2013 has been a great year for the development of the Marine Vocational Program (MVP). Many “thanks” to our supporters and to the professional instructors who are teaching the kids. We are picking up momentum and the program is becoming an effective means of providing the youth of these islands with life experiences they might not have otherwise enjoyed.

See the links below for more information. Thank you for your support of the MVP.

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  • 2013 Accomplishments:

  • A strong relationship with the St. Thomas Swimming Association (STSA) has developed. Not only are they providing MVP students with swim training, they are also welcoming the kids to swim on non-instructional days. The MVP showed its good faith by clearing the pool’s adjacent property and planting Mahogany and flowering Tabebuia’s (BSA kids did the planting). In a show of appreciation the STSA allowed the Boy Scouts to camp on the cleared property, along with the use of the pool, bathrooms and showers. The MVP has also established a swimming program with the management of the Dolphins pool on St. Croix.

  • The MVP’s scuba program is steadily growing and our dive students are progressing up the PADI ladder. Several of the kids are showing an aptitude to someday becoming professional instructors themselves. Beginner classes are periodically scheduled for those who have completed the STSA swim program and the dive program has now become a year-round effort.

  • The National Capital Area Council (NCAC, BSA) is steadily becoming established here in the US Virgin Islands. They have pledged their support of the programs offered by the MVP and it is agreed that the future recruitment of students will become a joint effort between the MVP’s volunteer group and the NCAC, BSA. As in the past new recruits must sigh up for scouting in order to access the programs offered by the MVP. This structure provides “life learning” experiences and training skills that should attract the attention of parents who want the best possible future for their children.

    2014 Projected Developments:

  • The number of MVP students is expected to grow in 2014 and in anticipation we will be re-establishing programs that were sidelined this past year due to the lack of participants. The first to be revitalized will be the MVP’s sailing program. We have received the permission of the St. Thomas Yacht Club to again use their facility as a training base and instructor Paul Stoken has agreed to administer the program. Another program to be re-established is the Environmental Awareness and Appreciation Program that was earlier offered by the management of the Ritz Carlton. We look forward to providing these courses, especially to continue the learning of the students who have completed the MVP’s dive and swimming programs.

  • The MVP students will soon be offered the Red Cross Life Saving Course. This program will be operated at the STSA’s pool and will include emergency CPR and first aid training. Students completing this course and who can pass the swimming requirements will be eligible for summer life guarding jobs.

  • Boy and Girls Club – We were recently informed that the National BSA offers a “Learning for Life” program that can be adopted and operated by other like youth organizations. The requirement is that a “troop” must be established and the children must also become registered members of the BSA. The really good news is they will enjoy all the activities that are offered by the BSA… including the programs of the MVP. The idea of developing a working relationship between the BSA and the B&G’s Club will soon be discussed and once this relationship is established, just imagine how it will benefit our community!

    The primary goal of the Marine Vocational Program (MVP) is to provide the youth of the US Virgin Islands with a “career path” into the Marine and Tourism Industry. As entry level MVP students accomplish the basic training that is necessary to be around the water and boats – and as they grow to high school age, there will be the growing need to develop advanced training courses that are designed to better the student’s chances of employment. Programs that come to mind are: Hospitality Training, Captains and Mates Training, Mechanical/Rigging and Boat Repairs Training and other courses that are resort and cruise industry specific.

    We urge our financial supporters to continue with their support and we ask those who have tourism and marine related teaching skills to become more involved.

    Straight Ahead… Everyone have a Healthy & Happy 2014 New Year!

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    Those wishing to donate by check can mail to the following address: ABMT MVP, 6616 Estate Nadir, St. Thomas, VI 00802. Please make check payable to: NCAC, Boy Scouts of America. Also be sure to note "MVP" somewhere on the check.