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…

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“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 and Squadrons within the Flotilla 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 2015 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


Now Accepting Applications for WR Boatswain, Boatswain’s Mates, and Yeoman

March 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Sea Scouts | Leave a comment

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:

WR Boatswain

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.

WR Yeoman

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.

BSA Lifeguard Training in Hawaii

March 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Boy Scouts, Lifesaving | Leave a comment
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sea scouts bsa lifeguardGreeting and “Aloha” from the Sea Scout Ship Decisive on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.

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.

Decisive Boatswain and BSA Lifeguard, Tessa R, briefs the class on “Safe Swim Defense”

Decisive Boatswain and BSA Lifeguard, Tessa R, briefs the class on “Safe Swim Defense”

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”)

Troop 148 Scoutmaster, Mr. Tabata, provides the training

Troop 148 Scoutmaster, Mr. Tabata, provides the training

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.

With the BSA Lifeguard keeping things safe, these scouts are ready for action!

With the BSA Lifeguard keeping things safe, these scouts are ready for action!

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.

Being able to just float is actually an important skill!

Being able to just float is actually an important skill!

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.

Larry Richardson

Skipper, SSS Decisive

Ship 11, Kauai, HI

Sea Scout Recognized with the Medal of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America

January 29, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Posted in Boy Scouts, Cruises, Safe Boating, Sea Scouts | 2 Comments
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049Sea 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.


National Commodore Charles Wurster to be Presented the Silver Beaver Award

January 4, 2015 at 3:06 am | Posted in Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts | Leave a comment
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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.


The National Commodore’s opening remarks at the first Western Region Bridge of Honor on the USS Iowa.

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.

CWurster_HeavingLine_4324The Koch Cup took one day off from the regatta to have a Safety at Sea training at Station New London.

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.

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