Sea Scouts hope experience will trigger sign-ups

Brownies, Scouts, Girl Guides were once a rite of passage for many Belizean children. And although interest in such programmes has waned, one group of enthusiasts are hoping their experience will encourage others to sign up. News Five's Alyssa Noble reports.

Alyssa Noble, Reporting
They not as popular as the Boy or Girl Scouts, but the Sea Scouts of Belize have been busy honing their skills. Skipper William Howie says the salt water experience is filled with a wide range of activities.

William Howie, Skipper, Sea Scouts
“We also train once a month with the Belize National Coast Guard Service. So we do training on the patrol boats. We just came back from a week with the Mexican navy, in Chetumal where they undertook familiarization with helicopters and patrol boats. And its part of the experience, it’s also part of the new programme. They were demonstrated the things and also got to do practical hands on experience, so it wasn’t a case of showing them and then forgetting it, but actually go to do work with the helicopters and see how they work. And next week there’s four U.S. Navy main sweepers coming and the sea scouts will be doing a training day with the U.S. Navy.”

In addition to learning the latest in marine technology, the scouts have also been privy to environmental education, courtesy of the Belize Audobon Society.

Roberto Pott, Marine Protected Areas Manager, Belize Audubon Society
“Last week, the Belize Audubon Society was glad to host the Sea Scouts of Belize at Halfmoon Caye. The purpose of the visit was to expose the Sea Scouts to some of the marine ecology, trying to help them understand the environment as they recreate in the environment, as a part of the Sea Scout activities.”

The pride of the Sea Scouts program is the joy of sailing.

Roberto Pott
“In Belize City, if it was not for the efforts of men such as George Brown, Sir George Brown, and his foundation—the Sir George Foundation, we could see a local extinction of sailing in Belize City. And so we are grateful that the sea scouts was started up in Belize, because it provides and opportunities for the youngsters to get out and enjoy sailing. And also to excel because they’ve won a few regattas.”

William Howie Jr, Sea Scout #1
“Well from my experience I think Sea Scouts is an enjoyable thing right, and you learn to sail which is fun and everything right. And from my point of view, it’s more for great sport also, right and you learn a lot of stuff out of it. Plus it teaches you your morals, respect and safety throughout what you are doing with sailing.”

Alyssa Noble reporting for News Five.

If you are interested in becoming a Sea Scout, you can contact Hilberto Riverol at the Scout Association of Belize at phone number 227-0413.