BoatUS hands out Sea Scout honor

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BoatUS gave its 12th Sea Scout National Flagship Award to the Arlington, Va.-based Sea Scout Ship 1942, S.S.S. Dragonlady.

The Sea Scouts and their adult leader Tom Ballew, the skipper of Ship 1942, accepted the award in a ceremony Saturday at Solomons, Md. BSA Sea Scouts national director Keith Christopher presented the flagship trophy on behalf of BoatUS.

This is the second time Ship 1942 has received the award. It earned its first Flagship Award in 2007 and is considered the “hometown” ship by nearby BoatUS national headquarters staff.

Ship 1942 was founded in 1992, is sponsored by St. George's Episcopal Church and is one of the most active ships on the East Coast. Like all Sea Scout units, Ship 1942 uses boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people ages 14 to 20.

The fleet ranges from daysailers and small cruising boats kept nearby on the Potomac River to five cruising sloops from 27 to 39 feet on the Chesapeake Bay at Solomons Island. Activities range from formal training in boating handling, rules of the road and safety drills to boat maintenance, electronics and engine repair, with a good measure of fun thrown in.

The program strives to let youths lead the activities and make the decisions to the fullest extent possible, with support from a strong cadre of adult leaders.

To earn the flagship recognition, the ship and its crew compiled an impressive record of accomplishments. They had 68 days of on-the-water activities last year, including a nine-day summer cruise, and hundreds of hours of community service projects and other achievements.

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