ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) — For over 100 years, Sea Scouting has been one of the Boy Scouts’ most successful high adventure programs. A man of many skills and interests, the 2023 Sea Scout of the Year is Toby Reid.
In three short years, Reid has been on the water with his Sea Scout Ship 15 Crew mastering the skills of seamanship. Whether it’s out on the waters of Watts Bar with a good gust of wind in the sails or paddling down the peaceful sections of the Clinch River Waterway, this 19-year-old is enjoying one of Scouting’s premiere on the water high adventure programs – Sea Scouts.
“It’s so different from a scouting unit. Like Scouts BSA or a Crew because we have that focus on nautical activities. I think it makes a much tighter-knit team when you are working on sailboats, you have to work together to make everything function smoothly,” said Reid.
His older brother, Nathaniel Reid, who passed away recently, was an Eagle Scout and challenged his little brother to become one.
“I joined scouting in 2016 when I moved to the US. Worked through the ranks, I learned a lot. I was with a troop in Chattanooga where I reached the First Class rank. Then I moved to Athens where I finished up the Eagle,” said Reid.
The freedom of being on the water and working with other people his age is part of what makes Sea Scouting a unique high adventure activity.
“We do a lot of with aquatic activity. We sail boats, we have fun out on the lake, It’s a real fun division to work with,” said Reid.
Reid also shared his unique hobby: racing motorcycles. He was 14 when he first started motoring around race courses in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
On the water, he’s earned the Sea Scouts Able Badge but currently, he is working on the Quartermaster Award, the highest rank in the program.
When he’s not on the water or on a race course. He’s a welder, holding down a full-time job at Heil Trailer International in Athens where fuel tankers are made.
“I first welded with scouting and the welding merit badge at Chattanooga State Merit Badge College scouting,” Reid.
He went on to say that he owes his current career to scouting.
Meet the other Scouts of 2023
- Girl earns Cubs Scout of the Year in East Tennessee
- East TN Boy Scout of the Year keeping his eye on the target
- 5th grader with passion for inventing becomes STEM Scout of the Year
Reid and other scouts of the year will be honored at the distinguished citizen dinner benefiting the Great Smoky Mountain Boy Scout Council alongside UT legend Joan Cronan.