Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

6/30/2009-7/1/2009 - Youth Groups

This Tuesday and Wednesday several LARGE youth groups were scheduled to visit the USS Slater so I volunteered for a few extra watches. On Tuesday the Slater is closed for regular tours so the kids had the ship to themselves. I gave 2 tours to groups of approximately 20 preschoolers (and their chaperones). It took a long time on the ladders, but that's OK (Safety is paramount). The chaperones were great help with the process.

At the 3" cannon I started to demonstrate how a cannon is loaded. When I picked up the 3" round and started to show how it was loaded into the chamber, one of the preschoolers started to get pretty upset. I had to cut the demonstration short and promise that I wasn't going to fire any cannons. I guess there was a little too much realism.

The highlight came at CIC (Combat Information Center). We have a stimulated Status Report on one of the intercoms (It plays a recording). I usually ask for a junior volunteer and have them request for a status report from the sonar. It seemed that all the kids were too shy to volunteer so I orchestrated a group response. I had 20 kids yelling "SONAR" - "CIC" "GIVE US A STATUS REPORT". The kids were really surprised when Sonar responded with a status report ("... submarine bearing 235 degrees at 3,500 yards, rising from a thermal layer ...").

On Wednesday the Slater was open for regular tours. We also had several bus loads of youth groups. While the other guides gave tours to youth groups, I was the only guide giving tours to the adult groups (at least to start off with). It seemed that they were adding people to the tour, until the size of the group swelled to perhaps 30 visitors. This made it very difficult to manage. I had to skirt smaller compartments (just giving everyone a drive by description). Eventually, it all worked out.

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