Sailors assigned to USS Constitution began their participation in Dallas-Fort Worth Navy Week with an interpretative historical presentation to Longhorn Council Cub Scout troops 183 and 318 April 22.
Old Ironsides crew members were joined by Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1 for a joint educational presentation showcasing the past, present and future use of Navy technology in defense of the United States at home and abroad.
Nearly 100 Cub Scouts turned out for the event, where they were given STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-based presentations by Sailors, followed by interactive exhibits where scouts could examine building materials used in the construction of Old Ironsides, learn to tie knots and tar lines, operate EOD robots and dawn EOD bomb suits.
“We’re so excited to have the EOD and Constitution Sailors come to visit us tonight – we had a magnificent time,” said Joe Holland, Cub master for troops 183 and 318. “It’s amazing to see the side-by-side displays of the Navy’s past and future right in front of you. The scouts were just so enthused with the stories, the artifacts and with the service men and women who came by to show us what they do to protect our country, and we’re very grateful for that.”
This is the first of several STEM-based presentations Constitution Sailors will give to children during Dallas-Fort Worth Navy Week, which is the first of five Navy weeks Old Ironsides Sailors will participate in during 2014.
“Being able to educate the public, especially people who may not have much exposure to the Navy or the armed forces in general, on the history and creation of our Navy is something that I’m really proud of,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Sean Kershaw, one of Constitution’s presenters. “I really cherish the opportunity to help spread the history of Old Ironsides throughout the U.S. I feel like I’ve interacted with the Cub Scouts in a very positive manner today, and some of these kids could grow up to be future military members. Who knows, maybe one day when one or two of those scouts goes to visit a recruiter, they might think back to when they saw a Navy man come and present at their Cub Scout meeting.”
“Both groups were absolutely wonderful tonight – I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome,” said Holland. “[Interacting with Sailors] shows the scouts that they have something to aspire to – something they can work toward achieving on a daily basis. Scouts strive to continuously learn and achieve great things in this world, especially when it comes to giving back to our community. I look forward to their reaction for a lifetime from this event.”
In addition to more Boy Scout troop visits, Constitution Sailors are also scheduled to make stops at area museums, hospitals and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the remainder of Dallas-Fort Worth Navy Week.
USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year.
Press Release, April 25, 2014; Image: Wikimedia