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Marine Vocational Program (MVP)
Out of the ABMT's commitment to help fund the youth programs offered by the Boy Scouts, came the tournament committee's desire to create additional learning programs that would provide career opportunities in the marine and hospitality industry. Because of our strong ties to that industry, the committee decided that it was the best organization to operate a Marine Vocational Program (MVP) for the Boy Scouts.
In late December of 2007 the MVP began with modest strides. Scouts (girls and boys) were treated to the inaugural field trip aboard a 76' ocean racing catamaran. They helped pull out the sails, steer the vessel and they dropped anchor on their arrival to the swimming destination. They snorkeled under the watchful eyes of the captain and crew and later on the trip, they respondedeagerly to our offer to provide them with scuba diving lessons.
As was promised, we contracted with a local dive operator to provide them with instructions. Importantly, on their part, the students committed to a 10 week course held on consecutive weekends.
We have since produced many PADI certified divers and several of the advanced (PADI Dive Masters and Instructors) are now capable of earning a living from busy our tourist industry!
Future Plans for the MVP
We picture the ABMT organization as being the hub of the wheel. The wheel will turn slowly at first and then it will gain momentum - the scuba program became the first spoke in the wheel and the 'learn to swim' program was the next. Plans are to continue offering "fun" activities as a means to attract new recruits into scouting and towards the MVP's learning center. As the kids grow and start to focus on their future, we'll offer them structured programs that will teach them the skills that are needed for employment in the marine/hospitality industry.
Funding of the MVP has so far come from the operation of our offshore tournaments (Spanish Main Series), our magazine ON THE EDGE and from private donations.There are plans in the future to speed up the MVP's development by the hiring of a Director whose duties will include grant writing and curriculum development. Further down the road we'll establish an endowment fund that will help to sustain the program long term.
The Boy Scouts of America is a non-profit, 501c3 Corporation. Donation checks can be made out to: Boy Scouts of America. Please mail to: MVP, 6616 Estate Nadir, St. Thomas, VI 00802. Office: 340-775-9500. Please note "MVP Donation" on check.
OUR MARINE VOCATIONAL PROGRAM (MVP) - CONTRIBUTE HERE
Donors and sustaining sponsors are needed to help us fund and provide year-round vocational training. Funds raised here go directly towards the development of our Marine Vocational Program (MVP). The Boy Scouts of America enjoys a 501 (C)(3) status and contributions are tax deductable.
Photo Below: - Assistant Curator of Exhibits Erica Palmer oversees as 16 year-old summer job traineeEzra Carty cleans the windows of the reef tank. Ezra earned his PADI Rescue Diver Certification and landed a fun summer job at Coral World's Marine Park.