Youth Sailing Foundation (YSF) supporters Tom Kappus and Tony Tremaine have donated a 17-foot wooden rowing skiff to Camp Oklawaha in Sebastian at a commissioning ceremony attended by Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from the Indian River District. The boat, “Louisa,” was handcrafted by Kappus, who devoted about 260 hours to the project. He generously donated the boat, a Chester Yawl, to YSF to be auctioned off at their popular Rock The Boat annual gala. Tremaine was the fortunate bidder who won “Louisa” and in turn donated the vessel to the Scout camp.
Camp Oklawaha is a 67-acre wilderness preserve carved out of sweeping bends in the San Sebastian River. Surrounded by water on two sides, the camp is an ideal site for canoeing and fishing. “Louisa,” a classic lapstrake row boat, will add a new dimension to the training regimen offered by the camp.
With over two hundred Scouts camping at Oklawaha on a typical school-year weekend, watercraft are in high demand. Boys and girls love to paddle and row on the tree-lined serpentine San Sebastian River. Located seven miles upriver from where the Sebastian empties into the Indian River Lagoon, Camp Oklawaha offers an ideal launch point for exploration.
The Sebastian River Wildlife Preserve that lines both banks is teaming with wildlife. The river is home to tarpon, snapper and bass, and the occasional manatee and alligator. The forests provide ideal habitat for deer, bobcats, and wild turkey. Blue heron, wood stork, egret, owl and osprey provide a beautiful backdrop for camping, canoeing and just hanging out.
Camp Oklawaha is owned jointly by the Boy Scouts of America and the Gulfstream Council. It serves Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops along Florida’s east coast from the Palm Beaches to Brevard County. Ranger Bill Molnar and his team manage and maintain camp facilities that host thousands of Scouts each year.
Youth Sailing Foundation provides free sailing instruction to the children of Indian River County. Their mission to empower and educate youth through outdoor activity and to foster appreciation for the natural environment is something they share with Camp Oklawaha.