Saturday, November 17, 2007

United States Power Squadrons and the Boy Scouts of America join forces to educate recreational boaters

Stf/C Gregory T. Scotten, SN
USPS Marketing/ Public Relations Committee

There are some interesting parallels in the founding stories of two prominent national organizations. The United States Power Squadrons and the Boy Scouts of America planted the seeds of their common mission of boater safety education in the same year, less than one hundred miles apart and after ninety years have found the rewards of a beneficial cooperation. The Power Squadrons grew out of an idea fostered by Roger Upton of the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1912 he successfully formed a club division to properly educate the owners of the newly popular recreational power boats. The Sea Scout movement in America grew out of the ideas of Arthur A. Cary of Waltham, Massachusetts, inspired by England’s Lord Baden-Powell’s Boy Scout philosophy. In 1912 he introduced his Sea Scouts to the operation of the schooner, “Pioneer”. His subsequent pamphlet, Cruising For Sea Scouts, became the organization’s first manual. From those beginnings both organizations grew to become the major sources of boater education in the United States.

After recently signing a memorandum of agreement, both organizations are prospering from the new relationship. This linkage was promoted by the Power Squadrons’ Chief Commander Ernest G. Marshburn, SN, an Eagle Scout. The importance of this fact to both organizations was emphasized earlier this year at the Power Squadrons’ Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. The Boy Scouts of America honored Chief Marshburn’s life long public service by honoring him with one of their highest adult recognitions, The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Its recipients, all of whom are
Eagle Scouts, include a rarified list of national leaders which includes President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong world class adventurer Steve Fossett, Senator Bill Bradley, and Defense Sec. Robert Gates

Events throughout the nation have reinforced this relationship with Power Squadrons assisting Boy Scout units. An example is the Change of Watch for Mountaineer Power Squadron on the West Virginia/ Pennsylvania border. National Sea Scout Boatswain Douglas Bowman was part of the festivities as District Commander C. Douglas Sewell, SN inducted the new squadron commander, Raymond C. Derk, AP. Cdr Derk is the Sea Scout Skipper of Doug Bowen’s Sea Scout ship.

Other signs of the continuing relationship were seen at the Boy Scouts of America National Meeting in Atlanta. Chief Commander Marshburn was a participant and met with two major youth leaders. The first was David George, President of the National Venturing Division, B.S.A. newest co-ed program. The second was Evan Chafee president and distinguished Vigil Honor Member of Scouting’s national honor society, the Order of the Arrow. Both young men are members of the Sea Scout Ship Del Mar. Their Sea Scout Skipper, Michael Stewart, is a member of Balboa Power Squadron of Orange County, California, the sponsor of the Sea Scout Ship. Both Evan and Dave are members of Balboa Power Squadron.

Perhaps the most interesting indicator of this new relationship is the presence of National Venturing Division President, David George and National Sea Scout Boatswain, Douglas Bowman on the National Membership Committee of The United States Power Squadrons. Chair of the committee, Rear Commander Roberta L. Dougherty, AP, reports that this new relationship is highly valuable to both organizations and the boating public. She emphasizes that Power Squadrons throughout the country should strongly consider “…affiliating or sponsoring Sea Scout units or working with Scouting’s teenage Venturing Crews.” The mutual support of these organizations helps each other to prosper and thereby betters boating safety education for the entire nation.

A resident of Punta Gorda, FL, Dr. Scotten and his wife Ann, who is a staff commander for the USPS Instructor Development Committee, are both members of the Peace River Power Squadron, where Greg served as commander and Ann is currently the Education Officer. In younger days Greg was very active in the Boy Scouts of America as a Gold Palm Eagle Scout, a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow, a member of the National Camping School Staff and Camp Director of the Junior Leader Training Camp for The Greater New York Councils at Ten Mile River.

Stf/C Gregory T. Scotten, SN

USPS Marketing/ Public Relations Committee

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hot News Update: Marco Island Anchoring Issue

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – In what could have profound implications for anchoring throughout Florida, Collier County Judge Rob Crown ruled in late October that a Marco Island anchoring ordinance was not consistent with the present Florida state statute. The city ordinance, he said, imposed an unlawful regulation of publicly owned sovereign waterways in violation of Florida law.

As a result of Judge Crown’s decision upholding the current state statute, many local governments around Florida which had anchoring ordinances may not be enforcing them and are looking to the state for guidance in the form of a uniform anchoring regulation.

The controversy began when Marco Island enacted a city ordinance restricting recreational boaters to a maximum 12-hour anchoring period when located within 300 feet of a seawall, and a maximum six-day anchoring period anywhere beyond that distance.

Marco Island’s City Council, which has a month to appeal the ruling, at this time plans to contest the court decision and is planning another meeting December 3 to review the matter.

Stf/C Richard E. Gercak, AP
Assistant Chairman
Govt./Partner Relations Committee
United States Power Squadrons