top of page
  • Writer's pictureJami Barr

A Dog's Tale

As an animal lover, I always enjoy a great story involving animals. One of my favorite stories to tell is how a dog became the mascot for the USS Yorktown. In 1943, the USS Yorktown was in port at Hawaii. While some of the sailors were on land, they found a stray dog. These sailors decided to sneak the dog onboard the ship and tried to keep him a secret as long as possible. Unfortunately, we all know that dogs need to go to the bathroom at some point and when said dog did, Captain Jocko discovered they had a stole away onboard. In an effort to keep the dog, the sailors said they named him Scrappy, after the captain himself who was tough. Captain Jocko allowed Scrappy to stay onboard for a short time before the Yorktown headed to war. With this, a star was born and in memory of Scrappy Patriot’s Point has a mascot that can be found throughout the entire ship when you visit. Scrappy can be found guiding you throughout the tours and on occasion, Scrappy is found onboard greeting new sailors as they make their way onto the Yorktown.

The information plaque that tells visitors who Scrappy was.

The Scrappy symbol to help guide your way through self guided tours.

I had the pleasure of putting on the mascot costume for the official kickoff of the 2023 year for Patriot’s Point. I had never dressed in a mascot uniform and was ready to let my inner child out by taking on this task at a Stingrays hockey game that was hosting “Mascot Mania” for Ray’s, the Stingrays mascot, 30th birthday. Stingray hockey is HUGE here in Charleston, so this game was packed to the max. When my supervisor, Catie, met me at the arena, we made our way to a secret room where all of the mascots from the Lowcountry were getting ready for the game. In order to get dressed in the costume, I had to wear spandex workout shorts, a tank top, and sneakers. I am so glad I dressed accordingly because it was HOT once I got into the Scrappy outfit. After Catie and Mary, who works in events for Patriot’s Point and was there to help out, got me into costume it was show time.

Mary, myself, and Catie.

Here I am getting in costume.

Catie was there to be my handler and guide me wherever I needed to go. The only thing I had to see out of was the nose on Scrappy’s head and I did not have my glasses on, so guidance was absolutely necessary. I felt like I was dressed as Mickey Mouse at Disney in costume. I danced, I took pictures with fans, and I had the best time. Being in costume really brings out something in you that makes you feel free. The biggest party of Mascot Mania was when all of the mascots gathered on the ice rink to do the t-shirt contest. Now, as a person who is also quite clumsy, I was extremely nervous about this part. To add another monkey wrench to the mix, I had to go out on the ice without Catie. I was so nervous because there were hundreds of people in the stands and all I could imagine was me slipping and the head to the costume coming off. With grace and grit, I survived. I tossed the two t-shirts that were given to me to throw, danced a little bit, and made my way back to safety off the ice. After that, Catie and I called it a day. I was starting to overheat, even though we had taken breaks, and I didn’t want to pass out so I got out of costume and packed it up.

Cool Ray and Scrappy celebrating Ray's 30th birthday.

This experience was wonderful and I would do it again if I were asked for a few reasons. First, I was unapologetically myself in costume. High fives and hugs were given, dance battles with other mascots were danced, and it was fun to be silly without judgement. Second, meeting all of the different people while I was in costume was just cool too. There was a little girl who actually had a Scrappy stuffed animal with her when she came to the game and the story is that the family has had that Scrappy stuffed animal for 10 years. It was really neat to take a picture with her for her family to have as a memento. Patriot’s Point does have the mascot available as a position for someone to work when Scrappy is needed. When Scrappy is onboard, which is usually Saturdays, I get the great pleasure to handle the person in costume. Our mascot position is filled by a wonderful individual named Denise. Denise has always wanted to be Tinkerbell at Disney, so this kind of fulfills that dream for her. She has amazing energy and while she takes pictures with all of the sailors, young and old, who come aboard, I fill them in on Scrappy’s great adventure and how he became the mascot for the USS Yorktown. The next time you visit Charleston, make sure you come by and tour Patriot’s Point and you just might meet the famous dog himself.

Scrappy and Scrappy's biggest fan with her own Scrappy.

15 views0 comments
bottom of page