American Sea Scouts add to the Big Anchor Project

By Lynn Colletti, Skipper of Ship No.5, Sea Scouts, Massachusetts, US.

Documenting anchors for the Big Anchor Project (BAP) is a fun way to learn about anchors, their history and their place in time. It is like a world-wide scavenger hunt. During the pandemic, Sea Scout Ship 5 scouts from Massachusetts recorded 30 anchors, many of them used for memorials or landscaping. In this hands-on activity, the scouts learned about the parts of anchors, proper measurement techniques, accurate recording and organisation of data. Additionally, anecdotal information about the history of the anchors, such as the ship for which the anchor was commissioned and how the anchor arrived at its current location, allowed them to understand the challenges historians encounter.

Scouts measuring anchors (Lynn Colletti)

Looking to share the experience with other scouts, Ship 5 developed a program called “Sea Scouts at Anchor” in collaboration with Victor Mastone, retired Massachusetts State Underwater Archaeologist, and the BAP/NAS representative, Peta Knott. In this program, scouts are encouraged to find anchors and log them on the BAP website. When scouts document the location and features of an anchor (silver level), they can submit documentation for a patch for the Sea Scouts at Anchor initiative and Patch requirements. The program is open to all scouts: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Scouts.

The Ship 5 scouts after measuring anchors (Lynn Colletti).

This has been a great opportunity for kids of all ages to learn about anchors and everything that is involved in the documentation of historical artefacts including; organising information, following directions, measuring, and protocols. The historical accounts and personal stories we are lucky enough to encounter add to this experience.  And now, we can’t help noticing anchors around us everywhere and hope to encourage others to share in this adventure.

To learn more about these programs:

Sea Scouts is an international youth organisation that promotes citizenship and boating skills through instruction and practice in water safety, outdoor social experiences and knowledge of maritime heritage. 

Big Anchor Project (BAP) is a global research initiative to create a comprehensive database that aims to be a research tool for maritime historians and archaeologists, generated by the global public.