PRIDE II’s Volunteer Project takes on Wings

January 27, 2012

Pride of Baltimore II’s Volunteer Winter Maintenance took on a new dimension this month when we welcomed Boy Scout Daniel Trazzi into the fold as he works toward earning the rank of Eagle Scout. The following is Daniel’s account of his project and his experience with Pride of Baltimore II.

It was 8:30 on a Saturday morning. The wind chill brought the air to something near freezing. And I was there, with a group of around ten others, to sand spars in a shrink-wrapped tent. My name is Daniel Trazzi and I am working on my service project to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. I am a member of Troop 35, which operates out of the Church of the Redeemer. Our troop is very proud that each of our scouts does a minimum of three service projects on their path to Eagle; often putting in much more than the required hours for each. Our Eagle project is expected to be serious and meaningful. I had looked at several options for my project, but was having some trouble getting it coordinated with the various organizations. My Scoutmaster, Jack Kidd, has a long family history with the Pride of Baltimore organization and he suggested that I think about arranging my service project to benefit the ship,  I was fortunate to make the arrangement and focus my activities on helping Pride of Baltimore II.

The celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 has created an opportunity to bring Pride II to the forefront of the hearts and minds of every person in the city. I have seen her written up in the newspaper and seen her on television, but had never had any firsthand contact with her. With this year being the kick-off to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and with Pride II being such a symbol of that era, to be a part of helping to get her ready for the festivities, not to mention to experience what it was like to maintain a ship of that era has been a rewarding experience. And not just for me, but also for other scouts that were involved as well. From my perspective, the ability to meet with Captain Miles and Captain Trost provided me with an excellent project opportunity. While it was a no-nonsense environment, the first half of my project was fun. After one day I came away with a feeling of what it was like to keep a ship like Pride II going; I can only imagine what it is like to sail her. We all know about the legacy of the Prides, now I feel like I have new sense of connection to Pride II.

On a cold snowy Saturday, I had 15 people come down to help. Rohan, a crewmember, was a tremendous resource as we worked, teaching us the necessary techniques for the various jobs. I spoke with Thomas Kibbe, an Eagle Scout in our troop and he said: “How different she looks all broken down for the work.  Can’t wait to see her all finished.”

I’m going back this Saturday with another group of Scouts. People have been very supportive, and many have been asking me if they can help. People who have “aged out” of our troop have offered to come back, which is a rarity in our troop. And it is the first time that I am aware of where people are asking if they can come to the project, rather than the organizer having to hunt them down. There is a serious and genuine interest in keeping Pride II alive. And hopefully, by doing this project I can get more people involved in working on Pride II.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Jack Kidd, my Eagle mentor and Scoutmaster: “ Lots of people know about Pride of Baltimore II, but very few people have taken the time to get to really know Pride of Baltimore II.”

-Daniel Trazzi, Boy Scout Troop #35, Baltimore, MD

Trent Hawkins, recent Eagle Scout, sands a spar.

The full workforce.

People working on Chasseur, a smaller ship that is usually kept on the deck.

Charlie Kibbe works on touching up spots on a spar.

If you are interested in getting involved with Pride of Baltimore II, please contact us by calling 410-539-1151 or send an email to pride2@pride2.org.

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