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Our mantra at Ship 5111 is 'Leadership through Seamanship' with specific focuses on safety, seamanship, and Service. Safety is of paramount importance in our program. Seamanship is the art of operating a ship or boat. Our youth learn specialized skills like navigation, weather, communications, boat handling, sailing theory, ropework, etc.  We are affiliated with the Sea Scouts so all our adult volunteers are registered with Scouts of America, take required Youth Protection Training and undergo background checks. 

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Our Sea Scouts have the opportunity to become skilled sailors on both large and small boats. Many of our Sea Scouts also participate (through Columbia Yacht Club) in 420 small boat sailing. A team from our Ship placed fourth (in a field of 40 teams from around the world) in the 2008 William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup hosted at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. A team from our Ship placed third (also in a field of 40 teams from around the world) in the 2010 William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup hosted at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Ct. We had a team qualify for the upcoming 2012 Koch Regatta to be hosted by the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA . Many of our Sea Scouts also participate in racing events as crew of other boats in the Chicago area.



Sea Scouting maintains many aspects of traditional Scouting. These include - Advancement, Personal Growth & Responsibility, First Aid Training, Citizenship and Service to the Community. Sea Scouting has its own advancement program that is based upon Naval tradition. A Sea Scout may also be a member of a Boy Scout Troop and is allowed to progress through the higher ranks of Scouting (Star, Life & Eagle) up to their 18th birthday. A Sea Scout may work on Sea Scout ranks up to their 21st birthday. The highest rank in Sea Scouting is the Quartermaster rank. It is a similar achievement to that of Eagle Scout. National and Olympic Campaigns Program – when financially able and appropriate, the Foundation supports sailors in competition.  The 2012 Willis Olympic campaign is our most recent example.  Foundation grants for a competitor require targeted fundraising.  The Foundation will request “challenge grants” rather than outright gifts to a competitor to establish desire and the commitment of the individual.  Sponsorship for sailing clinics and championship race events are part of this program.

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