Coast Guard Summer Programme a big hit
August 10, 2010
Coast Guard Summer Programme a big hit

The three-week Coast Guard Youth Development Summer Programme is receiving positive feedback from its participants and the parents and guardians of the teenagers involved.{{more}}

The programme, which is in its 17th year, teaches teenagers the basic skills necessary to become a seaman, and also includes other developmental initiatives.

The programme began on July 26, and is expected to wrap up this Friday (August 13).

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Friday, August 6, Vinton John, Chief Petty Officer, stated that the feedback from the programme has been excellent and that most students want to return year after year.

“Persons who pass the programme here, they always want to comeback,” he said. He, however, added that persons who return to the programme for an extra year are welcomed back as assistants, not as participants. This, said John, affords other students the opportunity to benefit from the programme.

The three week programme is done in one week stints, with a new batch of students enrolling each week.

John stated that the programme includes the teaching of basic seamanship, tying knots, navigational skills and swimming. He added that the programme also covers areas such as etiquette training where the participants learn the rules of dining in an actual restaurant setting.

“One topic that I particularly see as very important is conflict resolution; quite lately we are having a lot of problems with young people. Most of the problems are young people who are finding different means of settling their differences,” John said.

While he is uncertain that much is retained during the students’ time in the programme, he stated that they (facilitators) try as much to instill a sense of discipline in them.

John said the Coast Guard have also received positive reviews from the students’ parents and guardians.

“Some parents are even asking if the Coast Guard can develop a programme for senior people like them. I guess when the kids go home and tell them what they’re doing it stimulates interest,” said John.

The students also get a chance to relax and have some fun, as each batch is treated to a picnic and a trip to Bequia.