Each time I share an update about how the Florida Sea Base is recovering after Hurricane Irma, the comments pour in. Everyone wants to know how they can help Sea Base get back to doing what it does best: offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences for young people.
Well, service-minded Scouters, your time has come.
Beginning Sept. 25, the Sea Base will invite volunteers to help clean up its main property in Islamorada, Fla., and the Brinton Environmental Center, which is the Sea Base’s satellite facility on Summerland Key, right near where Irma made landfall.
Big Munson Island, “hit hard” by Irma, will need a big clean-up as well. But because of tricky logistics and hot weather, clean-up there will begin in November.
While we hope no other hurricanes will target the Florida Keys this season, it’s always possible. So these plans could change if additional evacuations are necessary.
Here are the requirements to volunteer
Age: Volunteers must be 21 years or older and registered members of the BSA. Sea Base cannot provide housing for family members, children, or others who are not 21 and part of the clean-up effort.
Travel: Volunteers must get to and from the Florida Sea Base on their own.
Schedule and slots available: Beginning Sept. 25 through early December, Sea Base will take up to 15 volunteers per week.
Housing: Until water and power is restored at Brinton Environmental Center (BEC), all volunteers will be housed at the Sea Base. Those working at BEC will travel to and from on a daily basis.
What volunteers will receive: Housing, food, staff uniforms, a Hurricane Irma staff patch and the satisfaction of helping Sea Base facilities get up and running.
Whom to contact if interested: Email Matt Reineck at Matthew.Reineck@scouting.org. Include your name, contact information, dates of availability, skills, equipment you can bring and preference for area to work — Sea Base, BEC or Big Munson (after Nov. 1).
Sea Base after Irma: The story so far
- Sept. 11: Florida Sea Base staff safe after Hurricane Irma, but damage to base not yet known
- Sept. 13: Sea Base after Hurricane Irma: ‘We’re very fortunate given the severity of the storm’
- Sept. 14: All Sea Base sailing captains safe after Hurricane Irma; here’s what else we know
- Sept. 18: FEMA uses Florida Sea Base facility as search-and-rescue staging area after Hurricane Irma