This year’s Venturing Crew Sea Scout Ship 1148 participants come from all over metro Detroit. The Sea Scouts recently found a new home at Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Farms.

This year’s Venturing Crew Sea Scout Ship 1148 participants come from all over metro Detroit. The Sea Scouts recently found a new home at Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Photo provided by Venturing Crew Sea Scout Ship 1148


Sea Scouts sail into a new home in Grosse Pointe Farms

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 16, 2019

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — A group of young metro Detroit sailors have found a new home base in Grosse Pointe Farms, just in time for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac race.

Venturing Crew Sea Scout Ship 1148 now sails out of Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Farms. The vessel had previously been housed at Edison Boat Club in Detroit, but it needed to find a new home because EDC is closing at the end of the 2019 boating season.

A crew of three adults and four youths will be sailing in the Bayview Mackinac race aboard their ship, Sojourner, a 1979 30-foot Seidelmann 299 that the young sailors have been working to restore since the boat was donated to them in 2015. The race starts July 20.

It was Crescent Sail that reached out to the Sea Scouts, said Timothy Branson, of Dearborn, the adviser and skipper for the youth group.

“It’s overwhelming, the kindness they’ve shown,” he said.

The Sea Scouts are open to youths ages 14 to 20, Branson said. It’s actually a group affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, although Sea Scouts is open to girls as well as boys, and participants don’t need to have been Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, he said. During the winter, the Sea Scouts take part in other outdoor adventures and activities, Branson said.

“It’s just a wealth of opportunities at Crescent,” Branson said. “Crescent is very big on youth sailing, and we’re all about youth sailing. It’s a perfect fit.”

The focus of both groups on sailing education was another reason this made for a good partnership.

“Cresent is looking forward to welcoming the Sea Scouts to the club and having them fly our burgee in many of the upcoming regattas,” CSYC Commodore Champ Glover said in a press release. “Their mission of sailing education and service dovetails with the working ethos of the club and the Crescent Sailing Association’s goal to support education in sailing, water safety and seamanship.”

There are now 17 Sea Scouts, who hail from cities from Trenton to Beverly Hills, Branson said.

Last year marked the first time the kids participated in the Mackinac race, Branson said. They recently purchased new sails for the vessel, replacing the 35-year-old sails they used in 2018.

“The kids were troupers (last year),” said Branson, noting difficult sailing conditions, from extremely light winds the first two days to heavier winds afterward that made managing the old sails a real challenge.

The Sea Scouts finished 11th out of 14 in their class, and 51st out of 75 in their division, he said. They’re hoping to do better this year, but, as Branson pointed out, “It’s (about) the experience for the kids.”

Being a Sea Scout is fun and teaches young people about sailing, but it’s more than just that. Branson said he’s seen many shy participants come out of their shells and develop better public speaking skills, as well as learn how to work with others to achieve a common goal.

“Sailing has a lot to do with leadership,” Branson said. “These kids are driving the boat. The other kids’ lives are in their hands. These kids are really good at teamwork.”

Donations to the nonprofit Crescent Sailing Association and the Sea Scouts are tax-deductible. For more information, visit crescentsail.com.

Youths interested in becoming a member of the Sea Scouts can contact Branson at sojournerracingteam@yahoo.com, or (313) 574-3886.