It is back to school time, which means it is time for Fall Recruiting.
To promote recruiting NEW Sea Scouts, we have created our first Western Region Recruiting Challenge and Sea Scout Recruiting White Paper on how to develop a strategic recruiting plan.
The Western Region Recruiting Challenge is a competition to see which Sea Scout Ship in the Western Region cannot just recruit the most new members, but the greatest percentage of new Sea Scouts.
All new Sea Scouts must make the rank of Apprentice to be considered a “new” Sea Scout. The competition will take place between September 1, 2014 to December 1, 2014.
Set Your Course
Sea Scouts Ships wishing to participate must register on the following form and make updates on your recruiting progress. Just enter the number of Sea Scouts currently registered on your Ship as of September 1, 2014.
Your Ship must make updates on the types of recruiting events organized, new recruits who join, and when they earn Apprentice. The reporting dates are September 15; October 1; October 15; November 1; November 15; December 1.
Every time a new Sea Scout passes their Apprentice, film a video with an app like Cinamatic, 8mm, or video app of your choosing, striking 8 Bells to be posted on Instagram and Twitter.
The Sea Scout Ship with the greatest percentage of growth will win a special activity for their Ship, customized for their home port, and with the advice of their adult volunteers and Quarterdeck.
The winning Ship will be announced in early December 2014.
The first step in participating in the Western Region Recruiting Challenge is for your Ship to plan a recruiting campaign. There are many options for building a campaign, such as planning a Welcome Aboard Day, visiting Boy Scout Troops, school presentations, public events, and monthly press releases. Please check out the Sea Scout, BSA Recruiting White Paper for other ideas on recruiting.
Good luck! I wish you success.
Western Region Commodore
National Sea Scout Committee
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Recruiting, Sea Scouts
Sea Scouts across the Western Region had an amazing summer, from long cruises, to hosting the Koch Cup, to SEAL courses, the first Western Region Bridge of Honor, and Disneyland. Our Sea Scouts are now going back to school and it is time to start fall recruiting.
I strongly encourage each Sea Scout Ship to discuss and plan a recruiting event if you have not done so already. One of the issues identified in our Sea Scout Survey from our National Boatswain is many Sea Scout Ships do not have a recruiting plan. Other branches of Scouting are encouraging active recruiting, with getting out into the local communities.
I am very interested in hearing recruiting success stories. It would be extremely helpful if you have a recruiting plan to hear what has worked for your Ship in the form below.
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts, USS Iowa, Western Region
The first Western Region Bridge of Honor was held on July 26, 2014. The Bridge was held on the fantail of the USS Iowa, one of the most decorated battleships in United States history. The Sea Scouts attending also had their admission to Disneyland covered the next day by National Sea Scout Committee Member and WR Area 3 Commodore Bob French.
Purpose of the Bridge of Honor
A Sea Scout Bridge of Honor is an awards ceremony similar to a Boy Scout Court of Honor in that the Sea Scout receives their Advancement Awards during the Landship Ceremony. In addition, the Sea Scouts host a Sea Scout Ball.
To the public, a Bridge of Honor is visible evidence of what Sea Scouting has done for youth in the community; to the Sea Scout volunteer it is the vision, faith and satisfaction which gives them the courage and resolve to carry on in their unselfish leadership; to the Sea Scout it is the reward for their loyalty and teamwork, an experience to cherish in the years to come. From the 1939 Sea Scout Manual.
Why a Western Region Bridge of Honor?
The goal of hosting a Western Region Bridge of Honor was to inspire Sea Scouts to set and complete Advancement goals. This goal was meet with thirty Sea Scouts being recognized for earning their Apprentice; nine Sea Scouts for earning Ordinary; and one Sea Scout for earning Able.
The 2014 National Flagship Fleet
The Western Region had the most Sea Scout Ships in the country apply for the BoatUS National Flagship Award. Three of the Ships that submitted applications were named to the National Flagship Fleet. National Sea Scout Director Keith Christopher recognized the Sea Scout Ships Heatwave, Tsunami, & City of Roses for their outstanding programs in being part of the National Flagship Fleet.
The 2014 Western Region Flagship
Both the National and Western Flagship Competitions are based up on the Journey to Excellence. The competition focuses on a Sea Scout Ship’s annual activities, from advancement, to community service, and of course how they get on the water.
The evaluations for the Western Region Flagship were done on four separate categories: Scouting, Seamanship, Service, and Social. These are the four S’s of Sea Scouting. Each S was judged on a 5 point scale.
The first Western Region Flagship had a total of 18 points out of 20. Their program is extremely impressive, which is why they were once the National Flagship and have been honored in the National Flagship Fleet.
Please join me is congratulating the Sea Scout Ship Makai as being the first Western Region Flagship.
How Sea Scouts Prepares You for Life
Alameda Council Commodore Kris Leverich gave the keynote address on the USS Iowa on how Sea Scouts prepares young people for life. Kris grew up on the SSS Gryphon of Redwood City, California and is now a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard. Kris’ Coast Guard service has taken him from buoy tenders to the Barque Eagle to search and rescue missions.
Commodore Leverich said in his keynote:
I definitely have the life I want right now, however long that lasts, so perhaps I’m supposed to be here again with a chance to really understand not so much WHY Sea Scouting made a difference for me- hardly a day goes by where I don’t note another turning point in my wake influenced by Sea Scouting, no… not why, but how it made a difference.
I can answer that with two sentence fragments: Prepared. For Life.
Particularly for larger coastal units, but not exclusively, Sea Scouting is a resource intensive program. The boats, materials, supplies, maintenance, fuel make our program dwarf the resource demands for many other youth programs… but look around and see the symbolic badges of achievement being honored here today. Beneath them all, beneath all of the studying and demonstration of rank requirements, beneath all of the planning, the logistics, the coordination, and the final mission execution for everyone to muster here from hundreds of miles away aboard this stunning monument to American courage and excellence, something deeper is happening.
For those of you who took a chance to do something different from routine home life, you know that something deeper is happening. Maybe you start sensing it when you go to school one Monday morning and you almost can’t describe your weekend in Sea Scouting because you aren’t sure anyone else could or would believe you. That’s how it was for me…
And for some who go on to a life absent anything resembling things you did as a Sea Scout, you suddenly realize that you resolved a dispute smarter, or held someone accountable, accepted critical appraisal or just organized a mess because – wait a minute, you handled it way back in Sea Scouts. Yeah, maybe things were going badly in your crew at a regatta practice, or an endless summer haul-out, or the 3rd day of a long cruise where you discover someone forgot to buy TP. Yes, even then, something deeper is happening that transcends situational context.
Trial and error, defeat, and many, many mixed successes – all critical to what is deeper in Sea Scouting:
We are preparing you for life.
We are preparing you for life, with all of the coming unknown trials, and in Sea Scouting we are doing it at a level of challenge, managed risk, and scope of opportunities that the best of your generation needs and craves to experience, but too often discovers too late in life; “Wow, I wish I knew about this!”
There are endless examples you can probably think of even now, but for all the successes and failures you are afforded, the only real failure is the lost opportunities for the shipmate you never ask to join and make the most of our shared commitment to one of the most dynamic and consequential experiences preparing you for life. So let me leave you with this thought; appreciate this and so many other moments you will have in Sea Scouting and know that you are part of the cycle wherever you go. With a little luck and lot of work, you can come back around to it in 20 years, too. Thank you.
The Tradition of Challenge Coins
Each Sea Scout who advances in rank at the Western Region Bridge of Honor will be given a new “challenge coin” by the Western Region Commodore. A “challenge coin” is a tradition in the Armed Forces where an Admiral or General gives a coin with their emblem to a service person in recognition of a job well done.
The Western Region Challenge Coin has an anchor on one side, based on the original 1914 design of the Sea Scout Emblem that would become the First Class Anchor. The design was found in the Sea Scout Ship Pioneer’s logbook from August 24, 1914. The Sea Scout image on the other side of the coin was taken in 1942 of a Sea Scout practicing semaphore in Santa Monica. This image was found in the archives of the Boy Scout Museum in Texas. The original 3 S’s of Sea Scouting is across the top of the coin.
The Sea Scouts of the Caribbean
WR Area 3 Commodore Bob French, and National Sea Scout Committee Member, is one of the kindest human beings in the history of Sea Scouts. “Commodore Bob” wanted to make the WR Bridge grand and offered to cover the admission costs to Disneyland for all of the participating Sea Scouts.
Sea Scouts mustered outside of Disneyland at 0730 on the morning of July 27, 2014. All hands formed up outside of the park for a group picture to thank Commodore French and promptly headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. Over 90 Sea Scouts and their adult volunteers boarded boats, singing away “A Pirates Life for Me.”
Thank you for every Sea Scout who attended and keep up the good work for 2015.
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts
One hundred years ago, the Sea Scouts of the Pioneer, celebrated the 4th of July while underway. Here are the pages from the logbook to the first Sea Scout Ship in 1914.
Tags: Lake Tahoe, Safe Boating, Sailing, Sea Scout, Western Region
As a young girl, I visited Lake Tahoe many times with my family. Never had I thought that later in my life I would be out on that very same lake, only this time a seasoned Sea Scout with some of my very best friends. The weekend altogether was one of my favorite trips in Sea Scouting, which mixed a fun familiar place with exiting new situations.
Four Sea Scout crews attended the event: The Albatross, the Viking, the Morning Star, and the Chaser. These ships were divided into three crews: The Mercury, the Comet, and the Shangri-La. I, a member of the Albatross, was placed into the Comet crew and co-led with a girl from the Viking. We all quickly became friends within our group.
The first day was dedicated to piloting and ground tackle, focusing on field navigation and vessel commanding knowledge. Between cruising the whaleboat and plotting charts, teens invested their time in trying new things such as stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking on the great blue lake. After all rotations of whale boating and water sports were up, the crews broke apart and all played volleyball together on the coast guard base.
Dinner was later served and then Western Region Commodore Josh Gilliland spoke to us about three points of the Scout Law which are marks of a true scout. The three discussed were the necessity of a scout being friendly, courteous, and trustworthy, and their applications to every day in scouting. The talk sadly came to a quick close, however, when a bear was found meandering across the beach and so everyone, very slowly and cautiously, left the beach.
The next day was dedicated to Anchor Drills, in which scouts learned how to drop anchor and retrieve it, along with proper commands and timed maneuvers. When it was my turn to rotate into the position of hoisting and dropping the anchor into the water, a small rock along with mud from the bottom of the lake was brought up along with our Danforth anchor. One of my best friends Cat Murphy-Bevan and I then used the mud to make “war paint” for our faces and kept the rock.
It’s times like those when I realize how important it is to be in such a loving and fun community in which I both learn new skills and create lasting, happy memories.
After all anchor drills, the team visited the shipwreck-themed Tahoe Maritime Museum where they looked upon displayed once-sunken ships and read their stories. It was all fascinating, as many of the boats had sunken in mysterious and odd ways. There were also small Dixie-cup hats for children to decorate, and so of course all of the Sea Scouts wanted to color them and were a bit depressed when they found out that they were too old and not allowed. We may be in high school but we still often find joy in childish activities.
Dinner was always a fun time to relax, kick back, and maybe be a little silly with our lettuce.
The rest of the night was dedicated to clean up, eating, and general fun on the base along with checking with officers for weekend advancement.
The weekend, in short, was full of learning and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there and anticipate the next outing with my Sea Scout friends to Lake Tahoe.
Tags: Anchoring, Boat Handling, Boy Scouts of America, Coast Guard, Get on the Water, Ground Tackle, Lake Tahoe, Safe Boating, Sea Scouts
The first Lake Tahoe Rendezvous was held at Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe on June 20 to June 23, 2014. It was a long weekend of adventure, fun, and getting on the water.
The Tahoe Rendezvous was attended by the Sea Scout Ships Albatross (Martinez, CA), Viking (San Francisco, CA), Chaser (Napa, CA), and Morning Star (Sherman Oaks).
Sea Scouts spent the weekend kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, going out in a ski boat, and boat handling drills in a motor whaleboat.
The focus of the weekend was advancement through organized activities. Sea Scouts all reviewed the Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat before going in the activities began as part of the Sea Promise to Guard Against Water Accidents.
The weekend program was designed to give Sea Scouts hands-on experience in Ordinary & Able Anchoring; Ordinary & Able Navigation; Ordinary Practical Deck Seamanship; Able Practical Deck Seamanship, Requirement 11(c); Ordinary Cruising; and Able Boat Handling.
The Chaser’s motor whaleboat was used extensively over the weekend. Sea Scouts plotted courses ashore and then got underway on the motor whaleboat, executing the courses they plotted ashore. Scouts used a hand bearing compass to determine their position, learned to work together, and cruised extensively around Lake Tahoe.
Anchoring Drills were conducted on Sunday. Sea Scouts who had not anchored a boat before learned from a Coast Guard officer who is an active Sea Scout volunteer. The drills consisted of the following:
Successfully completing this practical exercise satisfies the advancement requirements for Ordinary 8.3 and 8.4 and Able 8.b and 8.d
Stage, set, and weigh anchor from the motor whaleboat in an appropriate anchorage area using the provided ground tackle within 15 minutes, ensuring the crew is clearly briefed and directed throughout a safe and successful evolution.
Without prompting, explain and demonstrate the following tasks:
1. Set Special Sea and Anchor detail; brief crew on intentions, authority, and roles.
2. Stage ground tackle for anchoring; determine type of bottom, hazards, swing arch, and appropriate scope.
3. Make approach; verify soundings, distance to anchoring position.
4. When in position, safely release anchor, pay out line to correct stop while backing down.
5. Determine when anchor is holding; secure and set anchor watch.
6. Set Special Sea and Anchor detail; brief crew on intentions, authority, and roles.
7. Advance until anchor line tends “up-and-down,” request to break free.
8. Weigh and recover anchor line and anchor by the bow.
9. Secure and set At Sea Watch.
The Anchoring Drills were extremely successful, with Sea Scouts not only properly anchoring the boat, but having an excellent view of the anchor underwater, thanks to the very clear waters of Lake Tahoe.
The Sea Scouts visited the Tahoe Maritime Museum on Sunday afternoon. The Museum is one of the newest chartered partners in the country for sponsoring a Sea Scout Ship. We are actively seeking volunteers to help expand Sea Scouting in Lake Tahoe.
The first Lake Tahoe Rendezvous was a fantastic weekend of adventure and hands-on skill development. We look forward to the 2015 Rendezvous and expanding opportunities for Sea Scouts.
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts
June 21, 2014 is Get On The Water Day 2 to celebrate the anniversary of Sea Scouts! Please post photos of your on the water action with the hash tags #seascouts and #getonthewater on Twitter, Instagram, & Tumblr.
June 20, 1912 is our best estimate for the anniversary of Sea Scouts. The Boy Scout Ship Pioneer, the first Sea Scout Ship, began their 1913 cruising season with the timeless passage, “Went into Commission Without Ceremony.” The date was June 23, 1913.
Let us honor the anniversary of Sea Scouts on June 21 by showing the world Sea Scouts in action. Please post photos of your Ship in action at 1100 and 1400 (local time) with the hash tags #seascouts and #getonthewater on Instagram and share to Twitter and Tumblr.
Tags: Sea Scouts
Western Region Boatswain Cat Murphy-Bevan invitation message for the first Western Region Bridge of Honor on the USS Iowa on July 26, 2014. Register now at on www.pacsky.org.
Tags: Regatta, Sea Scouts
Marlinspike is one of the most common regatta events. Below are videos on how to tie several of the Marlinspike knots featured at the different regattas.
Tags: Ancient Mariner Regatta, Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts
The 62nd Ancient Mariner Regatta will be held over Memorial Day Weekend on the USS Hornet, in Alameda, California. Sea Scouts from across California, Oregon, Arizona, and Hawaii are attending. Many Sea Scouts have spent months preparing for this regatta. I wish them success.
Many adult volunteers have worked extremely hard to put this regatta together. Organizing the AMR includes working with at least six different entities, securing agreements for access, a labyrinth of insurance paperwork, and intense physical labor setting up the equipment onboard on World War II Era aircraft carrier, a park, a swimming pool, and areas for small boats. It is no easy task. As a former regatta chairman, I know how hard all of them are working to put on a quality event for our Sea Scouts.
I also know how important the Regatta is for all of the attendees. Enjoy every moment you are onboard the Hornet, whether it is in Fleet Drill, competing in Radio or Heaving Line on the Flight Deck.
The 2014 Ancient Mariner Regatta should be a wonderful experience. I encourage Sea Scouts to cross post on Twitter and Instagram from the AMR with the hash tags #SeaScouts and #AncientMarinerRegatta, so everyone can see what an awesome experience it is to attend the Ancient Mariner Regatta.
Good luck and Have Fun!