MVP Helm Report: September 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

They are back in school... and still the MVP's ship's bell rings at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays. We operate year-round and the reason is because the students keep showing up! Much of the success of the program is because of the fun activities offered. Students are learning skills that will last a lifetime and a large percentage are expected to enter into careers that will utilize their training.

We've been asked "how do you plan for a training day"? The day is long (9:30-4:30) and much depends on the weather, the knowledge of the students in attendance; and what can be accomplished before lunch (splicing, tackle rigging, practiced navigation, guest speakers, etc.). After lunch on calm days, we go fishing, or we can combo powerboat, paddleboard, kayak, row (see Brian rowing) and sail over to Happy Island. On heavy wind days, we stick to the protected waters of the Mangrove Lagoon. Rain or shine, students and parents know there is always a full day planned!

The past three Saturday's Capt. CC Kreglo (USCGAUX and EMT) has been providing 2 hour morning classes in emergency training (CPR, bandaging, water rescue, etc.). The students asked great questions and displayed a real interest. Many thanks to friend CC for providing all the learning tools and for volunteering his time!

Last week after CC's lessons and a lunch of grilled Italian sausages - we went fishing around the St. James islands. Along the way, students became excited (challenged) when we came upon the Opti's from the STYC who were out there racing. Soon it was "fish on" (12+) and included there was a fun stop for snorkeling in Christmas Cove. Everyone took their catch home and later on one mother called to express her surprise and to say she was cooking them up for dinner. Odds are Mom did it all... lessons in fish dissecting and cleaning are coming soon!

(click on photos to enlarge)

Grading System: The program has grown and its become a challenge to keep track of everyone's learning. For many reasons, students come and go... and then they are back again. Ages range from 10-18 years and size of a class may be five students one week and fifteen the next. The curriculum is designed to allow students to "learn as you grow" and because most skills require repetitive practice... individual testing must be frequent. Competence levels are graded on a 1-10 scale and we are currently in the process of providing each student with a testing record (personal webpage) enabling them to see what skill needs to be worked on... no slack or idleness! The online system also allows students to share their learning with their parents on a home computer. See sample of MVP's grading system at: Here

Captain Speaking: The MVP is accomplishing more for the youth of this community than most know. Hell or high water, the goal must be to keep the program operating! We've remained independent and have built up a following of generous supporters and volunteers. The students are smart and are doing their part... showing that they are eager to learn. The MVP is a silent success!

To keep it on course, we are nearing the time where the vessel should be refitted. This requires more than funding... it also needs the personal care and involvement of those who have experience and the expertise needed for a long voyage.

While this old salt is not planning on a departure, we must be legal and develop a Board that can take over the helm in the event the Captain falls overboard! Today, involvement can be both virtual and with some local hands on the wheel. Hereby announced is a meeting to elect this group - it will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3rd. in the MVP's office. Please call me at (340) 626-4414 or email: to express your interest. Let's seek the course of sustainability!

Straight Ahead! JL