The 2015 Western Region Bridge of Honor was held on the Balclutha, a steel-hulled fully rigged ship build in 1886, moored at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier. The WR Bridge was attended by over 80 Sea Scouts and served as a kick-off to Summer Cruise.
The Balclutha herself was used for the ceremony, instead of adding a landship to one of the most nautical venues possible for a Bridge of Honor.
The purpose of the Western Region Bridge of Honor is to inspire Sea Scouts to get on the water for Advancement. Sea Scouts who attended the Bridge set goals to accomplish their next rank, which in turn got them on the water to go sailing, anchor boats, plot courses, and have fun on the water.
Every Sea Scout Ship had strong Advancement. We had twenty Sea Scouts earn the rank of Apprentice, twenty Sea Scouts earn the rank of Ordinary, and eight earn the rank of Able, six of whom were from the Viking. One Sea Scout was presented the rank of Quartermaster.
The Western Region Quarterdeck ran the ceremony onboard Balclutha. WR Boatswain Miranda did an excellent job running the ceremony with the Officer of the Deck. WR Boatswain’s Mate Sofia served as the Orderly. WR Yeoman Garrett and Western Region Boatswain’s Mate Cece both recognized the Sea Scouts advancing in ranks from Apprentice to Able and Long Cruise.
The Sea Scout Ship Viking of San Francisco was recognized as the second Western Region Flagship. They had a stellar year with a highly dynamic program where Sea Scouts are on the water weekly. Their Advancement highlights the skill and knowledge of their crew, with three Sea Scouts (so far) earning the rank of Quartermaster this year.
A banquet followed the ceremony at the South End Rowing Club. Volunteers prepared an out of this world steak dinner. One attendee asked who catered the meal and was surprised to learn it was all volunteer effort.
The 2015 WR Bridge of Honor brought Sea Scout Ships together in San Francisco, from where nearly all set sail for the Delta for summer cruise. The WR Bridge would not have been possible without the hard work of Western Region Vice Commodore of Program Kevin Trujillo, Alameda Council Commodore Kris Leverich, Skipper Tamara Sokolov of the Viking, and Mate Scott Berardi of the Northland.
Stay tune for more on the 2016 Western Region Bridge of Honor. The goal for next year is the Pacific Northwest.