Sea Scout Ship 100, “SSS DOMINION” Honored with BoatU.S. and the Sea Scouts, BSA 2017 National Flagship Award

The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) and Sea Scouts, BSA recognize Sea Scout Ship 100 “SSS DOMINION” of the National Capital Area Council and Bull Run District as the recipient of the 2017 BoatU.S. and the Sea Scouts, BSA “National Flagship” Award.  BoatU.S. created the award in 2002 to mark the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouting.  It is presented in recognition of excellence in program quality, youth achievement, and adult commitment. It is because of these attributes, as reflected by the SSS Dominion’s exemplary program of seamanship and youth development, that we honor them with this award.

Chartered by the Freedom Museum (an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute) in Manassas, Virginia, Ship 100 was formed in 2012 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Sea Scout Program in the Boy Scouts of America.  Honoring their home state of Virginia, they adopted the name “Dominion” as a salute to Virginia’s nickname, “The Old Dominion.”  Ship 100 meets weekly either at Manassas Airport or “Dominion Boathouse” where they store their small boats and gear.

SSS Dominion maintains a fleet of seven boats.   Highlights include the “SSTV Benjamin Chase”, a 22ft Catalina kept on the Potomac River across from George Washington’s Mount Vernon and named in 2013 for two Cub Scouts lost in Newtown, Connecticut.  For longer events they sail “SSTV Der Pelikan”, a 46ft Morgan ketch, which is maintained by the Chesapeake Flotilla.  With over twenty active scouts, SSS Dominion maintains a very active and diverse program supporting youth around the western suburbs of Washington, D.C.

In July, sixteen members of the Ship traveled to the US Virgin Islands, where they sailed a pair of 41ft Morgan sloops around St. John, stopping to swim and explore the various reefs and hike historical sites in the USVI.  With the help of the captains of SV Adastra and SV Gitanos, they explored the mangroves and swam with turtles, rays, dolphins, and thousands upon thousands of brilliant Caribbean reef fish.

Upon return, they participated in an event exploring Naval Aviation with a local flying association.  Scouts were treated to a tour of the FAA tower at their home base, Manassas Airport (perhaps the only Sea Scout Ship that meets at an airport). They learned about Bernoulli’s Principle and the concept of flight – those same concepts that they leverage when sailing.  They were shown a replica of the original Wright Flyer and the event concluded with scouts being taken on their first flight lesson in the skies over Manassas.

Between major events they sailed every other week on the waters of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, including night sailing and anchoring overnight in secluded coves around Maryland.  They are conducting field research on the best pizza and ice cream shops of the Chesapeake Bay.

Supporting the sailing program means keeping their boats in working order.  Due to an electrical outage at their slip, the SSTV Blue November took on significant water when the battery ran down and water got into the engine.  The scouts disassembled the engine with help from another NCAC ship, refinished the flywheel, flushed the transmission, and reassembled the engine using guidance from YouTube.  The second launch of SSTV Blue November occurred in September 2016 with great success (and great relief).

In addition to service to the community, Ship 100 serves the wider Sea Scout community in the National Capital Area Council, Chesapeake Region and Northeast Region.  They provide the senior leadership to the Chesapeake Flotilla Winter Training at Catoctin Mountain National Park.  In March they provided the Landship for the Northeast Region Bridge of Honor in Swedesboro, NJ.  The immediate past boatswain served as the Flotilla Boatswain.  Ship 100 also maintains the NCAC Website and Chesapeake Flotilla Social Media pages.

Ship 100 was recognized in Boys Life Magazine in 2016, when two scouts were featured in “Scouts in Action” for rescuing a driver involved in a terrible automobile accident in the early morning hours on the Capital Beltway around Washington D.C.

SSS Dominion scouts completed three senior leadership programs: NYLT, NAYLE, and SEAL.  One scout has been selected to come back as SEAL staff in 2017.  The Skipper serves as the Flotilla Training Chair.  The Ship hosts American Heart Association First Aid and CPR courses.

Two scouts were also recognized as part of the religious emblems program when they completed the Pope Pius XII course.  They were awarded their medals by a local Catholic priest and Eagle Scout who dutifully wore his Eagle neckerchief over his clerical attire.

There is more to the Ship 100 program than just sailing.  The Ship established a working relationship with the St. Lucy Project, which serves as the “Food Bank of Food Banks” for the Northern Virginia area.  While many scout units participate in Scouting for Food or other food drives, Ship 100 follows to inspect food quality, sort into categories, and package for distribution to the various distribution centers in the area that serve the hungry.  They ensure expired or unsuitable product is removed from distribution, so even the least, last, and lost in society can have a quality meal.

To learn more about Sea Scout Ship 100 “Dominion” please visit

The 2017 National Flagship Fleet was selected and wishes to recognize the following Sea Scout Ships for their outstanding programs for this past year:

  • SSS Charles N. Curtis Ship 110, Pacific Harbors Council, Tacoma, Washington
  • SSS Response Ship 911, Capitol Area Council, Austin, Texas
  • SSS Dragonlady Ship 1942, National Capital Area Council, Arlington, Virginia
  • SSS Decisive Ship 5011, Aloha Council, Kauai, Hawaii

Congratulations to each of these ships for their great programs in the past. We look forward to their continued involvement with the Sea Scout program around the country.