had a little difficulty keeping to such strange things (to them) as a pre-planned schedule, and so asked for an additional half-hour to get ready for morning colors at the Ranch flagpole.  We took pity on them and said, "Sure - why not?"

DCP_2034a.JPG (371187 bytes)  A fierce-looking Color Guard if ever there was one!  I wouldn't want to bump into these folks on a dark night.  The skipper scowls at the photographer as Boatswain's Mate Matt, Purser Leah, and Storekeeper Isaiah stand at parade rest in the intermittent rain ready for Morning Colors.

DCP_2035a.JPG (225451 bytes)  "Color Guard, Post!"

DCP_2036a.JPG (217642 bytes) "Hand Salute!"

DCP_2038a.JPG (187991 bytes)  Up does Old Glory!  Long may she wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of brave.

DCP_2038b.JPG (440921 bytes)  Sea Scouts in white hats dress up any formation.  Yes, the bugs are centered, even though you can't see them.

DCP_2037a.JPG (780407 bytes)  "Ready, two!"

DCP_2039.JPG (839522 bytes)  "This morning's Color Guard was provided by Sea Scout Ship 25 - S.S.S. YORKSHIRE.  You land Scouts who want to know how do to it right, take note of how these Sea Scouts did it."  Thanks for the praise, Chris, but as Sea Scouts, we're just "do'in what comes naturally".

DCP_2042a.JPG (489525 bytes)  The ship 25 landship was augmented by SSTV WINDROSE, our sturdy, shoal-draft, four-berth, trailerable sloop.  One way to advertise to land Scouts is to show them the neat stuff we Sea Scouts get to use.

DCP_2040.JPG (634905 bytes)  J.B., our Health and Fitness Specialist, and Isaiah, our Storekeeper, are snug and dry in the "fiberglass tent".

DCP_2044a.JPG (103127 bytes)  Did I mention that the fourth "s" in Sea Scouting stands for "social"?  Matt, J.B., and Ashley share some body warmth on a cold, damp morning under the landship crew tarp.

DCP_2045a.JPG (500825 bytes)  They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so we were flattered indeed when the land Scout Committee Chairman Mrs. Grove modeled a Sea Scout white hat and P-Coat for us.

DCP_2046a.JPG (266913 bytes)  To return the compliment, Boatswain's Mate Matt modeled the Chairman's swell, new land Scout ball cap.  No offense, Matt, but I think we'll stick with white hats.

DCP_2047a.JPG (369665 bytes)  Even when working on the fourth "s", Sea Scouts keep in step.

DCP_2048a.JPG (242323 bytes)  Did I mention that, "Sea Scouts have more FUN!"

DCP_2047b.JPG (178704 bytes)  While the land Scouts breakfasted on smoked pop tarts and cold cereal, the Sea Scouts dined on .... you guessed it - Mountain Man Breakfast cooked in a real cast iron Dutch oven!  Eat your hearts out, land Scouts!

DCP_2049a.JPG (397273 bytes)  YORKSHIRE conducts a "Ship Open House" for visitors and curious onlookers.

DCP_2050a.JPG (467951 bytes)  "You mean you Sea Scouts actually get to go to sea?"  "Yes, Ma'am.  We've sailed the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to the Chesapeake, plus the British Virgin Islands, too."

DCP_2051.JPG (523597 bytes)  Now here's a little girl who knows what she wants to do as soon as she graduates from Middle School.

DCP_2051a.JPG (199134 bytes)  Meet Morgan.  We're going to adopt her as our Ship's mascot and cabin girl!

DCP_2052a.JPG (1184684 bytes)  Saturday early evening, the land Scouts and the Sea Scouts line up to welcome the former Cub Scouts as they "cross over the bridge" to become real Boy Scouts.  Quick question - which group looks more "squared away" and which group has the neater uniforms?  Aw shucks, that was an easy one.

DCP_2053a.JPG (648352 bytes)  Purser Leah won the "Be a Boatswain for the evening" contest, so here "Boatswain" Leah conducts a uniform inspection.

DCP_2054a.JPG (515301 bytes)  Boatswain's Mate Matt shows "Boatswain" Leah how to blow the boatswain's pipe.

DCP_2055a.JPG (421430 bytes)  The scout honor guard precedes the Cub Scouts crossing over the bridge.  Say, who's that good-looking sailor bringing up the rear?  Why it's none other than Sea Scout Apprentice Eagle Scout Greg.  Did I mention that Sea Scouts stand out in any crowd?

DCP_2056a.JPG (905713 bytes)  The honor guard crosses the bridge.

DCP_2057a.JPG (471457 bytes)  Quick question - only one member of the Honor Guard was carrying his torch correctly - can you guess which one?  Hint - there was only one Sea Scout in the Honor Guard.  Good - I knew you'd get the correct answer with a little help.

DCP_2058a.JPG (228843 bytes)  The first new member of Troop 25 crosses over.

DCP_2060a.JPG (724921 bytes)  Ahoy - new Scouts!  What do you want to be when you turn 15 and graduate into High School?

DCP_2061a.JPG (495254 bytes)  I'll say this for the land Scouts, though.  They CAN do an impressive camp fire.

DCP_2062a.JPG (459186 bytes)  The YORKSHIRE ship's company and their white hats glow in the light of the camp fire.

DCP_2063a.JPG (529897 bytes)  Boatswain's Mate Matt ponders upon how far he has come in the last few years from when he was a mere land Scout, and realizes it is true that, "You'll never forget the day you became a Sea Scout!"

DCP_2064a.JPG (788879 bytes)  J.B. and Isaiah share a moment in the warmth of the camp fire.

DCP_2065a.JPG (652420 bytes)  Morgan, our YORKSHIRE mascot, has adopted J.B. and Isaiah as her new "best friends."

DCP_2066a.JPG (130986 bytes)  There is nothing like a good camp fire to bring out the Scouting Spirit.

DCP_2067a.JPG (208424 bytes)  Front row:  Isaiah, J.B., Morgan, and Matt.  Back row: Ashley, Amanda Rose, and Cody.

DCP_2068a.JPG (397540 bytes)  Sunday morning:  all is well in the landship, and in SSTV Windrose.  After an extended parliamentary debate and three votes, the girls won the right to sleep in Windrose for the night and the guys had to make do with a tent.  In a ship pretty evenly divided number-wise between gals and guys, you get some pretty interesting motions, discussions, and votes sometimes.

DCP_2069a.JPG (471129 bytes)  Yeoman Amanda Rose gets served breakfast in bed by Eagle Scout Cody.  What girl wouldn't like this on a campout?

DCP_2070a.JPG (1162152 bytes)  The twelfth point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Reverent", and all Sea Scouts are bound not only by the Sea Promise, but by the Scout Oath and Law as well.   Accordingly, on Sunday morning, we led the land Scouts (new and old) up to our favorite Susquehanna River overlook at Wizard Ranch for the Scout's Sunday Service.  "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business upon the great waters, these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep."  Psalm 107, verses 23 and 24.  Amen!

  "Gee, I wish I was a Sea Scout"'s since 7 April 2003
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This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA - http://ship25bsa.org