The Sea Scout Ship Viking (Ship 100) of San Francisco, CA, Golden Gate Area Council, has been named the 2023-2024 BoatUS National Flagship based on their outstanding Scouting program.
In 2002, BoatUS and Sea Scout, BSA, created this award to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Sea Scout program in the United States. The award is presented to a Sea Scout Ship that demonstrated excellence in youth servant leadership and strong adult mentorship that resulted in a quality character development program and outstanding youth membership achievement during a calendar year.
Dan Ownby, National Chair of the Boy Scouts of America, had an opportunity to go sailing with the San Francisco Sea Scouts, and said, “I was on the SSS Viking last summer and was so impressed with the young women who sailed her.”
Outstanding Recruiting with Adventure
The Sea Scout Ship Viking is chartered by the San Francisco Sailing Whaleboat Association, and has 28 Sea Scouts, 11 of whom joined in the past year. Sea Scout Advancement is designed to get Sea Scouts on the water, which is exactly what the Viking did the past year. Ten Sea Scouts earned the Apprentice Rank; nine Sea Scouts earned the Ordinary Rank; two Sea Scouts earned the Able Rank; and one Sea Scout earned the Quartermaster Award. Additionally, another seven Sea Scouts completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS). Two of the Viking Sea Scouts are First Aid/CPR certified, three are certified Lifeguards, and nine have completed the NASBLA Boater Safety Course.
Let’s Get on the Water
The Viking gets on the water nearly every week, with a total of 62 on the water days! They did a two week Long Cruise to the California Delta with 9 different destinations. They got underway between ports in their 30-foot monomoy whaleboat for shorter day sails and drills, in dinghies for sailing and rowing, stand-up paddleboards, waterskiing, and many other adventures, including swimming.
Scouting in Action
The Viking is a powerhouse at Sea Scout activities across California, attending Safety at Sea San Francisco, the Sea Farer’s Regatta (April), Old Salts Regatta (April) and Ancient Mariner Regatta (May), Wente Sea Scout Weekend (September), Napa Mini Regatta (Veternan’s Day Weekend), Southwestern Rendezvous (Thanksgiving Weekend), lead classes at LEAD (aka University of Scouting). Not to mention, took the BSA National Chair sailing.
One of the Viking Sea Scouts serves as the Council Boatswain for the Golden Gate Area Council, holding semi-monthly meetings with Ship Boatswains. Viking Sea Scouts have presented at the Council Executive Board Annual Meeting, and served as the Color Guard for the council’s Distinguished Citizen Dinner.
The Viking also organized multiple events for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA, including a day of boating in the spring for Cub Scouts, plus a BBQ during Fleet Week in the fall, AND held a Rain Gutter Regatta in the winter. Scouts BSA Troops often visit SF Sea Base on trips through San Francisco. The Viking also helped with an open house for Sea Scouts in Napa, nearly 50 miles away from their home port.
Service to Others
The Viking Sea Scouts understand the importance of service projects to give back to the community. The Sea Scouts held multiple outreach events, including one a council camp, where they helped clear a site impacted by a landslide. The Sea Scouts also assisted with a work weekend at Tinsley Island, a property owned by the St. Francis Yacht Club, where they helped with retiling roof tiles, gardening, and installing a new sprinkler system. Moreover, the Sea Scouts helped the Maritime National Historic Park with “Jr. Ranger Day,” where younger children were introduced to nautical activities onboard the museum ships on Hyde Street Pier. Service to the National Parks continued with a Quartermaster service project, where Sea Scouts were trained on how to go aloft on vintage sailing vessels.
A Formula for Successful Recruiting
The Sea Scout Ship Viking is one of the largest Sea Scout Ships in California, because they ensure every single activity has an element of fun, where Sea Scouts are encouraged to be warm, welcoming, and bring their friends. This is bolstered by a policy of getting on the water every time a prospective new member attends a meeting.
Please join us in wishing the Sea Scout Ship Viking congratulations on being selected as the 2023-2024 BoatUS National Sea Scout Flagship.
The 2023-2024 National Flagship Fleet
The National Flagship Fleet honors the top Sea Scout Ships in the county for their outstanding programs. All of these Ships have amazing accomplishments, service to youth, and adventures to last a lifetime.
Let’s meet the 2023-2024 Flagship Fleet