Commodore’s Corner – May 2019

2019 National Flagship announced

Congratulations to Ship 16, SSS Confluence, Suffolk, Virginia.  Ship 16, chartered by Beech Grove United Methodist Church, Colonial Virginia Council, is the 2019 National Flagship.  Learn more about this impressive Sea Scout unit.

Informative webinars are coming up

Here are the links for two upcoming webinars:

Back to School Recruiting – 06/12/2019 at 1800 PDT 

Register here

Planning Your First Month of SCUBA Activities – 07/09/2019 at 1800 PDT

Register here

I’m confused about which positions of responsibility count for the Eagle and Quartermaster rank requirements.  Some recent references don’t contain the same list that had been published previously.  What is the correct list?

Due to production errors, some recent BSA materials were issued with an incomplete listing of the eligible positions of responsibility.  These materials will be corrected at the next reprinting.  Here is the correct list of positions of responsibility that meet the service requirements for Quartermaster and Eagle rank:  boatswain, boatswain’s mate, yeoman, purser, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.

Is there a template for rank advancement certificates?  Or, little pocket cards like Scouts BSA uses?

Check out the link below for new pocket cards and wall certificates.  These items–with the Sea Scout logo, updated text, and updated images–are designed so unit leaders can readily print them out on cardstock whenever they are needed.  Quartermaster recognition items will continue to be supplied by the National Service Center.

I’d like to make videos to market Sea Scouts locally and nationally.  Where can I get some ideas to produce a successful video?

Thank you for your willingness to help market Sea Scouts.  A new reference for those interested in producing videos for Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube can be found at the Best Practice Library.

News item:  New Area badges-of-office replace Area/Flotilla version.

In the past, Sea Scouts in some parts of the country were organized into Flotillas that covered more than one Area, or were based on maritime geography.  That’s why the old badges-of-office said Area/Flotilla.  Now that Sea Scouts is aligned with the standard BSA Area structure, the badges have been redesigned. Here are the stock numbers for the Area badges-of-office:

  • Area Boatswain, No. 650483
  • Area Committee Member, No. 650484
  • Area Commodore, No. 650479
  • Area Director, No. 650481

My Ship is newly formed and we don’t have access to a boat suitable for making a long cruise.  How can we plan for a long cruise?

The annual summer cruise is the pinnacle of the Sea Scout annual calendar.  Long cruise is an interesting and exciting high adventure, where the knowledge and experience Sea Scouts have acquired is put to use, and it’s the place to form life long friendships and memories.

A generous benefactor has underwritten the Sea Scout Summer Cruise Incentive Program. Reservations have already been made at the BSA Florida Sea Base to provide a fantastic long cruise experience to two Ships during the summer of 2020; and the Sea Scout Summer Cruise Incentive Program will partially subsidize the costs.  The purpose of the program is twofold.  First, provide a long cruise opportunity to Ships that wouldn’t have a summer cruise otherwise.  Second, launch an awareness campaign about how important the long cruise is to a successful Ship and a challenging annual program.  Get more information on the Scout Summer Cruise Incentive Program at seascout.org/fsb2020.

And, keep an eye on SeaScout.org for more details as they develop.

You can submit your question to the Commodore’s Corner at commodorescorner@seascout.org; or click here. We’ll answer the most frequent or urgent questions in a future edition of the Commodore’s Corner.

Subscribe to the Commodore’s Corner via the National Sea Scout Distribution list here.

National Recognition and Change of Watch Ceremony scheduled

The annual Sea Scout recognition and change of watch ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 29, at the BSA National Annual Meeting in Denver.  This annual ceremony includes recognition of the National Flagship, presentation of Sea Scout Leadership Awards, and the Change of Watch for the National Boatswain.  In addition this year, and in keeping with the maritime heritage of Sea Scouts, BSA:  Incoming National Commodore TW Cook will assume the watch from outgoing National Commodore Charlie Wurster.  Here are Commodore Wurster’s thoughts on this transition:

Reflecting on the past 10 years as your National Commodore, it is clear that we can all be proud of program accomplishments at every level.  

The National Sea Scout Support Committee has enhanced the program through a number of initiatives.  Here are just a few highlights:  Establishment of Sea Scouts as a “full up” program in BSA; alignment with BSA national standards, plans, and governance; modernization of the Sea Scout Manual; creation of an outstanding website and social media presence; establishment of The Official Sea Scout Uniform; incorporation of paddlesports; celebration of the Sea Scout centennial; revamping of the adult training system; hosting the biennial Koch Cup international sailing regatta; conducting safety-at-sea programs; and forging stronger partnerships with safe boating organizations–for example the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s use of Sea Scouts as their official youth development program.

Perhaps most importantly, Sea Scouts is a youth-led program; and our youth members have stepped up to expand their role at all levels.  Among other accomplishments during his term, Jack Otto, outgoing National Boatswain, established a National Youth Quarterdeck to provide a forum for increased youth leadership participation.  Incoming National Boatswain, Hannah Carter, has already expanded that vision and assembled the 2019/2020 Quarterdeck team with an eye to the future and bright new ideas. 

Through these examples and many, many more of your accomplishments throughout the program, we stand upon a strong foundation for program growth.  With the recent roll-out of new branding standards and an enhanced marketing program, Sea Scouts is ready for the future. We all want to share Scouting’s best program with as many youth as possible–so they can experience the fun of a safe, high adventure, maritime program securely anchored in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, and the Sea Promise. 

I am thrilled that the next national Commodore, TW Cook, will be assuming the watch.  He is an impressive Scouter, boater, and leader.  His accomplishments are wide ranging and he has already established the key goals for his two-year tenure as National Commodore:  establishing new units, growing existing units, and retaining all units.  With TW Cook, Hannah Carter, and Janice Downey heading up the national Sea Scout leadership team, I am confident the program is in good hands; and they will be successful. 

Thanks to each and every reader, Sea Scout, and Sea Scouter for your dedication and everything you do to make Sea Scouts so great.  Well done!

Fair winds,

Charlie Wurster