Cradle of Liberty
Sea Scout Squadron Rendezvous
19 through 21 June 2015
Firestone Explorer Base, Resica Falls Scout Reservation
The Cradle of Liberty Sea Scout Squadron held its Second Annual Rendezvous during the weekend of 19 through 21 June 2015 at the former Firestone Explorer Base, a part of the Resica Falls Scout Reservation near Marshall's Creek, Pennsylvania. The theme of the 2015 Squadron Rendezvous was Shooting Sports and attendees were afforded the opportunity to earn their Sea Scout Shooting Sports Medals in both rifle and shotgun disciplines. For those Sea Scouts who had already earned their basic medals in the rifle and shotgun disciplines, they had the opportunity to complete the shooting qualifications for the intermediate levels in those two disciplines.
The Sea Scouts arrived at the former Firestone Explorer Base on Friday evening and were billeted in the Firestone Lodge. Friday evening was a "meet and greet" with the Sea Scouts and leaders of the participating Ships. There were a number of card and chess games going on Friday night with crew members of the participating Ships interacting with and getting to know each other. Ship 461 had two officers and three crew members in attendance at the 2015 Rendezvous. Leading the Ship 461 contingent was Boatswain Matt Ranberg. The photo at left shows some of the participants involved in one of the card games going on Friday evening. The photo at right depicts (l to r) Ship 461 crew members Peyton Lugo and Kyle Coache examining the .22LR rifles that they will be using the following day on the rifle range. Cradle of Liberty County allowed the Squadron the use of three new Savage .22LR bolt action rifles and two new Remington 870 shotguns for use during the Rendezvous. The Remington shotguns were ready to use pretty much right out of the box while the Savage .22LR rifles had to be assembled by the rifle instructors before they would be ready for use on the range.
Following breakfast on Saturday morning, the Sea Scouts attended an NRA "First Steps" program for both rifle and shotguns that was taught by Ship 461 Skipper Tim Wile, who is a certified NRA firearms instructor in both the rifle and shotgun disciplines. The "First Steps" program is an additional requirement for the basic level of the rifle and shotgun discipline of the Sea Scout shooting sports medal. The program introduces the Sea Scouts to the basics of both rifle and shotgun shooting, including the parts of both firearms as well as their respective ammunition, how to choose and care for rifles and shotguns and basic safety rules for use both on the range and in the field. Stances for shooting as well as methods of target acquisition and sight picture were also taught. Completing the NRA "First Steps" program in either rifle or shotgun would satisfy most of the book work for rifle and shotgun shooting merit badges.
The competition for winning the Squadron "Liberty Cup" was centered upon a shotgun competition between the participating Ships. Each competitor was afforded the opportunity to shoot 25 flying clay targets and to qualify for the basic level in shotgun shooting, the Sea Scout had to hit 11 out of the 25 targets. To qualify for the intermediate level in shotgun shooting, the Sea Scout had to hit 11 targets out of 25 two times, or a total of 22 out of 50 targets firing in sets of 25 targets each.
All shooting was done at the rifle range at Firestone, which was the first time that this particular range was used in more than five years. Prior to the rendezvous weekend, members of the Order of the Arrow had been up at Firestone preparing for a pioneering camp and made sure that the field in front of the backstop at the Firestone range was mowed. While a bit cramped, the instructors were able to set up the clay target thrower near the covered pavilion at the range and after a few test throws, the Sea Scouts were ready to try their luck at hitting the flying clay targets. Ship 461 Skipper Tim Wile ran the range while Squadron Commodore Bob Gabage served as the Range Safety Officer. The photo above right shows three of Ship 461's crew members who were in attendance at the rendezvous - Boatswain Matt Ranberg, Crew Member Peyton Lugo, and Boatswain's Mate Kyle Coache. Ship 461 Mate Paul Coache is at the far right. In the photo below to the left shows some of the other Sea Scouts who were participating in the rendezvous shooting sports competition. Squadron Commodore Bob Gabage is at the far right and kept a running tally of each shooter's performance during the competition.