Some folks believe in ghosts; some don’t. I have no intent of starting a debate.
Florida Sea Base Scuba Instructor Dave Ball is not an official part of the Divemaster Academy cadre this year. His physical presence is missed. But, he is still with us in spirit, and by telephone. Diver Dave is not dead; quite the opposite. At dinner last night the staff was trying to add up how many Christmas seasons Dave had devoted to the Divemaster Academy. Too many. Dave is at home in New Jersey, enjoying a Christmas with his family and working hard to help his mother and others recover from Superstorm Sandy. I hope to see you this spring. Those of you who are volunteer Scouters understand the devotion and passion for Scouting. The Florida Sea Base is blessed to have a core of dedicated staff members, many of whom are volunteer Scouters, who go AMAZINGLY above and beyond the call of duty. David Ball is certainly one of those individuals. Dave, we really miss you. Stay safe.
The Prince of the Florida Sea Base full time staff, Captain Rich Beliveau, returns from his working vacation in the US Virgin Islands some time today. Bryce Dallmeyer, will serve as Captain Rich’s right hand man for the winter season. I failed to mention (sorry) that he arrived a couple of days ago. Bryce has worked at the Florida Sea Base as a Coral Reef Mate and Sea Exploring Mate and has a good understanding of the sailing programs. If he does a good job, Captain Rich might keep him on for the spring season as well.
DIVEMASTER ACADEMY PREP
DMA candidates Brandon Jones, Max Gritz, Tina Steckler and Robert Steckler arrived yesterday. Scuba Instructor Rich Goldman, Scuba Instructor/Captain Alex Bergstedt and Scuba Instructor/Captain Kari Dahlquist made significant progress on the DMA paperwork. Scuba Instructor/Captain Christy Clemenson completed a working schedule. Divemaster Kyle Moran ramrodded the field work being undertaken in the scuba areas. Scuba Instructor/Captain Dennis Wyatt and Bryce Dallmeyer delivered the BSA Burglar from dry dock in Marathon to the Florida Sea Base. The ranger staff, Preston Bush, Ian Tichelbaut and Michael Runowich, chipped in with mowing, weed-eating, etc. in the scuba area.
05:30 Tuesday- Crickets are chirping aboard S/V Escape! Oh yeah, it’s my alarm. Today is the last day of preparation for our 9th Annual PADI Divemaster Training Academy. Now through 03 January (including Christmas, New Year’s Day and weekends) we will be working long days. I get up at 05:30 (unless I wake up earlier) to write this post and make my personal preparations. We will work until 21:00 (9 pm) many days. Then on 04 January I fly to Dallas to participate in the Circle 10 University of Scouting at SMU on 05 January. (Maybe I’ll see you there.) I get a day off on 06 January and fly back to the Florida Sea Base on 07 January. Ho, Ho, Ho!
SAD NEWS FOR THE SCOUTING FAMILY
To: National Board, Advisory Council, and our BSA family:
We are all struggling to come to grips with the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. I have the sad responsibility to report that this tragedy has also struck within the Scouting family.
We’ve been informed two of the young victims, 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, were new Tiger Cub Scouts with Pack 170 in the Connecticut Yankee Council. In addition, three of the victims were siblings of other boys in Pack 170. Victoria Soto, one of the hero teachers, was an Explorer as a youth.
Please join me in remembering these victims and families in your prayers.
We have been in touch with council leadership. The National Council is offering any support possible during this difficult time.
Working with the leadership of Pack 170, the Connecticut Yankee Council has established a memorial fund in support of the five families. If interested, donations, cards, and letters can be sent to the Pack 170 Memorial Fund, c/o Connecticut Yankee Council, P.O. Box 32, Milford, CT 06460
God bless everyone as we take a step back and think about the safety and well-being of our own families and loved ones in the midst of this national time of mourning.
Chief Scout Executive
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape