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Sea Scout ship to honor Tiger Cubs killed in Sandy Hook shooting

newtownLike all of us, Todd Skiles was overcome with grief when he heard about the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

But when news broke that two of the young victims were Tiger Cubs, Skiles and the Sea Scouts of Ship 100 in Gainesville, Va., wanted to find a way to honor and remember 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler.

That’s why the National Capital Area Council next week will christen its newest 22-foot sailboat the Benjamin Chase.

You see, Skiles wasn’t content letting the name of the perpetrator be all people remember from this tragedy.

“Our hope was to remember the victims for a change — rather than the shooter,” he told me. “And to make sure our Cubbies are not forgotten. The image of the two empty Tiger Cub hats … just broke our hearts. Like so many others, I started out as a Tiger leader. And it remains my favorite year of Scouting.”

The parents of Benjamin and Chase are driving down to attend the christening ceremony on Aug. 17 at Leesylvania State Park, south of Washington D.C. Also planning to be there are Scouts from Troop 370 out of Newtown, Conn., and a Connecticut Yankee Council district executive.

The ceremony will be a traditional christening — substituting Perrier water for champagne, of course. The ship will include include a “Rose Ceremony” where the petals of 26 roses, one for each victim, will be released into the Potomac River.

The christening plaque, seen below, will be installed in the cockpit of the boat, which will sail to the Jefferson Memorial or south to Mount Vernon, depending on the tide.

LEARN MORE: Sea Scout Ship 100 official site

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22 Comments on Sea Scout ship to honor Tiger Cubs killed in Sandy Hook shooting

  1. Nicely done Sea Scouts!

  2. Paula S Rhea // August 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm // Reply

    Dang…there goes my mascara. Thank you for sharing this story!

    God grant soft winds and fair tides to SV Benjamin Chase and God bless the BSA!

  3. Rich Barton // August 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm // Reply

    This is why I love Scouting….We are one big family…and we take care of our family….RIP….Benjamin and Chase you now belong to our family that has gone before.

  4. Keith Christopher // August 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    Awesome tribute.

  5. Skipper Skiles // August 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm // Reply

    Thanks Brian. We’ll try to keep our composure next Saturday.

  6. “BZ” ( Bravo- Zulu) to SSS # 100. “Fair Winds and Following Seas” to the SV Benjamin Chase.

  7. Catherine Smith // August 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm // Reply

    This is exactly what scouting is about. Some people in today’s society don’t see this, but only the negative in an organization they know nothing about. By the way, I’m a proud Cub Scout leader and mom of an Eagle Scout, Troop 101, Temple, TX. GO BSA!!

  8. So proud to be in scouting. “A scout is a brother to all other scouts…”

  9. ScoutingManiac // August 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm // Reply

    Awesome. Thank you for sharing Bryan!

  10. Col. JC Lugo Crew 6 Corpus Christi, Texas // August 10, 2013 at 1:37 am // Reply

    May God Bless this ship in the name of these young souls. Heaven has two new members in its newest patrol. God bless you boys.

  11. Derek Dunsire // August 10, 2013 at 4:45 am // Reply

    Truly wonderful!

  12. Craig Smith // August 10, 2013 at 6:30 am // Reply

    This is Scouting…

  13. May God bless these two boys and their families!

  14. Peter Barresi // August 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    I can express how overwhelming this is for me nor can I express my gratitude for this most excellent gesture of remembrance of my 2 lost Tiger Cubs! My sincerest thank you to Sea Scout Boat Crew 100, God Bless you and I’m looking forward to meeting you next week!

  15. Ginette Culbert // August 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm // Reply

    What a wonderful tribute to 2 young members gone home to early.

    Ginette Culbert
    Acting Area Commissioner
    Miramichi Area
    Miramichi, NB
    Canada

  16. Tonight our chartering organization announced that it will sever all ties with BSA as of December 31, 2013. Stories like this one are why our family feels they are missing the bigger picture and why our three boys will remain in Scouts. Thank you, Sea Scouts. This is a truly beautiful gesture!

  17. Beautiful tribute to these two young Scouts.
    Great job Sea Scouts!!

    Clear water and smooth sailing to all all who board.
    These angels will be watching over you.

    Bryan – any chance of getting photo follow up from the christening???

  18. This is a wonderful way to honor these two boys! Thank you, Sea Scouts!

  19. Todd Skiles // August 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm // Reply

    Thank you everyone for prayers and support. Some local stories with great photos linked below. But let it be said – I would trade the entire experience for one hour teaching Scout Skills to Benjamin and Chase. I really wish I could have met them.

    http://potomaclocal.com/2013/08/18/sailboat-named-after-sandy-hook-shooting-victims-christened-in-woodbridge/

    http://bristowbeat.com/news/gainesville-sea-scouts-honor-newtown-victims-with-boat-christening/

    • Well done Skipper Skiles! We are all on this earth for a limited time and teaching “Scouting Skills” to youth is the most rewarding endeavor we can engage in.

  20. Thomas Watson // August 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    Very well done! I salute the officers and crew of Sea Scout Ship 100!

    May God bless the Sailing Vessel Benjamin Chase and all who sail on her.

    From an Old Skipper.

  21. Well done, Chase and Ben. Rest in peace. Chase’s last name is common in Poland like Smith and Jones, while Ben’s last name has been around in one form or another, since AD 819.

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