The Sea Scout Ship Ranger (Ship 8009) of Belleville, Illinois has been named the 2022-2023 BoatUS National Flagship. 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. The Ranger is chartered by the Christ United Church of Christ and part of the Greater St. Louis Area Council. Led by Boatswain George Hayes, the youth in Ship 8009 benefit from the guiding hand of Skipper Jeffrey Taylor. As you can see in their video, the youth in Ship 8009 are clearly involved in leading the Ship as they talk about their beliefs as they participate on some great adventures while providing an engaging and quality program year round.
The Ranger has 12 Sea Scouts and saw an increase of 3 new members over 2021. Their annual Advancement included 5 Apprentices, 1 Ordinary, and 2 Ables. 8 Sea Scouts completed ILSS; 7 Sea Scouts were certified in First Aid/CPR; and 4 Sea Scouts were certified as lifeguards.
On the Water Adventure
Ship 8009 enjoys Large boat sailing (greater than 26′), Small boat sailing, Smaller powerboShip 8009 enjoys large boat sailing (greater than 26′), small boat sailing, smaller powerboats, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, and using row boats, leading to an overall total of 46 days of sailing, kayaking, and/or canoeing including 4 days sailing on a 52 ft training ketch on Lake Heron.
The Ship was involved in numerous service projects over the course of the year including: building the trailhead and signs for the Wild Bird Sanctuary, assisting with Scout Sunday, running 7 of 10 events for the Klondike Derby at Camp Van, camped out in hammocks in 19-degree weather, and providing food collection for the local interfaith food pantry. They set up an Easter egg hunt and assisted with the church Easter egg hunt game activity; the Ship 9 WRFA team gave a Stop the Bleed class to the Boy Scout leaders at a Roundtable breakout session, and assisted with the Boulder Marina event which was a community marina event with band and cook out. In addition, they volunteered at the Camp Warren Levis OA Fall Fellowship, ran a Sea Scout recruiting and advancement event at a Fall Fun Rally, provided staff to a Rendezvous at Camp Warren Levis, and the Ship 9 recruitment team gave a presentation in February 2022 titled Surviving the Ice on the Endurance. They provided logistics to a fall Chili cookoff, staffed and taught Merit Badges at a NESA day event at Camp Warren Levis, ran Haunted Hayrides at Camp Warren Levis, and put on two displays and 3 games for the Christ Church UCC Trunk or Treat. Skipper Jeff was the crossing guard in a bright orange spider suit. the Ship’s WRFA training team provided a Wilderness First Aid Course on multiple dates, and the Ship participated in Scouting for Food.
The National Flagship Fleet
The National Flagship Fleet recognizes outstanding Ships for their program. Below are the 2022-2023 honorees.
Sea Scout Ship Aeolus (Ship 1899)
The S.S.S. Aeolus is based in Dallas, Texas, chartered by the White Rock Boat Club, and part of the Circle Ten Council.
Sea Scout Ship Corsair (Ship 22)
The S.S.S. Corsair is based in San Francisco, CA, chartered by the San Francisco Sailing Whaleboat Association, and is part of the Golden Gate Area Council.
SSS DragonLady (Ship 1942)
The S.S.S. Dragonlady is based in Arlington, VA, chartered by the St George’s Episcopal Church, and part of the National Area Council.