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what would become the Sea Scout base began to take shape. First, however, Herrera and the Bay

Area Council had to expand the notion of what the facility could be. The initial idea for a sea base amounted to little more than a dock, a metal boat-storage building and an open space for tents. At one of the first meetings, however, Charles pulled out concept drawings for a much larger, three- story building beside Offatts Bayou. “I said, ‘Holy smokes! This is beyond what I’m thinking,’ ” Herrera says. During dozens of subsequent design

meetings, they realized the pool had to be bigger to accommodate swimming tests. The main building expanded to house more Scouts and staff. Parking was a recurring problem, thanks to municipal regulations on minimum numbers of spaces. But luck and the Doolins’ unwaver-

ing support remained on their side. They acquired a secondhand fleet of small Sonar sailboats — perfect for Scouts and even dis- abled sailors. A fleet of small racing boats, FJs, was also added to the base. Doolin then purchased the BaySmart Express, which was already being used as a seagoing classroom by a Houston nonprofit. The capacity to educate and engage youth in maritime activities grew with the resources acquired by the Doolins. Even Hurricane Ike, which devastated Galveston in 2008, couldn’t derail it.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY the course to the sea base was traveled hastily or without many direction changes. Early plans, for instance, called for a walkway over the

nearby interstate highway connecting to parking. That became unnecessary when a better land parcel was acquired. The ultimate vision has never wavered:

to provide a place where Scouts and leaders can learn about the sea and boats and, in particular, to provide a home for Sea Scouts. The Sea Scout connection was critical for the Doolins. It was more important for Charles to name it Sea Scout Base-Galveston — not Galveston Sea Base, for instance — than for his name to appear anywhere on the property. Charles and Rosemary want to support Sea Scouts, but they don’t want it to be called “Doolin Sea Base.” The Doolins want the base’s name to emphasize the marine nature of the facility for Scouts and future seafarers. Despite the close Sea Scout connec-

tion, the facility will actually host at least three different programs, only one of them Scout-oriented and supported. The BaySmart program will provide educa- tional programs for schoolkids as well as Cub Scouts, and the floating classroom will serve as a training platform for maritime students working toward their Merchant Mariner credentials. And the Galveston Community Youth Sailing Center, a franchise of US Sailing, will use the facility to teach sailing to the public with a special emphasis on adaptive pro- grams for the disabled. The memory of the recent hurricane was a key consideration during the

TAKE A VIDEO TOUR of Sea Scout Base-Galveston at scouting


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