Sea Base 2009 – Heading for the Keys

This past August, Troop 353 sent a group of 12 adventurers to the legendary Out Island Adventure at the BSA’s Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys – an amazing experience that we’ll cover in several posts here on the troop website.

The trip began with a flight to Fort Lauderdale, where we grabbed a great lunch on the beach and checked into the hotel for an overnight stay. Activities included a swim in the warm Atlantic, dinner on the dock, and some snorkeling practice and training in the hotel pool – oh, and a black-out at the hotel that had the Scouts scrambling for flashlights and generally making the best of things by swimming late into the night.

The next morning we crammed all out gear into the rented van and lit out for the Florida Keys, about fours on the road in the good hands of trip planner and expert driver Ralph S., our assistant Scoutmaster. After lunch at an authentic Keys seafood spot, we traveled to the well-equipped Brinton Environmental Center, located on Summerland Key, 23.8 miles north of Key West.

The Brinton Environmental Center is the home for the Out Island Adventures at Sea Base. This beautiful facility opened its doors in 2001 and was named after J. Porter Brinton, the project’s benefactor. We met our two island mates, Heather and Blaine, chose our two crew captains for the week – Nick O. and Tim D. – and checked into our air-conditioned dorm room.

The rest of the day was spent in completing the mandatory swim test and snorkeling shakedown, equipment check-out, dinner and flag ceremony, and an after-dinner skit session put on by the spirited island mates. And it was there we learned all about the “Munson!” cheer and how it must be returned by all who visit that fabled island.

Next: Munson!

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