Our next award is for growth in venturing, awarded to a crew member who has most demonstrated improvement in the past year. Please join me in welcoming this year’s winner, Kristina Izett.
Kristina joined us three years ago with her mom and has served as our crew historian and crew secretary. She has been an active fixture of our crew all three years, attending most of our outings and service projects and going with us to sea base in 2006.
when she joined, Kristina sat in the outer ring of chairs, often with her mom, and remained largely aloof and independent.
Gradually, as she became more used to the crew, she interacted more and not only with the youth. For a while she enjoyed a game of swiping my hat and hiding it. I think she held it more than i did for a period of time. I remember the two of us chasing my hat at Seabase and i got to it first but broke my sunglasses in the process and she just cackled. I got back at her on one camp out when i found it and didn’t tell her, then demanded on a Sunday morning that she deliver it to me.
She also became one of those who i could count on to respond to my emails, which as any officer of this crew knows are plentiful. After a certain Halloween costume party, i gave her the nickname the fairy of darkness.
She, like others in the crew, has struggled at times to remain active when her time was called upon by a rigorous academic load or by yearbook duties or by girl’s basketball or by personality conflicts. But she stayed active through it all and then last year agreed to serve as the crew’s historian, responsible for maintaining our scrapbooks and photo pages on the website. The uploading threw her a little curve but the scrapbook looked nice.
The historian job was an appointment so it came as a surprise to me when she stepped forward to run for secretary. This isn’t an easy job with 40 youth who never stay still. Having to make dozens of phone calls all the time can drive you insane. But she was excellent at her job and never failed when requested to email a promised summary report after surveying the crew on this issue or that.
Watching her develop as a leader in the past year has been an extraordinary treat, as much pleasure as watching one of her many dimpled smiles or listening to yet another sarcastic remark spit out of her mouth.
And yet this occasion is bittersweet. I remember sitting on the beach with her last summer while she talked about the time when she would have to move away to college. We both thought then her move would be some years away. But her dad this year began work in Raleigh and her time with us, at least as a regular member, is limited.
So as we bestow upon you this award, i take this opportunity now to thank you on behalf of all the crew for the laughter and fun you have brought us and we wish you the greatest of adventures and the biggest of smiles in your days ahead.