Once each year, ten distinguished Sea Scouts from around the United States are invited by the US Coast Guard to spend a week sailing aboard the USCGC EAGLE. The EAGLE is a 295ft long fully rigged sailing barque. She was taken as a war prize from the Nazi Navy in 1945 and has been mostly stripped of her Nazi past and converted into a symbol of American freedom and help. (As any boat owner knows, some parts are impossible to replace. So despite much grinding and polish a watchful eye can still spot hints of the ship’s darker past.)
Sea Scouts climbed the rope ladders up the masts and helped raise and lower the 23 sails with over 22,000 square feet of sail area. They worked in the galley under a culinary-trained galleymaster (Coast Guard food is know to be very good), and assisted with the day to day operations of the boat.
While the EAGLE does not engage in critical Coast Guard missions such as drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement or search-and-rescue (except under very specific circumstances), the Scouts were briefed on the exciting career of a Coast Guard sailor or officer.
The week paid off with at least one NCAC Sea Scout sending forward an application to the very prestigious and selective US Coast Guard Academy.