A Sea Scout unit with the diminutive name Minnow, is the winner of Sea Scouting's biggest recognition, the BoatUS Flagship Award for 2010. The unit, Ship 1659 , Minnow, serves youth in the Houston area and maintains a fleet of no less than six cruising sailboats at South Shore Harbor Marina on Clear Lake in Kemah, Texas. Sea Scouting is a part of Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Like all Sea Scout units (called 'ships') Ship 1659 uses boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people, both male and female.
(L to R) Keith Christopher, National Sea Scouts Director; Spencer Rawlins Jr., Skipper, Ship 1659; Sam Sexton, Boatswain, Ship 1659; Connor Rieve, National Boatswain 2009-2010; and Charles Wurster, National Sea Scouts Commodore, at the BoatUS Flagship Award ceremony.
BoatUS recognized Ship 1659 for excellence in program quality, youth achievement and adult commitment. The Ship and its crew of 14 youth conducted 32 days of on-the-water activities last year and also carried out half-a-dozen community service projects, including a waterway cleanup that dealt with some remnants of 2008's Hurricane Ike.
Charles Wurster, a retired US Coast Guard vice admiral who chairs the National Sea Scout Committee, presented the award on behalf of BoatUS May 28 at the BSA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. The meeting marked BSA's 100th anniversary.
BoatUS originated the Flagship Award in 2002 to mark the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouting, a co-ed program for young adults age 14-20. Approximately 6,000 youth participate in Sea Scouting in 557 Ships nationwide. A perpetual trophy bearing the names of the annual BoatUS Flagship winners resides at the BSA National Scouting Museum in Irving, TX.