Mariner Girl Scouts on the stairs

Mariner Girl Scouts get their sea legs aboard The Floating Hospital

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!

Mariner Girl Scouts, nurses and others gather for a photo

*Troop 6000 was founded in 2017 and has grown over the six years to serve more than 20 shelter sites, 2,500 Girl Scouts and includes a Transition Initiative that supports scouts and their families transitioning to permanent housing. The program integrates trauma-informed care and mental health training into traditional leadership development. In January, the program expanded to serve more than 100 young arrivals living in New York City Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center.

Mariner Girl Scouts surround a crib as a baby gets attention
Mariner Girl Scout works as a dental assistant
Mariner Girl Scout sweeps the nursery floor

This post is featured in our monthly newsletter from October 2023.

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The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.


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