Tags: Sea Scouts
Sea Scouts in the Western Region are invited to apply to be the 2015-2016 Quarterdeck. You can apply for WR Boatswain, Yeoman, or be the Boatswain’s Mate to represent your Area. Here are the applications:
The Western Region Boatswain will represent Sea Scouts from El Paso, Texas, all the way to our Sea Scouts in Hawaii (and potentially our military bases in Japan), and as far North as Alaska. We have a total of 57 Boy Scout Councils and over 1,400 Sea Scouts in the Western Region.
This is a dynamic position requiring dedication. You can help with many initiatives to bring Sea Scouts together, provide valuable contributions to program development, and material to help increase our membership.
To apply, please download and complete the application.
WR Boatswain Mates (1 for Each Area in the Western Region)
The Western Region is composed of five Areas. We want to provide opportunities for a Sea Scout from each Area help the Western Region Boatswain support our program. If you are interested in serving as a Boatswain’s Mate, please download and complete the application.
Here are the WR Areas:
WR Area 1: Washington, Oregon, Idaho (Ore-Ida Council), and Alaska.
WR Area 2: Colorado,Utah, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota (Black Hills Area Council), and Idaho (Grand Teton and Twin Falls Councils).
WR Area 3: BSA Councils: Alameda, Golden Empire, Greater Yosemite, Marin, Mt. Diablo-Silverado, Nevada Area, Pacific Skyline, Piedmont, Redwood Empire, San Francisco Bay Area, Sequoia, and Silicon Valley Monterey Bay.
WR Area 4: BSA Councils: California Inland Empire, Long Beach Area, Los Angeles Area, Los Padres, Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Southern Sierra, Ventura County, Verdugo Hills, Western Los Angeles County
WR Area 6: Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Japan, Nevada, El Paso, Texas, and the San Diego-Imperial Council.
Please note Area 5 was combined with Area 2.
The WR Yeoman is our social media coordinator. This position requires a Sea Scout to help manage our social media campaign on Twitter and Instagram with daily posts. This is a vital position where you can help shape our message about Sea Scout activities, opportunities, and shares our adventures with all of Scouting.
To apply, please download and complete the application.
Social Media Signalmen
Signalmen in the Navy and Coast Guard were responsible for sending messages by Semaphore, Morse Code blinker light, and International Code Flags. We are looking for Sea Scouts to work with the WR Yeoman in posting to social media. Instead of semaphore flags, we need Sea Scouts to take photos and video at Sea Scout activities. If you would like to be a Social Media Signalmen, please complete the form below and how you would like to assist.
Tags: Lifeguard, Sea Scouts, Swimming
Well, it’s that time of year again, and we’ve begun our aquatics training. As you may know, the Sea Scout rank advancement path has very extensive aquatic requirements, and we’ve found it’s easiest to, as a group, satisfy all the requirements in one concerted effort. Our ultimate goal is “BSA Lifeguard” certification for all members. This way, we not only get rank sign-offs, but the training helps keep us all safe during the rest of our adventures all year round.
So, in true “Decisive” fashion, we keep our eyes on the prize and move forward to attain our goals.
It was uncharacteristically cold (for Hawaii) when we arrived at the Kapaa public pool at 0630. There was a large group of Boy Scouts and their parents there already. One of the Scout Moms was thoughtful enough to bring some hot chocolate for everyone. It sure helped the kids keep warm!
So, it was a quick safety brief, a review of “BSA Safe Swim Defense,” some additional instruction and into the water! Luckily, we had a few of our veteran members to serve as lifeguards.
BSA Swim Test and Swimming Merit Badge Requirements
The Sea Scout aquatics curriculum (via rank requirements) can be basically broken down to this:
First, we make sure you can swim (Apprentice requirement # 4, “BSA Swim test”), then we train you how to swim well and to save yourself if need be. (Ordinary requirement #4 “Swimming Merit Badge”) Then we train you how to save others. (Able requirement #4, “Lifesaving Merit Badge”) Finally, we train you how to be a lifeguard. (Quartermaster requirement #4, “BSA Lifeguard or American Red Cross certification”)
So, today’s focus was making sure everyone passed the BSA Swim test, and then taking them through the Swimming Merit Badge requirements.
Some were beginners and some were accomplished swimmers, but everyone started at the beginning with the BSA swim test. From there, we were able to break into ability groups, giving less experienced swimmers the chance to fine tune their skills, while the more accomplished swimmers were able to tackle the various requirements for the Swimming Merit Badge.
So, as the day ended and everyone dried themselves off and put on their street clothes, we all felt like we had accomplished something and we were well on our way to becoming BSA Lifeguards.
Today, the Scouts were safe, learned something, and had FUN! Mission accomplished.
Lifesaving Merit Badge Requirements and BSA Lifeguard
Today’s activity was only the beginning for our BSA Lifeguard candidates. We’ve already scheduled our next pool session for early next month. On the agenda is to complete the Swimming Merit Badge and to start working on the Lifesaving Merit Badge. From there we will start on BSA Lifeguard. This training is extensive including classroom and swimming pool sessions.
Tips for Ships
- Partnership, partnership, partnership!
This extensive level of training requires a lot in the way logistical planning, etc. It’s probably too much for one unit to do, but partnering with other units puts a training of this type within range. In our case, a local Scoutmaster secures the pool and provides the lead instructor expertise while we Sea Scouts provide lifeguards and additional instructors. BSA units will be working on the same requirements as Sea Scouts and you may be able to partner up with them. Ships could also partner with the local Aquatics community. High School swim team, YMCA and others can provide great resources for logistics, instruction, and even recruiting!
- Can do attitude
It probably seems like this is easy for us, being in Hawaii and all. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that swimming pools aren’t really needed around here, so very few exist. I am only aware of 3 on our entire island! The point is, no matter where you are, you’ll have several challenges to overcome, but you can…and it will be worth it! On Decisive we get things done by focusing on the finish line and crossing hurdles one at a time.
And that is latest happenings from the crew of Decisive out here in the islands! We’d like to wish you our warmest, “Aloha a hui ho!” (until we meet again)
Carry on, carry on.
Skipper, SSS Decisive
Ship 11, Kauai, HI
Tags: Rescue, Safety, Sea Scouts
Sea Scout Tessa R from the SSS Deceive from the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, truly lived the Sea Promise’s directive to guard against water accidents and render aid to those in need to three boaters who were adrift after losing power.
Tessa was recognized with the Medal of Merit at the Kauai District Recognition Dinner from the Aloha Council for her actions.
As Tessa’s Skipper, Aloha Council Commodore Larry Richardson, explained to The Garden Island, the Sea Scouts were anchored off Molokai when a passing small boat with three people lost power and began drifting towards a reef.
While no lives were in immediate danger, Tessa went out in the Deceive’s dingy, rowed out to the drifting vessel, and towed the small vessel to a dock over a quarter of a mile away.
Tessa rowed the entire way.
Tessa is an Ordinary Sea Scout, the Boatswain of the SSS Deceive, and attends Kapaa High School. She is on both the Cross Country and Swim Teams.
Job well done on representing the best of traditions of Scouting.
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts, Silver Beaver
Please join me in congratulating Charles Wurster on being honored with the Silver Beaver Award by the San Diego-Imperial Boy Scout Council, to be presented at the annual council dinner on February 6, 2015. The Silver Beaver is the highest award a Boy Scout Council can present to a volunteer.
National Commodore Wurster is a Distinguished Eagle Scout who represents the best traditions of Scouting.
Charles Wurster is a retired three-star admiral from the United States Coast Guard, graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1971 with honors, received a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1976, and graduated from the Industrial College of Armed Forces in 1993.
Vice Admiral Wurster has an impressive service record, having been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (two awards), and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal (two awards).
That is everything you can learn about the National Commodore from Wikipedia. The Admiral’s dedication to Scouting and values are extremely impressive in their own right.
I met Charles Wurster in 2005 when he attended Safety at Sea in San Francisco (he was a Rear Admiral at the time). It was cold and raining. Just a couple of hours touring the events with Charles Wurster were lessons in leadership. He went out of his way to visit with volunteers, Sea Scouts, and Coasties alike. Everyone he talked with literally felt good about volunteering their time to help Sea Scouts.
The Captain of then-Group San Francisco (now Sector) held a reception for Admiral Wurster. The good admiral wanted to visit the galley crew to thank them for the food prepared for the reception. Admiral Wurster walked into the galley and went behind the service area to find a cook who was busy doing dishes. The young cook looked up, and judging by the expression on his face, was not expecting to see a two-star admiral in the galley. The cook promptly pulled his soapy hand out of the pot he was scrubbing and saluted. The young man honestly looked humbled to be thanked for his efforts.
In 2010, Admiral Wurster had retired from the Coast Guard and was the President/CEO of the Port of San Diego. As the National Commodore, he visited the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup, held at the Coast Guard Academy.
The National Commodore quietly arrived on base without any fanfare and saw a Sea Scout trying to master how to throw a heaving line. Charlie directly went over to the Sea Scout and worked with the Scout on how to coil and throw a heaving line.
Charles Wurster is not afraid to get his hands dirty and always puts Scouts first. He truly enjoys working with young people, mentoring, and investing in the future.
Charlie’s love of Scouting is evident from his dedication to Sea Scouts. At the first Western Region Bridge of Honor, Commodore Wurster saw all of the Sea Scouts assembled to board Landship on the stern of the USS Iowa, and with a broad smile, he said, “I love it.”
The Admiral represents the best of Scouting and is very deserving of the Silver Beaver Award. If you are in the San Diego area and wish to attend the council dinner, please visit the San Diego-Imperial Council for more information.
Tags: Boat Parade, Sea Scout Ships, Sea Scouts, Toys for Tots, Western Region
Sea Scouts in the Western Region are spreading holiday cheer from Arizona, to California, to Hawaii. Ships are entering their vessels in holiday themed parades, both on and off the water. Participating in parades helps building local awareness of Sea Scout Ships, creates an opportunity to get on the water, and is a great way to have fun with your shipmates.
Aside from displaying their vessels, Sea Scouts are hosting holiday parties AND volunteering their time to make the holidays brighter. Job well done to the SSS Decisive on Kauai in their Toys for Tots Drive. Thank you for strongly demonstrating helpful Service to others.
Tags: Cruise, Sea Scouts
The Western Region Boatswain and I were invited to cruise on with the Sea Scout Ship Tiki Too on their vessel Liberty. The cruise was a wonderful example of how to incorporate all 4 S’s of Sea Scouting into a weekend adventure.
It also made me think, what are the key elements that make a Sea Scout cruise a Scouting activity, opposed to merely a boat ride?
Scouting is Fundamental
Sea Scouts, BSA would just be a youth boating program without “Scouting.” Sea Scouts is about learning skills that will serve you in life. This might be from working as a team to prepare a meal in the Galley, or how to organize your shipmates into watches for vessel operation, or the simple act of wearing matching t-shirts to be in uniform while cruising.
Good Seamanship is Not a Spectator Sport
Sailors might be known for sea stories, but those sea stories are born from adventure.
Getting underway requires Sea Scouts who take the helm, operate the engines, and stand by their dock lines to take their vessel to sea. Moreover, being underway requires Sea Scouts plot courses, stand as lookout, and maintain a proper watch to ensure the safety of all onboard.
Everything Sea Scouts do underway is to ensure the safety of those onboard, because 1) it is the law, and 2) every time we state the Sea Promise it is our commitment as Sea Scouts to be responsible mariners on the water.
There is also a great maxim that sets Sea Scouts apart from others: stay active.
The crew of the Tiki Too completed numerous projects while underway, such as splicing dock lines for a newly donated vessel; replacing life lines on the buoyant apparatus; and prepping a fire monitor for painting; and painting the fire monitor.
Work and skill building should be fun. This was evidenced with the Tiki Too crew practicing “lassoing” the bit on the foredeck.
Service is a Part of Scouting
Part of Scouting is to do a good turn daily. Moreover, the Scout Law reminds us all to be Kind.
After securing in Walnut Grove, a sailor in advanced age asked for help carrying groceries down to his boat. Being good Scouts, the Tiki Too helped the sailor with his supplies.
Nothing Says Social Like Ice Cream
Ice cream improves any Sea Scout adventure. Once secured in port after a long day underway, the crew of the Tiki Too continued the tradition that many other Sea Scouts over the decades have enjoyed, and ventured up to the iconic ice cream shop in Walnut Grove.
Set Special Sea and Anchor Detail
There are many great Sea Scout cruises taking place across the entire Western Region, from Seattle, to San Diego, to the Great Salt Lake. The boats might be different, but the 4 S’s of Sea Scouting are constant across every Sea Scout cruise. Sea Scouts have fun, learn new skills, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Get on the Water, Recruiting, Safe Boating, Sailing, Sea Scout, Sea Scouting
By Skipper Kathy Weydig
This past weekend the SSS Heatwave, with support from SSS Raven, hosted our first Aquatic Merit Badge weekend for Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts in the London Bridge district, Las Vegas Area Council at Windsor State Park, Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
We are ‘the little ship in the desert’, but have this amazing body of water called the Colorado River. We have 40 miles of navigable water before having to jump a dam. This is most important water system to Southern California and Arizona. (That is for another blog post)
This event was to introduce Boy Scouts to what Sea Scouts is all about, offer aquatic merit badges that are often not accessible to all scouts, plus a little recruiting along the way doesn’t hurt. We offered subject matter experts from Arizona Game and Fish, Lake Havasu Fire Dept., the local radio club head, president of Anglers United- Arizona, head lifeguard/swimming trainers and local boat captains. People that were eager to teach the youth scouts for all the right reasons.
Friday night offered an hour to accomplish their BSA Swim for those in need in our local Aquatic Center. Saturday troops from Needles and Blythe, CA; Boulder City, NV; and local Troop 55 from Lake Havasu City, AZ participated in Swimming, Lifesaving, Radio, Fish & Wildlife Management, Oceanography, Motorboating, Kayaking, Small boat Sailing, Rowing, Fire Safety, Fishing, and Fly-fishing. Sea Scouts used these badges to get signed off of requirements for advancements. (Male Sea Scouts can get credit for BSA badges, while female Sea Scouts cannot in our BSA Advancement system.) All got credit towards their respective rank.
Apprentice: BSA Swim,
(Rowing) 7 d
(Sm. Boat Sailing) 16c
(Radio) 5 e & f
Able: (Fires Safety) 5 c & d Live fire drills with extinguishers
(Fish and Wildlife Management) towards Hornaday Award
Saturday afternoon brought Pack 992, the local Cub Scout pack, to camp with us in the park, allowing the Cubs to see what Sea Scouts is. In the evening Troop 55 hosted the campfire for all to enjoy. Every den, troop and ship performed a skit!
Sunday, more badges and SSS Heatwave held a landship to induce four new Sea Scouts for all to see.
Our local Roundtable was held on Tuesday night and our District Executive said that we were the talk of the evening. Yes, this will be an annual event. The benefit is tenfold, from exposure to the community and scouts, to the recruitment opportunities that have opened, we are eager to do it again next year.
Tags: Sea Scouts
Sea Scouts have a proud history of serving their Nation. Many Sea Scout alumni have served, and many are currently serving, in the United States Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Army, Air Force, and Merchant Marine.
Over 100,000 Sea Scouts served in World War II. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz said that forty percent of the men who served under his command in World War II had been Scouts; those individuals earned sixty percent of the medals for valor Nimitz awarded.
We are fortunate that so many of our alumni have served our country. Whether we remember those who fought in the Great War; those who defeated fascism in World War II; those who stood the long watch of the Cold War; and the men and women today who have fought in the War on Terror, remember all are our Shipmates. Please thank them for their service to our country.