Re: The REAL problems aboard ship - Forwarded
Bruce C Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon Jun 15 06:21:04 1998
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Eric Kozowski <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: The REAL problems aboard ship
At 10:48 PM 6/11/98 , Kevin Buffington wrote:
>Normally, I'm not one to air the dirty linen but I guess I have to,
>since basically I'm asking for ideas relating to my feeling as to a lack
>of personal success with my ship and how to make it better.
I've been the Skipper of SSS601 "City of Roses" since 1992. I was a Mate
before that and a youth member before that. The Ship has been continuously
chartered since 1929.
First a little background/info on the Ship, then I'll describe what works
We currently have 4 active adults and 16 active youth. We run a 40' ex-US
Navy utility boat and a 29' Cascade Scout sailboat. We also have a few
We are what could be described as an ultra-traditional Sea Scout Ship.
We meet twice a week, all year. 1900-2100 on Tuesdays and 0900-1700 on
Saturdays. >From October to May our Tuesday night meetings are at a
church. Dress blues are worn to this meeting every week and a landship is
put on. The rest of the year Tuesday night meetings are at the Council Sea
Scout Base and we meet in the traditional dungaree work uniform. Saturdays
are the same.
The standing goal is to get at least one boat underway four times a month.
Our Ship is what some would call quasi-military:
- "Yes, Sir", "No, Sir" and "Aye, Aye, Sir" and not only appropriate in our
Ship, but they are expected. - Wearing the appropriate uniform and in the
proper manner is expected. - Following the chain of command is expected.
- Doing what you are told by your petty officers is expected.
- Whining, complaining and bitching are not allowed.
- Working as a cohesive unit is expected.
If you don't like any of this, then you are free to hit the road.
When boats get underway, the are commanded and operated by youth members,
except in rare occasions dictate otherwise. This includes operating the
powerboat, sailing in races, etc.
The youth members generally plan and lead the meetings. Sometimes they
require assistance from the adults, but for the most part they run the
show. Generally, large undertakings are coordinated by the adults. These
are usually major maintenance items like haul outs, engine rebuilds, etc.
Our Ship's crew is high school age only. Once you graduate from high
school, you are usually invited to become a mate. Some Ships have "junior"
mates, but we do not. Either you are a crew member or a mate.
Some keys to running a successful program are:
- meet regularly and often.
- set high expectations and stick to them. the youth will live up to them.
- get out on the boats as much as possible.
- keep your equipment well maintained and neat in appearance.
- get in front of the boating public as much as possible.
- A neat, smart crew and equipment go a _long_ way with the boating public.
- If you want to be a pro, you need to act and look like one.
- Don't be afraid to lose a youth member. Sometimes one kid can bring down
the entire Ship.
- Don't be afraid to be strict.
Run a single sex Ship. Co-Ed operations generate more headache than they
are worth. An all male Ship and an all female Ship are much better than a
single co-ed Ship. It's easier to comply with BSA safe scouting policies.
There is much less strife within the Ship due to teenage romance.
You can still do things together, but it also allows the Ships to do
Don't share equipment/boats with another Ship. You _must_ instill pride in
ownership with your crew. If the crew doesn't have pride in ownership on
the equipment, they won't take care of it. Constantly stress to the crew
that it's their equipment. They'll _want_ to keep it clean and neat.
Have fund raisers that the crew are involved in. If they don't have to
work to earn the $$ to maintain the equipment, they won't appreciate what
they have. Goes back to pride in ownership.
Practice traditional skills like landship, semaphore, flashing light,
splicing and whipping, sailmaking, etc.
Advancement will come naturally if you do these things. We've turned out
_qualified_ Quartermasters fairly regularly.
Anyway, that's my "How to run a Sea Scout Ship in 1000 words or less"
Feel free to email questions to me.
Also, our web site, http://www.sss601.org/ has more information on our
Ship. It also has other useful resources.
Skipper, SSS601 "City of Roses"
Portland, OR http://www.sss601.org/