COLLEGE STATION, Texas - To say that Texas A&M seniors, and triplets, Pollyanna, Lilliebeth and Aaron Halling shined at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree would be an understatement. The A&M trio performed an amazing feat as Sea Scout leaders educating thousands of scouts in boating safety and the Sea Scouts nautical way of life from July 15-23 at the Bechtel Summit Reserve in West Virginia.
Triplets,Texas A&M seniors, and Sea Scout leaders, (from left) Pollyanna, Aaron, and Lilliebeth Halling taught Boy Scouts at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree about the Sea Scouts and boating safety July 22, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Russell Tippets)
The 23-year-old triplets, originally from Kingwood, Texas, lead the Sea Scouts exhibit at the Jamboree. With only 7,000 members, the Sea Scouts is a lesser-known organization in the Boy Scouts of America community. The Sea Scouts were formed just two years after the Boy Scouts in 1912. The organization is open to boys and girls ages 14-21.
George rowl, a Skipper with the Sea Scouts, and an exhibit leader at the jamboree, said, “Think of us as a Boy Scout troop, but with boats and girls.” A Skipper is the Boy Scout equivalent of a Scout Master.
During the course of the 10-day jamboree, the Halling triplets exposed Boy Scouts to the Sea Scouts' nautical way of life, teaching them classes in maritime navigation rules, row boat operations, basic line handling and boating safety.
When asked how they got involved in Sea Scouts, Aaron explained that he was about to earn the rank of Eagle through the Boy Scouts when his Scoutmaster encouraged him to look into the Sea Scouts.
“My Scoutmaster was also a Sea Scout Skipper, and he told me to go check out the Sea Scouts, so I visited Sea Ship Eight and I thought ‘Wow, this is really cool!' I couldn't wait to tell my sisters about it,” said Aaron.
Lilliebeth explained it was more about the family aspect that got her into the Sea Scouts. “My dad and brother were always off doing fun stuff like camping, so when I found out about the Sea Scouts, I thought finally, this is an activity we can do all together as a family,” said Lilliebeth.
All three Halling siblings are Quartermasters, which is the Boy Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout. The Sea Scouts is a unique program where boys can earn both their Quartermaster and Eagle Scout rank.
“The Eagle Scout is such a prominent rank. Girls should be allowed to have the same opportunities as boys and the Sea Scouts offers that with the rank of Quartermaster,” said Pollyanna.
The Sea Scouts have a special relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard. There is a memorandum between the two organizations that allows Sea Scouts to train aboard Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels. The Coast Guard also has a special program where highly qualified and motivated Sea Scouts can apply to sail aboard the Coast Guard cutter Eagle on its summer cruise each year. Under this highly competitive program, six to eight Sea Scouts are picked to train with Coast Guard Academy cadets aboard the Eagle.
The program is open to those Sea Scouts who have an interest in attending the Coast Guard Academy and who have also completed the Sea Scouts SEAL program. The SEAL program stands for Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership training. It is an intensive weeklong program on the water where Sea Scouts gain advanced leadership and seamanship experience.
Sisters Pollyanna and Lilliebeth are both Education majors and plan to work in the special education field after graduation. Aaron is a Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major and wants to work with elephants upon graduation.
“We really believe in future generations, and that's why we are going into teaching,” said Lilliebeth Halling. “By being here at the jamboree, this gives us a chance to give back and teach people about the Sea Scouts.”
Learn how you can get involved with the Sea Scouts.
By U.S. Coast Guard CWO Russell Tippets
Provided through DVIDS
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