Re: Ship Numerals
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@Dynasty.Net)
Sun May 31 11:50:44 1998
Darrell Cardwell asked:
>Can a ship pick it's on number or does national do it? My
>council doesn't have any ships, so no numbers are taken.
This is going to sound a little technical, but I hope to explain it as clearly
as I can for you and others here that ask about unit numbers for Ships.
There are TWO types of "unit numbers".
Every BSA unit is assigned what's called a "national unit number" through
their local Council's registrar. The National unit number identifies the
unit to everyone across the board, even when locally it may be known as
something else. I'll give you a quick example.
In Mexico City, Mexico, there's a Troop 1. They wear the Troop 1 insignia
and are recognized locally as the first BSA Troop in that city and part of
the Direct Service Council. The BSA knows this as Troop 11(1)
In Gualamala City, Gualamala, there's a Troop 1. They wear the Troop 1
insignia and are recognized locally as the first BSA Troop there and they
too are part of the BSA's Direct Service Council. The BSA knows this Troop
as Troop 127(1)
In St. Petersburg, Russia, there's a Troop 1. They wear the Troop 1
insignia, and are recognized as the first BSA Troop registered in that
community, part of the Direct Service Council. However, the BSA -- and the
Direct Service Council -- recognizes it as Troop 337(1). How so??
Because their National Unit number is SR-800-3-337(1). This number IDs the
unit specificially to the Region, local Council, District and unit.
The National unit number is IMPORTANT because that's the way that Eagle,
Quartermaster, and now Silver and Ranger Awards are registered by. Those
same numbers (less the regional designation) appear on various cards and
certificates and is how you can verify awards presented.
This is how also the BSA "keeps tabs" on exactly how many units they have
and how many youth members they enroll.
Enough about the National Unit Numbers....
Each Council administratively assigns unit numbers based on a number of
factors, depending on the size of the Council, the number of units and types
Some Councils assign the first 100 numbers to District 1, the second 100
numbers to District 2, etc. If Exploring is organized as a Division in your
Council, you may end up with some number like 1100 or 800 or something,
depending on the number of Districts in your Council.
(This allows you to be Ship 1 in your Council even though your National unit
number is 1101.)
This makes it really easy for the Registrar and other professionals in your
Council to assign new or unused numbers to units in that District, and it
somehow keeps older units alive because instead of getting a larger number,
you may get a number that has been used before for a Ship and you're
"continuing on the tenure" of that Ship.
Other Councils assign unit numbers as "they come into the office", and asks
the Registrar to give them the "next open number". Smaller Councils do
this, and it's effective but it does become time-consuming if units in that
Council "drop" and are later "added". In this manner, Ship 111 could be
chartered in the Exploring District one year and in the Honey Hollar
District the next year.
Still other Councils assign numbers based on the preference of both
chartered partner organization, Commissioner, and District Executive (or
District Executive team). The BSA wants to have units chartered to the same
chartering organization to carry the same number (it makes it easier to ID
them for specific mailings, etc.). For instance, if your Ship is chartered
to the same organization that has a Cub Scout Pack and a Boy Scout Troop,
they will all carry the same local unit number. Churches and schools do
this a lot, because it makes sense for them to carry the same numbers. In
this manner, you don't have much of a choice over the number....it's
basically assigned to you based on the "siblings" in the Scouting family of
that chartered organization.
However, if there's a specific number (for instance, my ship took on the
same number as an military unit, 22 (for the 22nd Engineering Unit; my Troop
took on the number representing the 8th Battalion of the 1st Cavarly
Regiment, or 801), and if that local number is NOT TAKEN, then the Registrar
will issue the number out. The same goes for the various "Post 911"s out
there that are chartered to emergency medical services organizations. The
first College Scouter Service Explorer Post (mine also) took on the number
of the year it was first chartered as their local unit number (3/79, or 379).
A local Council can have a Pack, Troop, Team, Post and Ship 1, either
chartered to separate chartered organizations or to the same chartering
body. The key in getting the number you want to use is with your COUNCIL
and specifically with your COUNCIL REGISTRAR. He or she has the "master
list" of local unit numbers and can better explain to you how YOUR COUNCIL
assigns numbers to units.
Remember that although you have a Ship number, you don't have to go by that
ship number for anything but BSA stuff. You can still have a SHIP NAME
(and if I'm not misunderstanding Bill Sills and a couple of the Commodores
here, that is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you do so) in addition to the Ship
registration nunber. This adds a stronger degree of support to the actual
program of the Ship rather than "just another number". I had a land-locked
Ship for the most part, so we didn't have a ship name.
Hope this information has helped instead of hindering you. Talk with your
Council Registrar and see how the numbering system is done in YOUR Council.
There's a rhyme and reasoning for it, and it usually makes sense!
(c) 1998 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 email@example.com
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