Greetings from Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum! It’s been a busy season here and we hope you’ve been able to visit us during some of our exciting events and announcements.
As you’ll see in the newsletter, The Fighting Lady’s beloved pet has found his way back home; Scrappy was unleashed as our new mascot in October and the kids adore him just as the sailors loved the real Scrappy decades ago. Scrappy has already made lots of appearances around town and on the ship; we’re glad he’s got so much energy!
As we look toward the future, we continue to focus on bringing the Patriots Point experience into this digital age we live in, and make it an exciting and engaging attraction for families. It’s important we do this all while preserving the rich history of our ships and aircraft. Scrappy’s arrival is just one way that’s happening. Through an approval from the Patriots Point Development Authority Board, $400,000 has been allotted toward a three-year master plan where we aim to “bring the ships to life.” We understand static displays and plaques are not enough to catch the attention of our younger visitors. They want to push a button and see and hear something happen.
We’ve already put this plan to action in two big ways:
In October we launched a new exhibit onboard the destroyer USS Laffey. With generous support from the Tin Can Sailors Association, our 5” gun mount is now an interactive exhibit that will virtually take you back to 1945 when a kamikaze attack killed six men onboard. Laffey veterans themselves vouch that “it’s almost like being there again.” We invite you to come check it out.
We’re also working with SCETV to create an inspirational and informative video on carrier aviation that we hope will be viewed by every visitor before they start their tour. The idea is that after watching this orientation video our visitors will be more intrigued than ever about carrier aviation and eager to learn all they can about the aircraft carrier on which they’re standing.
Every day we’re looking for ways to make our programs bigger and better and more wowing for the future generation. Our education department just welcomed its first group of 1st graders last week and tailored a program just for them. Our camping and marketing departments are working diligently to plan and promote a Boy Scout Leader Summit and a Camporee that will take place early next year. Our events held on site continue to grow, and just last month we hosted a macaroni and cheese cookoff that brought thousands onto the property. Tickets are already on sale for the big Yorktown Countdown New Year’s Eve bash on the ship.
Before I close, I’d like to say thank you for the ways you choose to support Patriots Point. Whether it’s by attending our events, telling your local girl and boy scout troops about our camping programs or choosing to fund a trip for underprivileged children, it’s all an effort in preserving history and helping our visitors understand just how humbling it is to walk in the steps of heroes.
R. Mac Burdette