Commander's Message


Thank you for putting your trust in me to guide District 5 into the future. Weve had a great year Building for the Future which gives us a great start for this year. However, lets go back to our roots. In 1914 Roger Upton, Charles Chapman and others started the United State Power Squadrons, for the purpose of educating the public on boating safety practices, operating their boats safely using on-the-water boat drills and the camaraderie that comes with becoming a professional at teaching and operating boats safety. Back then, a person could only join by being asked to join. Today we still teach boating safety courses as well as more complex courses, we still teach boat handling on the water courses, and we still have the camaraderie that comes with being an educated boater. However, the method to join is now open to the public. How do we meet the public to get them to join? lots of ways.

We have advertisements for boating classes and a host of other methods, but how about teaching any of the 4 on-the-water courses such as Jump Start; on the water Guides which are free to the public ..on the persons own boat. This is an area where we can have a person meet us and learn what we do as an organization as we teach them to operate their boat. The United States Power Squadron is the only organization in the country that will insure you to teach a person on their boat on the water for free. Its a recruiting tool. How many Squadrons have flyers at the local boat dealerships advertising these free programs? Your SEOs have the information.

Were starting a new program this year with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) for all Squadrons to partake if desired, to collect shallow water depth data for the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries (i.e. last time parts of the Potomac Rivers data was collected was in 1910). This is mainly aimed at smaller boats to record depth and locations 6 ft & under in tributaries but also for larger vessels to record deeper areas to update the NOAA Charts. This effort is to provide data to VIMS for hurricane flood predictions, storm surge, shoreline erosion, sea level rise computations and other areas of shoreline concern. This is a draw for smaller vessels who can now have purpose & camaraderie within the Squadron to help NOAA chart the Bay as well as larger vessels. A possible recruiting tool for new boaters with families to join your Club. More on this project later this spring.

I cant quit until I mention the upcoming Summer Council/Rendezvous at Solomon Island on 25 -28 July. We are working with two marinas and one hotel (see the flyers). Safe Harbors Zahnisers is our host marina with Spring Cove contributing. Slips are going fast as well as the block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express. We planning on-the-water training for the IN course, First Aid Course, a Sail Regatta and Power Boat navigation contests, land Geo locations and scavenger hunts, games on Friday nite with prizes given out at the Saturday banquet. Our National Chief Commander Ralph Benard is leading a southbound cruise to Solomons and our own Jim Zeigler from ABC Richmond is leading a northbound cruise from the lower parts of the Bay to Solomons. Contact them to join the cruises. Lets get together as Squadrons, get on the water, and have a good time.thats it, Im done..,Thank you!!