The Mariners, launched in 1934, was a branch of the Girl Scouts of America composed of senior troops who focused on training involving boats and bodies of water, including boating, sailing, navigation and water safety. They donned a special Mariner uniform, hat, tie, swimsuit, shoes, sweater and membership pin and flew two unique Mariner flags. Mariner scouts put their skills to the test in competitions called regattas, as well as real-life applications, such as aboard The Floating Hospital.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle chronicled teen Mariners Doreen Jackson, Dorothy Puchs, Dorothy Coll and Ruth Fischer setting up activities, assisting in medical practices, and helping children and mothers on board The Floating Hospital on July 18, 1941. Mariners served on the ship every day during the summer as part of their scout service and in pursuit of their “long cruise” badge. The involvement of the Girl Scouts with The Floating Hospital epitomizes the civic engagement seen throughout post-war America to instill values of citizenship, service and communal responsibility among youth.
Although the Mariner program no longer exists, ending in 1960, its legacy persists as an honorary title given to senior Girl Scouts and by scouts who boast the Mariner pin. The Floating Hospital’s collaboration with Girl Scouts persists, too. Dr. Meghan Miller, director of Health Education, has welcomed Troop 6000* scouts — a sector of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York that serves families living in temporary housing — to participate in wellness programs at her education center over the years.
In fact, in 2022, The Floating Hospital proudly hosted Troop 6000 for a kitchen workshop where troop members learned to make healthy tacos and guacamole. Just as the Mariners of 1941 worked aboard The Floating Hospital to earn their “long cruise” badge, Troop 6000 members under Miller’s lead sought to earn their cooking badge in The Floating Hospital’s test kitchen.
The Floating Hospital is excited to build upon a partnership with Troop 6000 for more activities; Miller noted that a troop member was part of our Camp Rise Up class of 2023!