Grays Harbor Sea Scouts Operating with a New Old Boat

December 2016 - If you have seen a sleek gray and blue river tug along the Harbor’s waterfront, chances are good you have been looking at the “Lisa” - the flagship of Grays Harbor’s Sea Scouts Ship 4001. The Lisa is the most recent ship on a long line of Sea Scout vessels on the harbor that reaches back more than 70 years. At times, there have been as many as six Sea Scout Ships (Sea Scout groups are designated “Ships” analogous to “troops” in traditional scouting) on the Harbor and today only Ship 4001 carries on the tradition.

The newest member of Greater Grays Harbor and made possible through the generous support of a local businessman, Ship 4001 is open to all youth 14-20 years old who are interested in developing leadership, interpersonal, and nautical skills.

The Ship is based on the 46-foot 1928 river tug “LISA,” a vessel type once common on the Harbor, that the scouts will use to practice nautical skills from boat handling to vessel care and maintenance. A second river tug, the “ANNE” will be a longer-term project for scouts to learn boat restoration skills. Eventually Ship 4001’s leadership hopes to have a wide variety of floating educational tools, from kayaks to ocean-going vessels for the scouts to operate.

Meanwhile the scouts already in the program are learning safe boating skills, first aid techniques, line handling and other vessel-related skills. One recent meeting included a tour of the USCG Station Westport’s 47-foot and 52-foot rescue vessels.

The Board, composed of dedicated and qualified community members led by President Darryl Druzianich, meets monthly. The Westport Maritime Museum is the ship’s sponsoring organization. Museum Executive Director John Shaw serves on the GHSS board. According to Druzianich, the Ship currently has both a solid funding base and a highly-skilled cadre of volunteer youth leaders.

“Our youth leaders include retired USCG men, retired USN guys, current sea captains, harbor pilots, engineers – they run the whole gamut,” said Board Chairman Darryl Druzianich. “These scouts are going to be learning from the best, folks with a wide variety of skills and experience.”

But, Druzianich said, the key to the program’s success will be community support. “We’re off to a good start, but to keep something like this going you need the community behind you. We’re hoping that our community leaders, parents, and other groups will see the value of the program for the youth of the Harbor and will support us as we go forward. That community support will be vital to the long-term viability of the program.”

Druzianich said the ship also has room for both more scouts and more youth leaders.

“We want more scouts, both male and female, and we especially need female adult volunteers. We want to encourage girls to be part of the ship and for that we need women to come forward to serve as adult volunteers,” Druzianch said. He emphasized that no prospective scout will be turned away due to financial concerns. “We have access to scholarship funds to fill the gap if a young person wants to join but just doesn’t have the resources. This ship will be open to everyone.”

So if you know a young person who’s looking for something a little more adventurous than settling down on the couch with a video game, or if you think you’d enjoy working with a bunch of enthusiastic and adventurous youth and youth leaders, check them out on Facebook, at www.ghseascouts.org, or by call 360-268-0078.