KAPAA — The Sea Scouts Bridge of Honor celebrated two big events in the ship’s calendar year at the All Saints Gym in Kapaa.
“The council just commended the Sea Scout Ship 11, the Decisive, for being named to the National Flagship Fleet for the third straight year,” said Council Chair Mel Rapozo at the event attended by about 100 people. “When I checked further, I found out that Tessa Ramsey is also being installed as Quartermaster, the highest rank a Sea Scout can achieve.”
Tanner Martiney of the Ship 12 Kia‘iokekai officiated over the ceremonies where the Decisive was presented its Flagship Fleet pennant before the audience that included representatives of the Boy Scouts of America, Aloha Council.
The National Flagship Fleet Award is presented by the Boat Owners Association of the United States, and the Sea Scouts, BSA, and recognizes the Sea Scout units for excellence in program quality, youth achievement, and adult commitment.
“This is a very exclusive award with fewer than eight Sea Scout units across the country receiving the honor each year,” said Sea Scout Commodore Larry Richardson. “Kauai’s Sea Scout program is one of the best in the country — for three straight years now.”
The recognition came on the heels of the Ancient Mariner Regatta held earlier in the summer in California where the nine-member crew of Decisive, led by Boatswain Naya Shaw and Boatswain’s Mate Lucas Freitas-Diaz, earned first place in the “Mystery” event and a second place in International Code Flags.
Decisive earned commendations from the Kauai County Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Hawaii Senate for its honor.
Among the ships’ crew, Tessa Ramsey, graduating from Kapaa High School and preparing to leave for college next week, was installed as Quartermaster.
“Each year, less than 40 youth earn this award — and Tessa is one of them,” Richardson said. “Earning the National Flagship Fleet means we have one of the best Sea Scout programs in the entire country. Tessa earning the quartermaster award means we have one of the best Sea Scouts in the entire country.”
Ramsey joined the Sea Scout program at 13 years old. She is the daughter of James and Stephanie Ramsey. Her project saw her managing the design, coordination, and construction of a life jacket loaner station at the launch ramp at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor following her notice of the neglect to the facility.
Ramsey secured grants from the Sea Tow Foundation and the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, to acquire new life jackets. A grant from the Hawaii Youth Maritime Program paid for the materials which were put together by a team of 10 youth and adult volunteers.
“This Quartermaster award is the pinnacle of Tessa’s amazing career as a Sea Scout, rising to become the top youth leader in the Western United States,” Rapozo said. “In addition to the creation of the life jacket loaner station, Tessa has among her Sea Scout career, two separate sea rescues, and now, is heading to college.”
Lucas Freitas-Diaz, a Sea Scout from Decisive who earned a separate achievement award during the Bridge of Honor ceremony, looked ahead in his program.
“My goal is to become Quartermaster,” he said. “I’m going to do it.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.