A New Sea Scout Ship!
Sea Scout Ship #202 is a new charter out of Peacebunny Island, a privately owned 22 acre island on the Mississippi River near mile marker 832 just south of Saint Paul. Last summer before forming, a group of families with a scout connection and some additional friends took the Coast Guard's Boat Operators class and then began exploring Pool 2 of the river. The summer began by bringing a newly purchased 43 foot houseboat upriver from Winona, passing through five locks en route to the island near Newport which became home base. They all saw the value in formally chartering and starting a new Ship that would focus on motor boating and paddling, leading a summer of Environmental STEM adventures and being a resource to other scout units. The new Ship will serve as a great complement to the other Ship in the Northern Star council that focuses on sailing on Lake Nokomis. Together, this energetic group has been actively recruiting youth 14-20 to join either Ship.
Scouts are eligible to co-register like many of the first members of the Ship are doing. Nic Knutson (Eagle rank) has served two years as SPL with a large troop and is about to graduate. After attending Sea Base and spending time out on the island, he was looking for a way to stay connected to scouts during college Because he was already volunteering with STEMbunnies along with his sister Maggie (active in Venturing) they were initially drawn in because of the rabbit connection and secondly because their family own kayaks. Kaden Hansen is an high schooler who has been an avid fisherman; as a first time scout he is eager to take the Scout BSA Certified Angler Instructor course this summer and teach others. Jacob Johnson is Life Rank and 14 years old and a very experienced boater and has been a multiyear volunteer helping at Peacebunny Cottage, the rabbit farm in Savage. Caleb Smith, 14, is the current Boatswain of the Ship; After winning several entrepreneurship contests and attracting financing, he is the owner of the houseboat, three islands and the rabbit business. He envisioned using the island for training rabbits for the STEMbunnies nonprofit including the comfort rabbit aPeacebunny Unit, hence the naming of the island. He is equally excited about getting youth out on the river, helping retain older Scouts.
The Ship, which is the interface of boating & bunnies, is seeking new members who are at least 14 years old to go camping, boating, and "island hopping" over the summer, meeting at 2:02 on Tuesdays for skill instruction followed by evening outings, mostly on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. They have a full calendar of activities through fall and hope to find service-minded youth who are willing to learn and assist older scout units that want to get out on the River. Contact [email protected] for more details about membership or working with the ship for a summer canoe river trek to an island or a STEM outing to the Cottage to learn about/play with goats and rabbits www.STEMBunnies.com www.PeacebunnyIsland.com