Are you the best in the West? 2015 WR Flagship applications are now being accepted!

May 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Bridge of Honor, History, Program | Leave a comment
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2015 WRF Patch


Each year every Ship in the Western Region operates the best program that it can. Whether it is a small boat, sail, or power program, now is the time to stand tall and be recognized for all of your outstanding efforts. Starting today applications to be rated as the 2015 Western Region Flagship are now being accepted! 

Before we talk about how you submit an application, let’s talk about what makes your application a strong representation of your Ship’s program.

Make it visual

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Let those adventures, skills, and smiles really show in your application. You could submit an eBook, Powerpoint, or even a video to engage this enticing way to display your Ship’s year. Pictures or video of cruises, social events, community service projects, or any other activity allows the Committee to see your Ship in action.10430420_1526029620973984_6646640267773022021_n

Get the Scouts involved

Sea Scouts exists because of the youth involved in it and your Western Region Flagship application should be no different. Who better to talk about the Crew’s reactions or feelings during an event? Asking Scouts to do a short write up or recollection of an event can really help the Committee feel like they were their with your Ship. Be sure to offer support and guidance for their ideas in this area.

“Though we didn’t win the scuttle-off, we still left the regatta feeling like we did our best and that we would do the same next year and the rest of the years to come.”   

Admin is important, but not in raw form

Avoid the pitfall of simply posting rosters, tests, or operational checklists without context or emotion to accompany them. We want to see how your Ship operates, but offering up a crash course in your administrative process does not let your Scouts shine.

“Once every few months we have Admin Hours where we update, make, and remake the files that keep the Ship going. Even though it’s not as exciting as regattas, I can see how Admin Hours are an important event on the calendar to keep us going.”

Ask the families of your Scouts

As Scouts grow they change in our program, at school, and at home. Ask for some parent or family input about how your Ship’s program benefited your Scouts outside of activities. All parents support your efforts and value the experience you’re providing their sons and daughters; give them the opportunity to voice their appreciation.


Here is a message from Western Region Commodore Josh Gilliland about the WR Flagship applications:

“We established the Western Region Flagship in 2014 to encourage Ships to apply for National Flagship and recognize outstanding program in the West. Our first WR Flagship was the S.S.S. Makai, who served as the BoatUS National Flagship the year before.

All WR Sea Scout Ships that applied for National Flagship are considered to be the top Sea Scout Ship in the Western Region. Sea Scout Ships that did not apply for National Flagship, but wish to be considered for Western Region Flagship, should apply using a modified version of National Flagship Application for the Western Region (a Word version can be downloaded here and a PDF here). Please send a PDF or your application and any digital supporting material by July 1, 2015 to The Western Region Flagship will be presented at the WR Bridge of Honor on July 25 on Hyde Street Pier.

If your Ship did not apply for National Flagship, applying for Western Region Flagship is a great way to build the experience for preparing a dynamic application.”

Parting thoughts

All the advice in the world can be heaped upon your shoulders about what makes a strong WR Flagship application, but the only thing that can’t be missed is that the application needs to be you. We want to see who you are, not who you think we want to see. Every Ship has its own personality; let us get a look at that.





Vice Commodore of Program

Western Region Sea Scout Committee

Take a Selfie in Your Life Jacket for National Safe Boating Week

May 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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National Safe Boating Week is May 16 to 22, 2015 across North America. All Sea Scouts are encouraged to participate in the kick-off for National Safe Boating Week with Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day on May 16.

Ready, Set, Wear It! is about raising awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket. Sea Scouts, BSA is a partner with the National Safe Boating Council, which is asking partner organizations to heighten awareness of wearing the different types of life jackets. In 2014, 6,973 participants wore their life jackets to promote safe boating. Let’s help break that record.

Here is how Sea Scouts can demonstrate we keep the Sea Promise to guard against water accidents. First, register your Sea Scout activity with the National Safe Boating Week on the following link. Second, everyone take a selfie with your shipmates wearing your life jackets. Post your photos to Instagram and Twitter with the hash tags #SeaScouts, #WearIt and #SafeBoating. Be sure to tag @boatingcampaign on Twitter.

Boating accidents are no joke and we want to encourage safe boating. Please join us on May 16, 2015 to Wear It and post your life jacket photo to social media.


Appointment of 2015-2016 WR Yeoman and Signalman

May 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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Sea Scout Garrett M. from the SSS Intrepid of Palo Alto, California, has been appointed the 2015-2016 WR Yeoman. Garrett’s term officially begins on May 15.


Garrett’s goal as WR Yeoman is to build awareness of Sea Scouts, BSA to help recruiting. Garrett will be posting to social media with photos of Sea Scouts in action. You can follow Garrett on Instagram at WRYeoman, Twitter at @WRYeoman, Tumblr at, and Facebook at Western Region Sea Scouts.

Garrett is looking for photos of Sea Scout adventures from across the Western Region. If you are in any part of the Western Region, from Montana to Japan, we want to promote your Sea Scout Ship. Please be sure to post photos to Instagram with the hash tags #SeaScouts and tag @WRYeoman in the photo.

Garrett will also be working with the “Sea Scout Signalmen” from the Western Region. The first WR Signalman is Noel S from the Sea Scout Ship Makai from Alameda. Noel will be posting photos of the Makai in action on Instagram at @SSSMakai and on Twitter @SSSMakai.


We want to have Sea Scout Signalmen from all five WR Areas. If interested in helping, please fill out the form below.


Appointment of Matt Planer as Western Region Vice Commodore of Marketing

May 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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On behalf of the Western Region President, Director, and Commissioner, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of the new Western Region Vice Commodore of Marketing to help promote Sea Scouts.

Matt_PlanerMatt Planer is an alumnus of the Sea Scout Ship Gryphon in Redwood City, California from the Pacific Skyline Council. Matt has a digital marketing business in Marana, Arizona, where he supports clients in web design and social media campaigns. Matt is now bringing his experience to help Sea Scout Ships market themselves to build community awareness and increase membership.

Vice Commodore Planer will help Sea Scout Ships develop custom marketing and social media campaigns for their programs. Matt will be reaching out to Ships from across the Western Region to offer his help in teaching Ships how to use social media, prepare press releases, work with Council marketing teams, and other strategies for community engagement.

You can connect with Matt on Twitter at @wrvcplaner and Instagram @mattplaner

Please join me in welcoming Matt aboard.

Would you like help promoting your Sea Scout Ship? Please contact us on the form below.

Yankee Clipper & Seattle Sea Scouts at Opening Day

May 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment


Awesome day on the water in Seattle! Job well done.

Originally posted on Sea Scout Ship Yankee Clipper - Seattle, WA:

20150502_130528 Sea Scout Ship Yankee Clipper Lining Up for the Opening Day Parade

Opening Day of the boating season is something that Seattle has been doing for more than a century. And the Sea Scout Ship Yankee Clipper has been there for a good portion of the opening days since the Seattle Yacht Club first started parading through the cut at Montlake in 1920. Our Chartered Organization Rep and Skipper Emeritus John Kelly says his first Opening Day was 1937 when he took a varnished International 14 down the parade route. And attention Adam K; John won the race that followed. So, you’ve got some big shoes to fill on the racing circuit.

But I digress.

Opening Day in Seattle can be cold, windy, rainy….and a bit of a confusing mess. Saturday, May 2, was none of those things. It was, in a word, awesome. It was sunny and clear, with…

View original 1,033 more words

“A Scout is Helpful.” How can we help you?

May 2, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Advancement, Program, Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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Prog TF Emblem


As the Sea Scouting program moves forward in its second century we find ourselves facing some of the same questions and challenges we’ve always had. What can we do to help the Scouts understand the advancement and retain the knowledge? How can we make our events more appealing to the youth? Is there something others are doing that I’m not? Every Sea Scout adult leader does everything they can to engage these points, but sometimes we just can’t shoulder it on our own. Just as we strive to foster an environment of teamwork and collaboration for the youth it is the goal of the Western Region Sea Scout Committee to do the same for adult leaders. It is my pleasure to introduce our initiative to do so in the form of the Western Region Sea Scout Committee Program Task Force.

The aims of this Task Force can be best described in its mission and vision statements.

Mission Statement: To provide ideas and possibilities for Sea Scout Ships throughout the Nation.

Vision Statement: To encourage growth of our program through diverse engagement and multiple facilitation methods.

To accomplish these goals we have assembled adult leaders from multiple areas of the Western Region to contribute to monthly publications on advancement and program opportunities such as alternate lesson plans for requirements or new weekend activities. Gathering a diverse group allows us to ensure that publications do not favor implementation in certain areas of the Region or certain program types (power, sail, small boat, etc). It also generates interaction between various Ships, Squadrons, and Flotillas within the Region that each have unique and successful methods that we could all benefit from. We are continuing our efforts to develop our Task Force team; any interested adult leaders can contact me at WesternRegionVCProg@Gmail.Com for further details.

Included below is a link for a short survey about advancement and program activities. Please take a few minutes to fill it out as the results will provide our team with a solid direction for ideas and material relevant to the needs and interest of our Region.

I look forward to working with the members of the Program Task Force and helping their efforts to secure a third century for our outstanding program.



Vice Commodore of Program

Western Region Sea Scout Committee

Sea Scout “Selfie” Challenge

May 1, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment

All Western Region Sea Scouts, the challenge is made: Take a Selfie at Sea Scouts and you can win a new Popscope selfie stick. Sea Scouts also in the winning photo will receive other prizes as well.


Here are the rules:

1) Selfies must be taken during a Sea Scout activity;

2) Your Selfie must be in a uniform, whether a Ship t-shirt, working uniform, New Century, or Dress Whites of Blues;

3) Your photo has to show Sea Scouts in action, whether it is rowing, sailing, on engine watch, learning advancement, or similar Scouting activity;

4) Must show an element of the Sea Promise or Scout Law; and

5) Must be consistent with Scouting Values, the Guide to Safe Scouting, Scout Oath, and Scout Law.

Photos should be posted to a public Sea Scout Instagram account with the hashtags #seascouts and the Sea Scout activity, such as #sailing or #rowing. Please tag @sailwestward, so we do not miss your post. Sea Scouts should also tag their Sea Scout Ship Instagram profile in their photos (if your Ship has one).

Judges appointed by the Western Region Commodore review the selfies for creativity and Scouting Spirit. The winner will presented at the Western Region Bridge on July 25, 2015.

And yes, we will have two categories: One for youth and one for adult volunteers registered in Sea Scouts.

Ideas for Selfies

Here are examples of selfies for ideas:

Putting on lifejackets before getting in a small boat. This shows the Sea Promise in action to “Guard Against Water Accidents” and Safety Afloat;

10-second video clip of singing while rowing, showing a Scout is Cheerful;

Throwing a Heaving Line to show you are prepared to render aid to those in need.

Those are just ideas. Be creative, have fun, but most of all, be responsible.

If you want tips on how to use Instagram, check out Creating a Social Media Campaign for Your Sea Scout Ship

Online Safety

Safety First! All Sea Scouts must follow the BSA Social Media Guidelines. These guidelines have great safety tips for using social media. Always use common sense and be safe while taking photos.

Always Ask! Ask your friends if you have permission to post a photo with them on Instagram.


The Sea Scout Selfie Competition will be from May 1, 2015 to July 1, 2015. Good luck! Have fun, be safe, and get on the water.

Appointment of New Western Region Vice Commodore of Program and Task Force

May 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Advancement, Program, Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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Prog TF EmblemOn behalf of the Western Region President, Regional Director, and Commissioner, I am very happy to announce the appointment of Kevin Trujillo (Sea Scout Ship Makai, Alameda) as the new WR Vice Commodore of Program.

Kevin is a dynamic volunteer with an amazing ability to develop training material for Sea Scouts. Kevin will be leading a task force of volunteers from around the Western Region to create supplemental program aids for new Sea Scout Ships or Ships looking to try new activities.

Please welcome aboard Kevin and the new team.

Joshua Gilliland

Western Region Commodore

National Sea Scout Committee

Let’s meet the Program Task Force team!

Erin Waggoner, Los Angeles

Erin Waggoner_Sea Scout headshotAs a member of MSS Morning Star (Sherman Oaks, CA) as a teen, I enjoyed the unique experiences, leadership opportunities, and maritime activities available through the Sea Scout program. Opportunities to sail on tall ships, participate in regattas, earn rank advancement, and hold youth leadership positions helped define her high school years. After college, I knew it was time to give back to the program that brought her so much joy and growth.

Now, with more than a decade of experience as an adult in the program, I am excited to bring my unique perspective to this program team. I hope this team will help all Sea Scout youth in the Western Region enjoy the fullness of the program by providing new tools and fresh ideas for their skippers, mates, and volunteers to utilize. Let’s do this!

Dan Leach, Seattle

Dan Leach

“After serving a stint as Den Leader, Cub Master, and Scout Master while my own son was in Boy Scouts earning his Eagle I thought I was out of it. That was until someone said, “Hey, you’ve been a sailor all your life, went to school to study Marine Carpentry, worked professionally restoring historic wooden boats. The Sea Scouts in Seattle sure could use some help with an historic ship.”

What does a Scout leader say when someone asks for help? You all know the answer. Today I serve as the Committee Chair for the Sea Scout Ship Yankee Clipper, a unit first charted in 1930. Not leaving well enough alone, I’m also a Vice Commodore for the Chief Seattle Council fleet. From that perch I see well run ships, and others that struggle.

I want to work with the Western Region Program Task Force to find ways to make it easier for all ships to help youth advance and grow Sea Scouting.”

Kevin Trujillo, S.F. Bay Area

KTrujillo“I started in Scouting as a Tiger Cub and haven’t looked back. After growing through the years in Cub Scouts and a few years in Boy Scouts I was finally able to join the Makai. Adventure filled weekends and summers made a lasting impact on my life to such a degree that I wanted to come back and help provide that opportunity to others.

I returned to the Makai in 2009 as a Mate and tackled our advancement, operations, and administrative process. Over the next several years the Ship grew, the Scouts grew, and our adult leaders grew. No individual part of that could have been as successful without the others.

In late 2014 my career changed from technical operations to technical operations training. This shift in my professional life has provided new tools, perspectives, and methods to help my Ship better engage program and advancement. My goal as part of the Western Region Program Task Force is to help promote existing best practices for advancement and program as well as develop new ideas and methods that all Ships can use. I see an opportunity for Sea Scout adult leaders to engage a facilitation method of training rather than a presentation method. This will provide the Scouts a way to be more involved with their learning and invested in the skills we are trying to help them develop.”

Set Goals and Set Sail for the WR Bridge of Honor in San Francisco

April 16, 2015 at 2:42 am | Posted in Bridge of Honor, Cruises, Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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The 2015 Bridge of Honor

We are extremely excited to announce the next Western Region Sea Scout Bridge of Honor will be held at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco on July 25, 2015. Sea Scouts from across the Western Region are invited to be recognized for all of their Advancement, make new friends, and have an amazing experience with other Sea Scout Ships. To learn more, please download the invitation.

A Bridge of Honor is to recognize Sea Scouts for all of their accomplishments. Our first WR Bridge of Honor on the USS Iowa brought Sea Scouts together from four states last summer. The Scouts who attended the Bridge on the Iowa spent months working towards their next rank. More importantly, they got on the water and had fun each step of the way.

So far, three Sea Scouts have the option of being awarded their rank of Quartermaster at this summer’s Bridge of Honor. Will you be number four?

Every Sea Scout Deserves a Summer Cruise

Multiple Sea Scout Ships from WR Area 3 are planning to start their summer cruise from the WR Bridge of Honor and end the following weekend. Our goal is to provide new opportunities from Sea Scouts who do not have a vessel of their own, or who are from a landlocked area, or simply want a new adventure, to have an awesome summer cruise this year.

SummerTubingMost WR Area 3 Sea Scout Ships will cruise to the California Delta. Traditional Delta Cruises take Sea Scouts up the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Sea Scouts anchor out in sloughs, swim, go sailing in small boats, kayaking, and of course, water skiing or tubing.

Some Sea Scout Ships are planning to cruise Santa Cruz and other coastal ports this summer.

Sea Scouts will have fun and make new friends regardless of where they cruise. The Sea Scouts from WR Area 3 want to host other Ships onboard for their summer cruise. Nothing like this has been attempted before to this scale. If your Ship is interested, please complete the form below.

I hope your Ship will be able to join us this year in San Francisco AND go on summer cruise in the California Delta.

Fair winds,

Joshua Gilliland

Western Region Sea Scout Commodore

National Sea Scout Committee

2015 Ancient Mariner Regatta at California Maritime Academy

April 3, 2015 at 2:40 am | Posted in Ancient Mariner Regatta, Regattas | Leave a comment
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Dear Skipper and Sea Scouts,

You are invited to the 2015 Ancient Mariner Regatta. We are thrilled to be holding the Regatta for the first time at the California Maritime Academy, May 22-25, 2015.


In addition to being a great new venue for our event, this is also a great opportunity for our Scouts to get an inside look at the only West Coast Maritime Academy. We currently have a significant number of our college age Sea Scouts at the Academy. I myself graduated from CMA in 2003 and am excited to be forging this new relationship.

I hope you can join us for a weekend of adventure. The Ancient Mariner Regatta is the largest Sea Scout event in the nation and our new home allows us to have even more Scouts attend. We will have whaleboat races, boatswain’s chair, sailing, scuttlebutt, swimming, and many other traditional competitive Sea Scout events. The AMR is a friendly competitive event in which our youth have the opportunity to showcase their skills as well as meet friends from throughout the region.


We will have plenty of berthing for both local and traveling crews. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. If you are interested in attending, please contact our registrar, Leslie Feyling, for registration information on the form below.

I hope you can join us at the California Maritime Academy this Memorial Day.

Fair winds,

Max Rosenberg,

Chairman, Ancient Mariner Regatta

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