USPS News Blast July 2017

ITCom needs your help

ITCom is in need of people with php, website, Joomla and search engine optimization skills to help with site development. As requests continue to increase, the IT Committee is in need of additional people to help out.  Email: Carl Filios

Wash down and clean your boat at the launch ramp

Boaters need to clean their boats when and where they come out of the water. Remove all pieces of plants such as hydrilla and other aquatic weeds. To slow the spread of zebra and quagga mussels, your wash down should include the parts of engines and motors where these critters move in and hide. They multiply rapidly and will totally plug intake water pipes.  Email: Richard Daybell

New and shorter MMSI link available

You can now find our MMSI page at This shorter URL makes the site easier to find and use.  Email: Rick Edel

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Celestial Tools V5.6.1

An update to Celestial Tools is available on the Offshore Navigation Committee’s Software and Tools web page. V 5.6.1 includes bug fixes and feature enhancements.  Email: Stan Klein

Read more:  Offshore Navigation Committee’s Software and Tools web page

Sight Calc for JN and N

Good news! For Junior Navigation and Navigation students, Sight Calc is a must-have app for solving the law of cosines. Sight Calc version 1.2 works with iOS 10 and is available now in the Apple store! Just search for “sight calc.” Minor changes include replacing the AC key with CE for “clear entry,” C means “clear everything,” and Zn (azimuth) is now displayed in addition to Z (azimuth angle). Please rate it in the Apple store. Click on the sextant in the store and choose “write a review.”  Email: Sandy Trevor

How to find a cyber member number

When first sent, a cyber member notification does not contain the member number because it has not yet been assigned. Within a day or two, the member number can be found using “Cyber Search” in the site index.  Email: Robert Howd

BoatU.S. Civic Service Award

Don’t delay submitting your squadron or district for the BoatU.S. Civic Service Award. Sponsored by BoatU.S. Foundation, the award recognizes squadrons and districts for outstanding contributions to the communities they serve. In addition to boating classes and vessel safety checks, the award has been expanded to include public seminars and workshops, scholarships, courtesy marine patrols, media interviews, children’s safety programs and more. Submissions must be received by the designated person by Oct. 15, 2017.  Email: Myles Gee

Read more:  BoatU.S. Distinguished Civic Service Award

On Call International medical and travel assistance

On Call International offers medical and travel assistance memberships to protect individuals and families traveling anywhere around the globe. As a leading medical and travel assistance provider for vacationers, business travelers, expatriates, students and others traveling away from home, On Call International delivers life-determining aid during medical emergencies worldwide, including evacuation to hospital of choice, any time members travel more than 50 miles from home. Services include expert medical monitoring, worldwide medical referrals, emergency medical transportation services, legal assistance and consultation, and pretravel destination information. USPS Members receive 10 percent off! Use promo code USPS10 at checkout.  Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Safety Committee

Please visit the Safety Committee website for important marine safety information. Marine Safety Alert 04-17 shows seven-second time laps of a boat approaching kayakers at 20 knots.  Email: Bob Bales

Read more:  Marine Safety Alert 04-17

Operations Manual now up to date

The Operations Manual has been totally updated and includes changes made after the February meeting. Chapter 3 has been almost totally rewritten due to those changes. Check it out by logging in as a member and visiting  Email: Micky McNelis

The Lone Star State wants you

If you’re attending the Dallas Governing Board Sept. 10–17, 2017, make your hotel reservations soon! Take advantage of discounted “early bird” event rates before prices increase on July 25. Come for the meetings and stay for the friendship, fun, sightseeing, entertainment and great restaurants.  Email: Vincene Aquilato

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Take advantage of online student new member leads

Did you know that your squadron gets a new membership lead every time someone nearby takes an online seminar? After students register for online seminars, your squadron’s public contact person gets an email with the name and information for online students living within 40 miles of the squadron. Make sure someone contacts the student, thanks them for taking the online seminar, and listens to how they boat and what they are interested in. Then you can encourage the student to take part in your squadron’s social, on-the-water and educational activities. Be sure to make it clear that you are contacting them because of the online seminar and that they are close enough to take advantage of other squadron offerings. Take advantage of these leads!  Email: Eileen Rickard

Read more:  Recruiting students who take online seminars

USPS headquarters closed in observance of Independence Day

USPS headquarters will be closed on Mon., July 3, and Tues., July 4, in observance of Independence Day. Stay safe on the water!  Email: Mary Catherine Berube

New Membership Committee website now open for business

The Membership Committee website has been completely redesigned following the new USPS design model. Membership Services, Squadron Activities, Youth Activities, Member Benefits, New Member Kits and Handouts, Membership Award Programs, First Timer links, and so much more can all be found easily from the new home page. Please update your online bookmarks and take a tour. We welcome your feedback, and we’ll be devoting the membership workshops at the upcoming Dallas Governing Board Meeting to help familiarize attendees with all links, attachments and tools.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa

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Win a banner during the ‘Summer of Membership’

Welcome to Membership and all the summer squadron activities that members enjoy. For many of us, the summer boating season is our favorite time of year and provides one of our best opportunities to recruit new members and keep members active. Share your 2017 “Summer of Membership” recruitment and retention stories with the national Membership Committee for a chance to win a new FedEx membership banner. Send your best of the summer recruitment and retention stories to Winning stories and photos will be featured on the new Membership Committee website listed in the PDF below. Winners will be selected by attendees of the Membership Committee workshops at the Dallas Governing Board in September.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa

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Jump Start — Hands-on training for new boat owners

Do you know someone with a new boat that needs some some help learning how to handle it? The Boat Operator Certification/On Water Training Committee has released Jump Start, a new program that shows you how to conduct a one-on-one training session customized to meet each boater’s needs. No certification or license is required. We’ll show you how to plan and conduct the training as well as qualify for insurance coverage. The program is free and can be a great member benefit and membership recruiting tool. You can download the program or informational presentation here. Find out more about this and our other hands-on training and certification programs on the new Educational Department web page.  Email: Scott McDonald

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Visit the Government Video Expo & National Drone Show

The United States Power Squadrons Digital Media Library cordially invites squadron members to attend the Government Video Expo & National Drone Show as our guests free of charge this November in Washington, D.C. The USPS DML will be exhibiting, providing demos, and offering drone tutorials during this three-day event featuring a broad range of production, streaming, display, and delivery technologies across multiple platforms for federal, state, and local government; law enforcement; educational institutions; nonprofits; and publicly funded institutions. GVE & NDS will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Nov. 28–30, 2017, and includes the DC Postproduction Conference, FGDLA Symposium, Advanced UAV Workshop, DC Drone Film Festival, and Intensive Production Workshop.  Email: Marty Lafferty

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USPS Cooperative Charting Programs

Summer and great boating weather have arrived. As of mid-June we have had 390 members report on 720 items (both geodetic and nautical). Why not join us and participate in a cooperative charting event in your area. Whether you choose to be on the water or on land, you will be helping to validate documented nautical charts and/or geodetic marks. If you need help getting started, just contact your district cooperative charting chair.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

Treasurers — 990 Information

The 990 information has been mailed to treasurers. The due date for submitting TR1s is Aug. 1, 2017.  Email: Lena Padro

USPS News Blast May 2017

Get a FedEx Office account for your squadron

United States Power Squadrons and FedEx have established a partnership that allows squadrons to sign up for a FedEx Office account with access to the online USPS DocStore, where you can purchase Welcome to the Neighborhood banners, as well as discounts on other print and copy jobs in store and online. For complete details, download this detailed instruction sheet. If you have questions or problems signing up, please email me.   Email: Tammy Brown

Environmental Committee seeks wider coverage

The Environmental Committee urges district commanders to appoint a district Environmental Committee representative to help us expand coverage of environmental (clean, green boating) matters nationwide. Contact me for further information.  Email: Richard Daybell

Do you have an MMSI?

MMSI, an acronym for Maritime Mobile Service Identity, is like a home telephone number for your VHF/DSC and AIS radios. When you obtain an MMSI, information about you and your boat is entered into a database. When you transmit an emergency DSC call, your MMSI number allows the Coast Guard to read the information about you and your boat. If you do not plan to cross borders into Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas or beyond, then you’re entitled to get a free MMSI number from USPS.* Use the link below to get more information and register for an MMSI. *If you do plan to cross borders and use your VHF/DSC radio while in foreign waters, you are encouraged to get an FCC Station License and MMSI number. There is a cost associated with those.  Email: Richard K. Edel

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Squadron Development Committee news

The Squadron Development Committee has a new website. On the left side of its new home page, you’ll see Operations & Leadership Training, Squadron Development & Support and a link to the Membership Committee. Operations Training in 3, Leadership Training, BoatUS Distinguished Civic Service and Doing It Right awards can also be located on the new website. We hope that each squadron and district will participate in these awards. Please contact me or one of our three staff commanders if you have any questions.   Email: Myles Gee

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Celestial Tools V 5.6.0

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.6.0 includes enhancements to the Noon Sight, Sight Averaging and Navigational Math tools.  Email: Stan Klein

Dallas welcomes first timers

If you have never before attended a national meeting, register now as a first timer for the 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas. You will receive information in advance of the meeting to familiarize yourself with what to expect. When you arrive in Dallas, you will receive a discount coupon for the USPS Ship’s Store and an invitation to a special meet-and-greet with the national bridge. We look forward to your attendance at your first national meeting. Mark your calendars, and register soon!  Email: Lynda Leque

CPR and first-aid course at 2017 Governing Board Meeting

A CPR and first-aid class will be offered at the Governing Board in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Upon completion of the training, students receive an American Heart Association Course Completion Card in CPR and first-aid. This certification card meets CPR and first-aid certification requirements for BOC and a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License. It has a two-year expiration date. An additional section, “Special Medical Concerns and Emergencies for Boaters,” is included in the course. For more information, contact me at 301-788-0622.  Email: Jeff McKinney

Check your cyber member list

Recently we had a class where we had a significant difference in member and non-member prices. Several students went to and signed up to get the member price. They didn’t realize they were cyber members and not squadron members. We only knew they were members when they asked for the member price. Don’t make the same mistake, check your cyber member list on a regular basis.  Email: Robert Howd

America’s Boating Course now available in Spanish

America’s Boating Course is now available in Spanish and English online at The Spanish classroom materials can be ordered from the USPS Online Catalog. The Spanish student manual is free courtesy of a USCG grant, but there’s a $5 fee per book to cover shipping, handling, ancillary course materials and required student database support. A bilingual instructor PowerPoint presentation is in progress, as is translation of the state-specific examinations.  Email: Jack Purse

USPS Digital Media Library 2.0 casting call

Ever thought about being in pictures? The DML is now producing 20 new 2017 boating safety videos. And we’d like to feature you, your boat and crew on-camera. Topics include Boat Accident Reporting, BUI, Life Jackets, MMSI, Nav Rules, PWC Operations and Visual Distress Signals. Why should you get involved? Enjoy fame and fun, make the waters safer, and help save lives. How can you participate? Choose the most convenient day and contact us with information about your boat and passengers and where you’d like to be filmed. We’ll help select the best script and confirm all logistics with you. Let us make you a star!  Email: Marty Lafferty

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Membership Involvement and Retention Award submissions due

The MIRA recognizes both squadron and district programs to increase member involvement and retention that have produced measurable results. Membership retention rates are always a key indicator of squadron success, and the MIRA program is designed to recognize squadrons for their achievements. Submission deadlines: May 15 to District Membership/Involvement chair; May 30 to me.  Email: Priscilla Clarke

Read more:  Membership Involvement and Retention Award

USPS Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System

The new Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System is up and running. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here’s what you need to do after you have concluded your day on the water and wish to submit a Cooperative Charting Nautical Report: 1. Gather all of your data, 2. log on to USPS, and 3. click here and enter your reporting information. It’s that easy.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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Communications Committee news

Both the Website and Publication Evaluation forms have been updated for 2017. They are posted on the left side of the Communications Committee web page under their respective designations. Please check them out. The committee is also looking for new advisers. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Cheryl Jarrell or Barbara Pearson for more information.  Email: Kathleen Lambert

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Adding associate or honorary members to your roster

Thanks to the Information Technology department, squadron bridge officers, roster chairs or membership chairs can easily add an individual as an honorary member of their squadron or add a current USPS member as an associate member. To do so, log in to the Information Center, scroll down to the two new options under the membership information section and make the appropriate selection. This online option makes maintaining your squadron’s roster easy.  Email: Wayne Lambert

Educational Department launches new website

The Educational Department has launched its new website, adopting USPS’ standard template for member pages and updating its site index to help members find what they need more easily. National Educational Officer Craig Fraser said, “We hope it will help squadrons to plan and manage their educational offerings and make it easier for members to realize their boater education goals in the classroom, online and on the water. I invite you to take a moment to explore the site and to use the Contact Us function to share your comments, questions and suggestions.” To find the site, go to, log in as a member, and under Departments, select Educational Department.  Email: Jan Wright

USPS News Blast April 2017

2017 Annual Meeting photos available

If you missed the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, or want to remember the meeting through the images captured by your USPS photographers, visit our online gallery at If you use one of our images for USPS publications, please give the photographer(s) credit for their work. Photo credits are visible as you “mouse over” each photo. Special thanks to Art Dodd and Nina & Guy Anastasio for taking and sharing their images from the 2017 Annual Meeting.  Email: Steve Erickson

Squadron Development news

It was great seeing everyone at the annual meeting. Squadron Development has two sections: Operations and Leadership Training chaired by Mary Dodd and Ed Kridler and Squadron Support and Development chaired by Deborah Rothermel. Each of these subcommittees has many members assisting. In future weeks, we’ll be changing our web page and publishing the names of committee members. Peace out!  Email: Myles Gee

More than 80 First Timers attend 2017 Annual Meeting

More than 80 First Timers attended the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando. What a thrill to have such a large group experience what national is all about! Congratulations to the LaRue family for winning the First Timer drawing for a nautical pillow. Thanks to all the volunteers and national officers who helped and attended the meet and greet with this great group of First Timers. Encourage your fellow members to attend their first national meeting by registering as a “First Timer” for the upcoming 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas! See y’all there!  Email: Lynda Leque

A message from Chief Commander Louie Ojeda

If you can’t get to your district conference, you can view a PDF of the chief commander’s PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to share with our members and continue to enhance our communications.  Email: Luis Ojeda

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Operations Manual has answers

The Operations Manual is being updated with changes passed at the Annual Meeting, including the consolidation of committees. Check it out! Questions? Contact us for information.  Email: Micky McNelis

Celestial Tools V 5.5.0

In response to user requests, two significant feature enhancements have been added to Celestial Tools: 1. The Sight Reduction and Noon Sight tools can now be used with a bubble sextant. (Note that bubble sextants are still not permitted for fulfilling sight folder requirements.) 2. The TVMDC tool can now be used with a small deviation table entered by the user. (Thanks to Capt. Jim Green of Cocoa Beach Sail & Power Squadron for suggesting and testing this enhancement.) In addition, a few minor changes and one bug fix are included in this update. See the Revision History for details. This update can be found at  Email: Stan Klein

Let’s make the water a better place this boating season

The Environmental Committee would like to urge everyone who is boating to practice clean green boating habits. Keep all trash gathered on board and take it ashore when you finish the trip. While out on the water, stop and pickup trash or other man-made items floating in the water. Stop and pickup trash along shorelines. Help with marina and coastal cleanup events. Use portable toilets and discharge your waste at pump stations. Keep absorbent pads on the boat and mop up any small oil spills. Never spray soap on an oil spill. Please send us your suggestions regarding environmental issues of interest to United States Power Squadrons boaters.  Email: Richard Daybell

McMurdo Smartfind EPIRB notice

The McMurdo Group manufactures Smartfind and Kannad Marine EPIRBs for commercial and recreational boaters. Made in England, these devices are popular in the United States. In February 2017, the company reported that the top dome sometimes develops small cracks near the screw inserts. Since this area is outside of the watertight electronics section, the cracks should not affect the performance or overall integrity of the device. The company recommends that you inspect your unit, and if there are any questions to contact its customer support team for advice. Find a service center.   Email: Jeff McKinney

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HeartSine extends Expo pricing for AEDs

Member Benefit Partner, HeartSine Technologies, has extended its USPS Expo special pricing on its 350P ($945) and 450P ($1,345) AEDs until June 30. These are priced significantly below the price available on any website. The 350P & 450P AEDs have the best rating for marine use, are lightweight and economical to maintain. The USPS Safety Committee has recommended that every district and squadron follow the lead of the national organization and have a First Aid Support Team (FAST) program to respond to medical emergencies. An AED is a critical part of FAST program supplies. For more information on purchasing an AED for your district, squadron or personal use, call me at 301-767-5905 or email.  Email: Alan Karpas

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Who was your squadron commander in 2012?

If you’re like me, you might not remember. That’s what makes filing squadron and district history reports so important. Historian Reports should be filed no later than 60 days after your change of watch. When our members get together at squadron and district events, at least one conversation goes like this: “Do you remember when we had that [blank] event?” or “do you remember when we won that … national award?” This type of information should be filed in your reports, so it’s easily retrievable. Don’t let your historical information be lost forever. On another note, if you would like to be part of the Historian section of the Heritage and Protocol Committee, we would really appreciate your efforts. Just click on my name below, drop me a line, and I’ll get you started.  Email: Jerry Zambroski

Submit OD1 and OD2 forms now

District and squadron commanders must submit an OD form whether officers change or not. To submit your OD information, go to, select the correct OD form and submit it no later than April 7.  Email: Lena Padro

Online learning assistance

Instructor Development is looking for members with experience managing and using online learning programs and learning management systems. Please consider sharing your knowledge and experience with the Instructor Development Committee. Please contact me for more information.  Email: Robert Rayburn

USPS Cooperative Charting nautical reporting

Cooperative charting nautical reports will be accepted starting in early April 2017. Look for SailAngle messages informing everyone when the new reporting system is up and running and fully functional.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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37% more squadrons grow their membership in 2016

Eighty-five squadrons experienced membership growth in 2016, a 37% increase over 2015. That’s great news for United States Power Squadrons and a sign that we can turn around our overall decline in membership. Squadrons that are growing do so by regularly conducting classes, seminars, and providing opportunities for their members in the classroom and on the water. Spring is the season of renewal, a great time to renew our memberships and our commitment to sharing the benefits of membership with everyone we meet in the classroom and across our communities. Please make a commitment to welcoming someone new to the neighborhood this year!  Email: James Pahl-Washa

USPS News Blast March 2017

March into savings in the Ship’s Store

During March, spring arrives and you get 10% off a United States Power Squadrons’ rucksack. Go outside and take along everything you need. Whether you are going camping, on the boat or simply need a new backpack, our rucksack does the job. The rich navy blue color with full color embroidered logo gives it a finished look. Go to and click on the “Sale” prompt for more details. Email: Rachael Jones

Over 60 first timers attend annual meeting

A big thank-you to all members and guests who attended their first national meeting in Orlando. We hope you successfully navigated your way through the 2017 Annual Meeting, met old and new friends, and came away with a better understanding of the United States Power Squadrons. Special thanks to the volunteers who helped make our first timers feel welcomed. See you in Dallas in September! Email: Lynda Leque

USPS charts and positions

On the Cooperative Charting Committee we know that when dealing with charts and positions there will always be change. Our mission is to look for those changes, report them to the correct agency partners and be satisfied knowing that we help make boating safer for everyone who enjoys our waterways. Join us in Cooperative Charting. We embrace change and make it fun. Look over the updates to the Cooperative Charting website. We want your help by participating in both geodetic and new nautical cooperative charting programs. Email: Diane Julum

Program Partner Relations news

The new squadron Brunswick case study contest debuted at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Copies of the rules and a sample case study will be posted on the website. ? Tall Ships is looking for local squadrons who would like to partner with a local ship in your port area to collaborate on educational offerings and local activities year round. Additionally, the 2017 Tall Ships America Challenge will be touching Charleston and Boston this year. Contact me or Don Stark if you would like to be involved in helping out with the Challenge in your area. ? 2017 Discover Boating Boat Shows are in full swing. Go to for more information or email me. Email: Shirley D. Heald

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Fugawi now includes Bowditch Bay and 1210TR

Fugawi, one of our member benefit partners, is now hosting Bowditch Bay and 1210TR for those members taking P and AP and wanting to use their iPads to do their practice cruises and chapter exercises that involve plotting. At present the only iPad apps enabling access to Bowditch Bay and 1210TR are iNavX and SEAIQ Open. This is a wonderful opportunity for all those who have been longing for a way to bring their tablet device into class or use it at home to do the exercises. Android users can use OpenCPN and download the charts directly from the national website. Email: Rick Edel

Rejuvenate your meetings from Squadron Development

Squadrons falter without regular meetings and something to spark people’s interest. Check out local speakers bureaus in your city. Master Gardener and Master Naturalist have speakers available. Consider inviting a comedian from a local improv troupe. Have a meeting at a local boat dealership. Use a calling tree, send regular emails and send an emailed newsletter using Constant Contact or a similar platform. Remember, not everyone has an email. Contact Squadron Development for updates and requests for help. Email: Deborah Rothermel

Get rewarded for sharing recruitment and retention successes

The Member Involvement and Retention Awards recognizes squadrons whose programs have increased membership growth and retention. The 2016 data indicates that more than 85 squadrons have experienced growth with at least 87% retention. Every squadron that achieves this type of success should share its recipes for success by submitting a MIRA entry. MIRA submissions are due to your district membership involvement chair by May 15. The national chair must receive all entries by May 30 for them to be included in this year’s contest. Award winners will be announced at the 2017 Governing Board in Dallas, Texas. Email: Priscilla B. Clarke

Grow membership by welcoming all boaters to the neighborhood

If you want to increase membership, go where the boaters are. More than 85 squadrons grew in 2016, and they achieved this growth by being active squadrons. Data shows that these squadrons regularly conduct classes and seminars, are active in the community, and reach out to new boaters to share the benefits of USPS membership. Remember to welcome all boaters to our organization. Try something new this year by reaching out to paddle boarders, kayakers, fishermen and especially first-time boaters. Have fun with the theme by organizing youth poster contests, working with scouting groups, and reaching out to friends and family that have boating interests. There is nothing like a handshake and a greeting to a new boater or a new member of the United States Power Squadrons. Email: James Pahl-Washa

It’s time to file historian reports

It’s peak time for squadron and district changes of watch. Remember, all historian reports must be submitted no later than 60 days after your change of watch, and DB2000 is the perfect way to do it. Much of the information is found on drop-down menus. Your yearly educational classes should already be filled in for you. Information can be stored on the Historian’s Form throughout the year so you can input as your events take place. Don’t let your organizational history be lost forever. If you need information or help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Email: Jerry Zambroski

Get discounts on HeartSine AEDs and accessories

Have your squadron or district members been certified in CPR and on the AED? Then you should look into getting a HeartSine AED! USPS members receive special prices and discounts. The AEDs are moisture- and dust-resistant, have a 10-year warranty, are user-friendly and include a free pad replacement program. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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USPS promotional videos

Here are the two new promotional videos introduced at the 2017 Annual Meeting for exclusive use by squadrons for a month before their national debut on the internet and in social media.

? “Introducing UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS” – Stream / Download
? “UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS Special Offer” – Stream / Download

The target audience for these videos is baby boomers, the most likely people to join USPS. These videos were created to arouse awareness, interest, and desire in adopting the safe-boating lifestyle and taking action by joining United States Power Squadrons. The “Introducing USPS” video is designed to work for every squadron. The “USPS Special Offer” video is for squadrons offering Practical On The Water Training or able to access POTW at a nearby squadron. The videos can be played at public meetings, embedded on squadron websites, and posted on squadron Facebook pages. Links can be emailed to members and prospective members for playing and sharing with friends and family. Email: Marty Lafferty

USPS News Blast February 2017

New Brunswick contest debuts and more

The new Brunswick Case Study contest debuts at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Squadrons are encouraged to write case studies showing how their partnerships with local Brunswick dealers have changed their educational programs for the better. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, 2017. The award, a Brunswick dealer gift certificate, will be presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting. In other news, the 2017 Tall Ships Challenge will be held on the East Coast. Prominent ports of call include Savannah and Boston, among others. Squadrons can participate with booths and by leading parades of sail in various ports of call. Another squadron opportunity, the Discover Boating boat shows are in full swing across the country. At most shows, squadrons participate with the BSVT trainer. This is a great opportunity to get your squadron name in front of the public and pick up new members. Talks are in progress with the Freedom Boat Club to begin education opportunities with selected squadrons, so stay tuned. Email: Shirley D. Heald

68 seconds until the next cardiac arrest death

Every year Sudden Cardiac Arrest accounts for more deaths in the U.S. than breast cancer, prostate cancer, house fires, and motor vehicle accidents combined. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, SCA takes another loved one every 68 seconds. The good news is that anyone can help save a life through CPR training and AED application. Studies show that survival rates can increase by up to 2,500% when high-quality CPR and early defibrillation are used. United States Power Squadrons is sponsoring a CPR/First-aid Course for Boaters at the 2017 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and again at the District 5 2017 Spring Conference in Ocean City, Maryland, on March 30. Call Alan Karpas at 301-767-5905 or email for more information or to register for the course. Don’t be the one just standing around when a loved one needs your help! Email: Jeff McKinney

Download the new USPS Meeting app

The all-new United States Power Squadrons Meeting app is now available at your app store for use on your smart device or available for download on your laptop. We have upgraded the meeting app for Orlando to give you more features and enhance your experience at the meeting. You will find information on speakers, meeting schedules, activities, maps of the hotel and more! This new app also features interactive maps, which will allow you to pinpoint your meeting locations by just touching the location on your schedule. Also you can participate in our private social network by sharing updates and ideas easily with short posts. Participants can even post event photos right on the activity stream as well as sending direct messages between attendees to foster deeper connections. Please take advantage of all the features this app has to offer. We hope you enjoy the meeting. Email: Robert Ball

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Celestial Tools V 5.4.1

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.4.1 contains several bug fixes and a few changes. Email: Stan Klein

First timers set sail for the 2017 Annual Meeting

Ahoy, first timers! If this is your first national meeting, register as a first timer and receive a packet of information to help you navigate through the meetings and events. You'll also receive a discount coupon good toward one item in the Ship’s Store and a special invitation to a first timer meet and greet with the national bridge. Attendees will have a chance to win a door prize. If you’ve already registered but didn’t indicate that this is your first national meeting, contact me today to put your name on the first timers list. Look for our table near registration on Thursday and during Expo on Friday. See you all in sunny Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Put seminars on your Orlando must-do list

During the annual meeting, join us for workshops on Friday, 24 Feb. Discover opportunities for your squadron to assist the U.S. Weather Service through the Weather Ready Nation Program, how to participate in the Sea Tow Life Vest Loaner Program, how to revitalize sleeping squadrons, and how to apply for USPS awards. Email: Greg Scotten

NAMEPA wants to assist your squadron

North American Marine Environment Protection Association and United States Power Squadrons have a partnership through our memorandum of understanding. NAMEPA educational materials are available to help you educate your members and communities on protecting the marine environment, including programs and presentations easily implemented by local squadrons. Visit for details. Call 203-255-4686 or email to request materials or ask for specifics on implementing programs in your area. NAMEPA representative Lyn Harris will be in Orlando, so make sure you get a chance to talk with her. The NAMEPA team is available and ready to join your efforts to promote clean, green boating. Email: Richard Daybell

Member Benefits page updates for 2017

As a United States Power Squadrons member, you can save on many products and services. Due to our exclusive relationships, you can receive huge discounts on boating products, insurance, travel, lodging, and many more items. Your USPS certificate number this is your ticket to real savings. Download the latest USPS Member Benefits quarterly newsletter. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Join us in Orlando

Come see how cooperative charting is evolving. At our meeting from 1000 to 1200 on Thursday, Feb. 23, you'll find out about changes in our nautical and geodetic programs. NOAA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers guest speakers will give us updates and materials you can hand out at your next district conference or squadron meeting. Come see how much fun Cooperative Charting can be. Email: Diane Julum

Meet the Administrative Department team at Expo

If you attend the annual meeting, stop by the Administrative Department and Member Benefits booths at Expo on Friday, Feb. 24. Administrative Department committee representatives will be there to meet fellow USPS members and to answer questions regarding Membership, Member Involvement/Retention, Member Benefits and Squadron Development. We hope to see you at Expo. Email: Wayne Lambert

Last call for the 103rd USPS Annual Meeting

Come on down, join us as we start our 103rd year in Orlando at our Annual Meeting 19–26 February 2017 at the Rosen Centre Go to the National Meetings Committee website for all information, including newsletters and the final agenda. Don’t wait until it is too late; go to the website now and book your events. The last day to sign up for events online is Feb. 18. Event registrations made at the hotel will cost extra. Email: Bob Holub

Boat trainer update for boat show workers

The trainers have had many updates. For the latest news, please download updated documents from the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer website. It is especially important that everyone return a Coast Guard tracking form (downloadable) for each event filled out for each user, including workers! We need your tallies to include in quarterly grant funding requests and for new grant funding requests. Generation 4.0, now being rolled out, has many new features, including narrow channel and navigation exercises and down-the-gunwale views for docking. Some shows even get to experience the new mono-screen unit with three easy plugs for set up! We have four new units featuring the single curved 34-inch screen. Even more features will be revealed at the annual meeting. Please contact me, your project manager, with any questions. Email: Lisa Herndon Wilson

Squadron Development Committee news

Come join us at the Rosen Centre at 0800 on Thursday, Feb. 23, for the Administrative Department Committee meeting and on Friday, 24 Feb., at Expo. We will be there to provide help and answer all your questions. Email: Myles Gee

? A sweetheart deal from the Ship’s Store ?

Get an additional 10% off all remaining 100th anniversary items in Ship's Store. This brings the total discount to 85% off—a sweetheart of a deal! Go to and click on the “Sale” prompt, where you will find all remaining 100th anniversary items. Email: Jacky Van Doren

Thank you from the Educational Fund

Many, many thanks to the squadrons who contributed generously to the Educational Fund again this past year. The trustees are mindful of the dicey financial situation of many squadrons and are blown away by the positive response from so many of you in supporting the Educational Fund with new contributions. These contributions have continued to come in, not only for the honor roll, but also for memorial contributions to honor a friend or a past commander. There have also been any number of gifts to support education in USPS. Thank you. Honor roll contributions for 2017 will be judged against the number of active members in the squadron as of Nov. 30, 2016. A table with those numbers for each squadron has been posted on the EdFund website. Have a look, and if there are any questions, call me at 845-542-3180. Email: Fred Mangelsdorf

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Bring your winning posters to Orlando

The Youth Poster Contest is one of our best youth outreach tools, and holding a poster coloring contest during classes, special events or in schools can be great public relations tool. Districts should bring three posters, the winner from each age category, to the 2017 Annual Meeting. Drop off posters at the designated table near or at the First Timers Registration Booth. The posters will be on display for national judging during Expo. After ballots are tabulated, the winners will be announced during the Saturday general meeting. All winners receive cash awards. Email: Jim Pahl-Washa

USPS News Blast January 2017

Call for volunteers

Several USPS national committees are looking for volunteers with these technical skills: graphic design, desktop publishing, technical editing, proofreading, marketing and social media. We need volunteers who have expertise in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop), Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher) and CorelDRAW. Boating expertise is not required. This is a great opportunity to learn while sharing your technical skills to help USPS develop products and services that benefit squadrons and the boating public. Committee chairs will work with you to ensure assignments are clear and respect your time availability. Contact Nominations Committee chairman Bill Selden V at or 804-240-1401. Email: V. Jan Wright

We’re stuck on you

If you’ve lost or misplaced your United States Power Squadrons membership decal, call 888-367-8777, ext. 0, and we’ll mail you a new decal free of charge. Email: United States Power Squadrons Customer Service

2017 Annual Meeting welcomes First Timers

It’s not too late to register to attend your first USPS annual meeting! If you have not attended a national meeting in the past, please register now and indicate that you are a “first timer.” You will receive a special packet of information via email to help you navigate your way through a national meeting, an exclusive invitation to a meet and greet with the board of directors, and a discount on one item in the Ship’s Store. Come discover what United States Power Squadrons is all about! See you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Revised Weather and Forecasting seminar now available

Newly revised, the 2016 edition of the Basic Weather and Forecasting seminar has a well-deserved reputation for dealing with the complex (and critically important) subject of weather. Fun to take and teach, the 2016 edition comes with enhanced graphics and, for the first time, video and audio clips. The new edition continues a broad approach that covers basic weather dynamics and observation but with more emphasis on modern sources of professional marine forecasts. Instructors can order Basic Weather Kits for their students. An Onboard Weather Forecasting Quick Guide is also available. Email: Robert F. Anderson

Order your shirts from Caskey Monograms & Embroidery

Caskey Monograms & Embroidery offers custom embroidery for all your squadron, district and event needs at discounted prices. Caskey Monograms is offering all USPS members 15 percent off your shirt purchase, artwork digitizing, and any other items purchased through them. They have been working with South Florida squadrons for many years. Already purchased shirts? They will add custom embroidery to any shirt you provide! Add your boat, your name or the shirt donor’s name, for example. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all

Steve and I would like to wish all United States Power Squadron members and families a joyous holiday season. We look forward to a wonderfully successful new year! Email: Mary Paige and Steve Abbott

New policy on educational seminars

To eliminate the confusion concerning the administration of educational seminars, the Educational Department leadership is issuing a new policy effective Jan. 1, 2017. In summary, an authorized copy of United States Power Squadrons seminar materials should be distributed to all students, with the exception of members of the same household wishing to share materials. The course information and CD are proprietary materials, and squadrons aren’t authorized to present seminars without these materials. In addition, every student should be registered in the HQ-800 system, so the record is available in future years. Email: Steve Abbott

Celestial Tools V 5.4.0 and V 5.3.1

Look for an update to Celestial Tools in January, at V 5.4.0 includes several feature enhancements and a couple of fixes for obscure bugs. In the meantime, V 5.3.1, already available, includes fixes for a couple of more significant bugs that still existed in V 5.3.0. Email: Stan Klein

LD-103 registration deadline set for Orlando

Jan. 9, 2017 is the registration deadline to attend LD-103 Leadership Development seminar at the national meeting in Orlando. Scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, LD-103 is the final seminar in the Leadership Development seminar series. Preregistration is required, and completion of LD-101 and LD-102 is a prerequisite to attend the seminar. Cost for the seminar is $49. Click here for seminar information. Don’t forget to register for the annual meeting. Email: Harold W. O’Briant, Jr

United States Power Squadrons closed Jan. 2

United States Power Squadrons will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in observance of New Year’s Day. We wish everyone a healthy, prosperous 2017. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

Your state’s clean and green boating program

This winter the Environmental Committee continues to work on programs that different jurisdictions are running to promote clean, green boating for recreational boaters. We currently have information on the California Dock Walker program and the State of Florida clean boating program. We are exploring the introduction of a dock walker-type effort in Florida that might lead us to expand our efforts nationwide. Tell us what your state is doing to promote clean and green boating practices for recreational boaters. What programs does your state use to keep the local waters clean and green and to make the water a better place? Email me with information on your state’s environmental programs. Email: Richard Daybell

Get organized in 2017 with zip padfolios—10% off at the Ship’s Store

Whether you are attending the annual meeting in Orlando, a local educational class or getting your income taxes done, being organized makes it a breeze! Choose from two colors, cardinal red or black, and take 10 percent off. Shop at, and click on the “Sale” prompt. Happy New Year from the Ship’s Store! Email: Jacky VanDoren

Humans are fragile

Humans are fragile and at risk of being involved in a water safety incident or accident every day. Thankfully, we have learned how to take care of others and ourselves through learning first aid, CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because either they do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. These statistics should tell you something: Since 88 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, it’s likely that the life you save with CPR is the life of a loved one. We will be holding a CPR/First Aid for Boaters course at the annual meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Information and a registration form can be found by logging on as a member at and going to the CPR & First Aid section of the Safety Committee website, by contacting Alan Karpas at 301-767-5905, or emailing Email: Jeff McKinney

Get gear for upcoming changes of watch and conferences

For plaques, special awards and name tags following brand standards, contact CP Dean through the United States Power Squadrons Ship’s Store website. Just click on the navy CP Dean box. Email: Jacky Van Doren

2017 VSC decal distribution

United States Power Squadrons is currently awaiting delivery of 2017 vessel safety check decals from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. As has been the policy the last three years, when we receive the 2017 decals, they will be distributed to squadron commanders who should pass them on to local VSC chairs. Districts are not included in the distribution and will not receive decals. The decals a squadron receives are equal to the number of decals awarded and reported to USPS by Oct. 30, 2016 plus 10 percent. If a squadron awarded and reported 100 decals in 2016, that squadron will receive 110 decals for the 2017 season. Email: Mike Wiedel

USPS News Blast December 2016

Annual Meeting Dress Code Update

The 2017 Annual Meeting dress code for Saturday, 25 Feb. 2017, was earlier reported as being uniform F, long sleeve, but in keeping with the casual direction of the meetings, the uniform has been changed to uniform G, or short sleeve.

Read more: USPS Meetings Website

Ship’s Store Holiday Sale

Attention holiday shoppers: Ship’s Store items are now 10% off during our Annual December Holiday Sale. This includes already reduced 100th anniversary items, making them 85% off! Shop today at, and click on the “Sale” prompt. Happy Holidays from United States Power Squadrons Ship’s Store. We appreciate your business and look forward to 2017. Email: Jacky VanDoren

Enter The Ensign’s 2017 Photo Contest

Show us what you love most about boating by sending us your favorite photos from your time on the water, and you could win a prize! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who are USPS members or subscribers of The Ensign magazine. Deadline for submission is 31 Dec. 2016. Winning photos will be featured in an upcoming issue of the The Ensign. Click on the link below for information on how to submit your photos. Email: Amy Townsend

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Environmental Committee Seeks Wildlife Protection Input

The Environmental Committee would like to hear from USPS members regarding reasonable actions boaters can take to protect our marine wildlife while boating. In Florida we slow down for manatees and stay away from gators and crocs. What creatures should we be looking out for while boating in the nation’s inland waters? For our West Coast and northern coastal members, what do you do to avoid hurting seals, sea lions, and sea birds? Our goal is to make the water a better place for humans and wildlife. Email: Richard Donald Daybell

Check Out the PR Seminar in Orlando

On Friday, 24 Feb., the Public Relations Committee seminar in Orlando, Florida, features programs that will make your squadron the go-to organization in your community. They include the new Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative with U.S. Weather Service leaders, joint Sea Tow Foundation life vest rack project, and the Decal Awareness Program. Email: Greg Scotten

Headquarters Closed for Holidays

Headquarters will be closed on Friday, 23 Dec., and Monday, 26 Dec., for the Christmas holiday. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

Squadron Development and Revitalization

Our team is ready to assist your squadron in revitalization or to develop a new squadron in the area. Squadrons that have submitted self-evaluation forms will be contacted soon. Squadrons that haven’t submitted forms should do so as soon as possible. Click the hyperlink below to find the team member in your area or contact me at the email address below. Email: Myles Gee

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National Committee Chairs: Submit Form 229

All rear commanders must submit Form 229. Forms are online at (main sheet) and (continuation sheet). Please submit your committee list before the 28 Feb. 2017 deadline to be listed in the USPS National Directory. Email: Lena Padro

OD1 and OD2 Forms

District and squadron commanders: You must submit an OD form whether officers change or not. To submit your OD information, go to, select the correct OD form and submit it before the 1 Feb. 2017 deadline. Email: Lena Padro

Celestial Tools V 5.3.0

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.3.0 includes two feature enhancements. Email: Stan Klein

Leadership Development Sets Orlando Schedule

The Leadership Development Committee released the schedule for the USPS Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Two classes and two seminars are planned for Friday, 24 Feb. 2017. "How to Run a Meeting" and "Electronic Contacts: Home Run or Strike Out" seminars and the newly-released Nominations Committee class are open to members with no pre-registration required. Times and locations will be listed in the meeting schedule available upon registration and in the national meeting agenda on the National Meetings Committee reservation page. LD-103 Leadership Development is also scheduled for the meeting. LD-103 requires advance registration. Completion of LD-101 and LD-102 is a prerequisite for attending this class. Additional information can be found on the Leadership Development website. Call 252-241-4328 or email for information on LD-103. Registration deadline is 9 Jan. 2017. Email: Harold O’Briant

New USPS Ad Campaign

One of our biggest problems is that most boaters don't know who or what we are. We all know that name recognition with the right image is critical to recruiting members and selling our educational programs. To address that limitation, USPS will embark on a rebranding campaign to highlight its commitment to boater competence and boating enjoyment with a series of advertisements. The “Welcome to the Neighborhood” theme includes the supporting text of "LEARN Boating Skills, ENGAGE with Boating Friends, and CONNECT with the Boating Community." The ads show a boating scene, highlighted by an excited little dog on the bow being welcomed by a variety of boats. The emotional connection combined with the Learn, Engage, Connect message should be powerful. We plan for significant dollar commitment to place these ads in selected print and electronic media. Additionally, many squadrons already have asked for the ads for local use. You can download the ads, or download 11-by-17-inch posters. Visit the Marketing Committee page for additional tools. Email: Paul Mermelstein

Bring Your Membership Questions to Orlando

National meetings are the perfect opportunity for members to take advantage of expanding your network with members from all corners of USPS. Every department holds informative workshops, seminars, and social functions designed to give new members and seasoned members alike inspiration to take back home. See firsthand how the national governance team(s) works for you! The Membership Committee looks forward to you joining us in Orlando where we will honor the winners of this year’s squadron/district growth award, BoatUS Civic Service Award, Finley Sea Scout Service Award and the Youth Poster Contest. First timer? Don’t worry, we take special care to help you have a great time. Come to Orlando, and we guarantee you'll go home with a great experience and inspiration to help grow your membership. Email: James Pahl-Washa

USPS is a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador

This program was launched in early 2014 by NOAA and is intended to reduce the impact of weather events on life and property by an extensive educational program across the United States. The objective is to build a resilient weather-ready nation that is prepared to effectively respond to forecasted disruptive weather events by improving public awareness of weather forecast information sources and understanding of the information content. We want to roll out this program at the squadron level by engaging our members, the boating community, and the general public. The approach is 1) select a WRN Team Leader; 2) identify local weather risks (tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes, sandstorms, flash floods, blizzards, etc); 3) develop an action plan to address the risk; 4) educate the target audience; 5) take action based on the plan when the event is imminent; and 6) be an example in your community by sharing your plan. For more WRN details, visit Email: Gordon Bloom

Attention, First Timers!

Now is the time for all First Timers to register to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting, 19–26 Feb. If you have not yet attended a Governing Board or annual meeting, please consider attending your first. We look forward to introducing you to all that goes on at our annual meeting in sunny Florida! We will send you a packet of information to help you navigate through the week and a special invitation to a meet and greet with the chief commander and national bridge. Happy holidays! We’ll see you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

CPR & First Aid for Boaters in Orlando

The USPS Safety Committee is pleased to offer a CPR and First Aid Course designed especially for boaters. The program is taught by American Heart Association-certified instructors who are all USPS members. The course will be held on 22 Feb. 2017 from 0800–1700 during the USPS Annual Meeting. The cost is $75. Email: Jeff McKinney

Read more: USPS Safety Committee CPR and First Aid Website

Communications Committee News

Be sure to check out the Communications Committee Facebook page. Recent posts include interesting articles on nautical history, book suggestions and safety tips, to name a few. Email: Kathleen Lambert

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Help Wanted: Membership Committee

After many years of service, Susan Darcy, our website administrator, is stepping down and we need someone who can step in to work with the Membership and IT committees to update and maintain the Membership Committee website. Please email me if you are interested in the position or if you would like additional information. Email: Wayne J Lambert

Educational Fund Honor Roll for 2016

The Educational Fund fiscal year ends on 30 Nov., and soon after that the spreadsheet will be updated to show the squadrons and districts that have achieved Honor Roll status in 2016. All members may view that spreadsheet on the EdFund website and are encouraged to do so to confirm that their squadron participation in the Honor Roll has been properly noted. Please report any discrepancies to Ellen Barbour (860-449-3494) or to me (845-542-3180). If your squadron wants to be on the Honor Roll this year but just didn’t get the contribution in on time, never fear. We can take the contribution in December and retroactively put you on the 2016 list. Happy holidays, and thank you very much for your EdFund contributions both past and future. Email: Fred Mangelsdorf

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Save Big at Office Depot

USPS members can save up to 80% with Office Depot and Office Max. Shop online, with no lines or waiting, at Thank you for shopping; your purchase supports United States Power Squadrons. Use your card all year round! Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Call for Volunteers

Several USPS national committees are looking for volunteers with these technical skills: graphic design, desktop publishing, technical editing, proofreading, marketing and social media. We need volunteers who have expertise in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop), Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher) and CorelDRAW. Boating expertise is not required. This is a great opportunity to learn while sharing your technical skills to help USPS develop products and services that benefit squadrons and the boating public. Committee chairs will work with you to ensure assignments are clear and respect your time availability. Contact Nominations Committee chairman Bill Selden V at or 804-240-1401. Email: V. Jan Wright

USPS News Blast November 2016

Remember: It’s Their World

As boaters and beachgoers, we need to respect the creatures who reside in the water and on the beaches. When sea turtles are laying eggs on beaches, we need to stay away from these nesting areas. When out on the water, slow down and let the inhabitants of these waters live in peace. Seals or sea lions can be pests in some areas. If they get on your swim step or dock, use a hose to gently discourage them. Let’s respect all creatures as we venture out on the waters. Email: Richard Donald Daybell

Take Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation

A brand new webinar–GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation–captures the fascinating world of modern weather forecasting. After providing some historical context, the webinar gets right to the foundation of the modern forecasting process–the giant computer models that are the basis for all professionally produced weather predictions. Most importantly for boaters, the webinar describes the types of forecasts (GRIDS and GRIBS) that these models have made possible, their strengths and weaknesses, how to get them at no cost anywhere in the world, and how to use them in electronic chart plotting. The webinar will be given at 2000 ET on Tuesday, 15 Nov. To register, visit Email: Robert F. Anderson

Enter The Ensign’s 2017 Photo Contest

Show us what you love most about boating by sending us your favorite photos from your time on the water, and you could win a prize! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who are USPS members or subscribers of The Ensign magazine. Deadline for submission is 31 Dec. 2016. Winning photos will be featured in an upcoming issue of the The Ensign. Use the form at the link below to submit your photos. Email: Amy Townsend

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Coming in December: Non-Member Exam Fee

Effective 1 Dec. 2016, USPS will assess a $20 fee for all non-member “passed” exams as a separate charge to the squadron treasurer. The fee will offset the costs incurred in processing and maintaining non-member records. This fee does NOT apply to America’s Boating Course. Most squadrons already charge an additional fee to non-members taking a class, and this additional cost should be anticipated in your pricing of future courses. Obviously, the best case is to convince the prospective student to join the squadron and take advantage of member pricing. If you have a class underway prior to this announcement that includes non-members, please let me know the names of these students so I can notify headquarters. Be aware that under no circumstances should you give the student a choice of avoiding this exam fee by not taking the exam. We cannot predict the future needs of any student; we receive regular requests for documentation of course completion. Email: Steve Abbott

Celestial Tools V 5.2

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.2.0 includes minor bug fixes and feature enhancements. Email: Stan Klein

PR and Other Committees Provide Support to Squadrons

The Public Relations Committee and other Executive Department committees provide squadrons with tools to help them become the go-to organizations for boating information and education in their communities. Squadrons that achieve this role add to the public recognition of the entire United States Power Squadrons. In addition to help publicizing squadron education programs, squadrons will receive resources for helping boaters understand USPS’ role in assigning MMSI numbers, serving as advanced marine weather spotters for the National Weather Service and maintaining life jacket loaner stands in cooperation with Sea Tow. Watch for these important notices and so much more. Email: Greg Scotten

National Committee Chairs Must File Form 229

All rear commanders must submit Form 229, which lists your committee members for the coming year. Forms are online at (main sheet) and (continuation sheet). Please submit your committee list before the 28 Feb. 2017 deadline to be listed in the USPS National Directory. Email: Lena Padro

ED-1 and ED-80 Forms Available Online

District and squadron commanders: ED1s for listing educational committee chairs are online at, and ED80s for listing educational and assistant educational officers are available at Please get all approvals before submitting forms to headquarters. Email: Lena Padro

Commanders: Submit Your OD2 and OD1 Forms

District and squadron commanders: To submit your OD information, go to, select the correct OD form and submit it before the 1 Feb. 2017 deadline. Email: Lena Padro

New Ship’s Store Items on Sale

We’ve got two new caps in two new colors—red and pink—featured on sale during November using the code 10OFF. Go to and click on “Sale” to order these featured caps at 10% off. Get yours today, and remember, Christmas is around the corner, so shop early for best selection! Email: Jacky Van Doren

CPR Saves Lives

Sudden cardiac arrest is exactly that—sudden, and it’s almost always fatal without lifesaving treatment. Providing high-quality CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator can make the difference between life and death. With each passing minute without lifesaving treatment, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent. Squadrons should consider having CPR-trained members and an accessible, fully compliant AED at meetings and events. USPS is sponsoring an American Heart Association CPR & First Aid course on Wednesday, 22 Feb. 2017 at our Annual Meeting in Orlando. All members are encouraged to take this course. Squadrons should comply with the USPS Safety Committee’s recommendation to create a First Aid Support Team to respond to healthcare matters during meetings and events. Contact me at 301-767-5905 for more information on taking the course, getting an AED or starting a FAST program. Email: Alan Karpas

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Headquarters Shipping to Close for 2016 Inventory

Headquarters shipping will close for annual inventory on Monday, 28 Nov., and will resume operations on Monday, 5 Dec. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

Headquarters Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving

USPS headquarters will be closed Thursday, 24 Nov., and Friday, 25 Nov., in observance of Thanksgiving. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

First Timers Heading to Orlando

The USPS Annual Meeting in Orlando promises to be a great event for you to attend as a First Timer. If you have not been to a national meeting before, this will give you an opportunity to experience all that USPS is about. Come learn more about USPS, meet fellow First Timers and attend a special reception with the national Bridge. As a First Timer, you will receive a packet of information to enrich your first experience at a national meeting. You will also receive a discount to use on one item in the Ship’s Store. When you register, be sure to mark the box that indicates that it is your first Annual Meeting. See you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Get Gear for Upcoming COW and Conferences

For plaques, special awards and name tags following USPS brand standards, contact CP Dean through the USPS Ship’s Store website. Just click on the navy blue CP Dean box. Email: Jacky Van Doren

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New Cooperative Charting Area Representatives

As of 1 Oct., your nautical Cooperative Charting area representative is also your geodetic representative. Please contact your assigned area rep for questions on all Cooperative Charting programs. Assigned by districts, your area rep can help you with information for your newsletter, by suggesting ways to increase Cooperative Charting participation and with the transition to reporting using our revised systems. Email: Diane Julum

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Get Custom Embroidery at Discount Prices

Caskey Monograms & Embroidery offers all USPS members 15% off your shirt purchase, artwork digitizing, and any other items purchased through them. They have been working with South Florida squadrons for many years. If you’ve already purchased shirts, they will add custom embroidery to any shirt you provide! Add your boat, your name or the shirt donor’s name, for example. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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USPS 103rd Annual Meeting in Orlando 2017

Join us as we start our 103rd year in Orlando at our Annual Meeting 19–26 Feb. 2017 at the Rosen Center. Go to the National Meeting Committee website to register, download the meeting newsletter and check out the latest agenda. Register by 9 Jan. 2017 for the lowest rates. Hotel rooms sell out quickly, so don’t wait. Go to the website now and book your room and event tickets. Email: Bob Holub

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USPS News Blast October 2016

Participate in Visitation Program, Earn a Merit Mark

To recognize USPS members’ participation in the new U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Recreational Boating Safety Partner Visitation Program, a section has been added to the “Merit Mark Criteria” PDF as contained in the “Merit Mark Resources” folder to define minimum requirements for earning a merit mark, assuming no other service has been performed. Qualifying as a new Program Visitor and performing at least five visitations the first year will earn a merit mark. Thereafter, a minimum of 20 visitations per year will be needed to earn a merit mark. Email: Spencer P. Anderson

Read more:  RBS Partner Visitation

Leadership Development Seminars Scheduled for Raleigh

Sign up for the Leadership Development Seminars LD-101 and LD-102 on 5–6 Jan. 2017 at the Ramada Raleigh Hotel adjacent to USPS headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. These seminars, already attended by more than 1,800 members, are designed to develop squadron, district, and national bridge members and committee chairs into effective leaders and role models. Registration and seminar schedule information may be found at The affordable seminars are $49 each and include lunch each day. The Ramada room rate is $67.30 plus tax per night and includes a full breakfast. Reserve your room by calling 919-832-4100 and using code CGUSPS17. This rate is good for 4 Jan. if you plan to arrive the day before. Attendance is limited to 30 per seminar, and the registration deadline is 1 Nov. 2016. Members attending LD-101 and LD-102 can sign up to take LD-103 at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in February 2017 in Orlando, Florida. For information on LD-101, contact Ed Kridler at 843-870-5342 or; for information on LD-102, email me or call 252-241-4328. Email: Harold O’Briant Jr.

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Plan Ahead to Avoid Shipping Delays

Due to budget constraints, USPS has reduced staff in the headquarters warehouse. It is important that you plan ahead to get the best shipping rate and avoid delays. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

The Ensign’s Spring 2017 Photo Contest

Show us what you love most about boating by sending us your favorite photos from your time on the water, and you could win a prize! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who are USPS members or subscribers of The Ensign magazine. Deadline for submission is 31 Dec. 2016. Winning photos will be featured in the Spring 2017 issue of The Ensign. Use the form at the link below to submit your photos. Email: Amy Townsend

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Why Does My Squadron Need an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest is almost always fatal without lifesaving treatment. Providing high-quality CPR and an automated external defibrillator can make the difference between life and death. But if squadron members do nothing, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent with each passing minute. Having a readily accessible, fully compliant AED at your meetings and events gives your fellow squadron member the best chance of survival. All members are encouraged to take the CPR & First Aid for Boaters course at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando. Squadrons should consider the Safety Committee’s recommendation to create a First Aid Support Team to respond to all health care-related matters. Contact me at 301-767-5905 for more information on taking the course, getting an AED or starting a FAST program. Email: Alan Karpas

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Falling Prices on all 100th Anniversary Items

All remaining 100th anniversary items are now 75% off! That’s right, 75% off. No promo code necessary. Go to, and click on “Sale” to find the 100th anniversary prompt. Rake in your fall savings today! Email: Jacky VanDoren

10% Off Crewneck Sweatshirts in the Ship’s Store

Just in time for fall, our crewneck sweatshirts are 10OFF during October. Available in maroon and gray, they are sure to keep you warm on these fall evenings. Visit and click on "Sale" to see this featured sale item. Email: Jacky VanDoren

New Brunswick Dealer Contest Begins in 2017

At the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, the Program Partner Relations Committee will roll out a new case study contest for squadrons participating with Brunswick Partner Dealers. Look for details soon under the education section of our website. Also, the Discover Boating Boat Show season is upon us once again. If your squadron has a participating show nearby, expect a call from Ronnie Mann about participation or email her in advance. Thanks to all the squadrons that participated in the Tall Ships America 2016 Great Lakes Challenge! Photos coming soon to our website. Email: Shirley D. Heald

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First Timers, Get Ready for Fun in Orlando

We’re looking for a large showing of First Timers at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando! If you haven’t attended a national meeting before, you are a “First Timer”! When you register for the Annual Meeting, please check the box indicating that this is your first national meeting. You will receive a packet of information with everything you need to know about the meeting, voting, etc. At the meeting, you’ll receive a discount coupon for one item from the Ship’s Store and a chance to win a First-Timer Door Prize, as well as an invitation to a reception with the national bridge. See you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Need Help Developing or Revitalizing Your Squadron?

If so, our team is ready to help you form a new squadron or regain your squadron's confidence. District and squadron commanders and executive officers, be aware that your self-evaluation forms are due soon. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Orlando. Email: Myles Gee

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GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation

A brand new webinar–GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation–captures the fascinating world of modern weather forecasting. After providing some historical context, the webinar gets right to the foundation of the modern forecasting process–the giant computer models that are the basis for all professionally produced weather predictions. Most importantly for boaters, the webinar describes the types of forecasts (GRIDS and GRIBS) that these models have made possible, their strengths and weaknesses, how to get them at no cost anywhere in the world, and how to use them in electronic chart plotting. The webinar will be given at 2000 ET on Tuesday, 15 Nov. To register, visit Email: Robert F. Anderson

Disposal of Unwanted and Outdated Pyrotechnic Devices

Vessel examiners are sometimes asked to accept out-of-date or otherwise unwanted pyrotechnic devices for disposal. However, accepting potentially hazardous materials for disposal is not part of the VSC mission. If requested to take possession of outdated pyrotechnic devices, examiners are advised to respectfully decline. Some municipal and volunteer fire departments or law enforcement agencies may accept pyrotechnics for disposal; many will not. Disposal may pose potential health or safety hazards to the individual or to the environment. Examiners should caution boaters against throwing unwanted pyrotechnics overboard, activating them in the marine environment, or disposing of them in household trash. Examiners can also suggest boaters contact local law enforcement or fire protection authorities for guidance on disposing of the unwanted materials. Members should not recommend that they be activated on land or retained on board a vessel as back-ups since older flares may become unstable and their burn rates unpredictable. Email: Mike Wiedel

VSC Deadline Approaching

The VSC Awards cutoff date is fast approaching. If you want your vessel exams to be counted for national awards, the exams must be entered into the USPS national database no later than midnight 31 Oct. 2016. Email: Mike Wiedel

New Bottom Paint Developments

At the Tampa Boat Show, we learned about a new method of keeping growth off the boat bottom using electronic transducers that was developed in Australia. It’s still too early to determine how well they will work to reduce the discharge of paint parts into the water or to keep shellfish off the boat’s bottom without harming the shellfish living nearby. Visit the Annual Meeting Expo in Orlando to learn more. Email: Dick Daybell

Boat Trainer News: Regional Coordinators and Upgrades

Testing is complete on the 3.2 upgrade that will correct and simplify the start-up processes and calibration issues and make the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer units much more stable. A few fun items like a working wind sock and additional personal watercraft and boat traffic will make the upgraded version more challenging. Upgrades will take place over the next few months as units are circulated through USPS headquarters. Regional coordinators will have units available on a first-come, first-served basis within the regions: Ken Voight, California; Al Keim, Pacific Northwest; Pat Antoni, Upper Midwest; George Hallenbeck, Northeast; Lisa Wilson, Southeast; and Dick Pfenniger, Florida and Puerto Rico. Continue to make reservations through the website and turn in Coast Guard tracking forms! If you have questions, email me, Project Manager Lisa Herndon Wilson. Email: Lisa Herndon Wilson

Has Your Squadron Made the 2016 EdFund Honor Roll?

Now that summer is over and life is returning to a more normal pace in your squadron, please consider making your squadron contribution to the Educational Fund so that your squadron becomes an Honor Roll Squadron for 2016. You can find more details on the EdFund website listed below or by calling me at 845-542-3180. Email: Fred Mangelsdorf

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Fall Nautical Cooperative Charting

As we transition into Fall and take that Fall cruise, be sure to check your local chart for any changes to obstructions, landmarks or depths. Look at misrepresented bridges, power lines and docks or piers. These changes should be entered to NOAA’s Nautical Discrepancy Reporting site at After making a report, please email the information to your local Cooperative Charting Area Rep, which can be found at the Cooperative Charting home page using the link below. Email: Diane Julum

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Great Lakes Cruising Club Discounts Continue

We’re pleased to announce that the partnership arrangement with the Great Lakes Cruising Club in which all GLCC online cruising-related webinars are available to USPS members at reduced USPS registration rates will continue this year. Note that there is a NEW discount code Basic1516USPS, so be sure to use this new code when signing up for a webinar. Any user can register with the GLCCSchool site by creating a user ID and password. Email: Jonathan Benman

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USCG Aids to Navigation Reporting

Have you been out on the water lately and discovered a discrepancy with an aid to navigation? Our new reporting situation requires direct reporting to the United States Coast Guard. The USCG Navigation Center has an ATON discrepancy reporting web page that members of USPS should use: It’s important to identify yourself as a USPS member in the comments section of the report and follow up by sending a copy to your Cooperative Charting Area Rep. An Area Rep reporting form will soon be posted to the Cooperative Charting home page. Email: Diane Julum

Get Recognized for Your Public Service Activities

The BoatUS Distinguished Civic Service Award is one of the most prestigious awards a squadron or district can receive. The award recognizes visibility of the BoatUS and USPS mission through local community activities and is jointly sponsored by the BoatUS Foundation and USPS through the national Membership Committee. Please review all application materials prior to submission. The award year runs from 1 Oct. to 30 Sept. Applications should be submitted electronically to the national Membership Committee chair between 1 Oct. and 15 Oct., the award deadline. Email: James Pahl-Washa

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Each One, Reach One

It’s not just a slogan; it’s a plan of action. It’s up to all of us to reach out to friends and acquaintances who have an interest in boating and our mission of being better boaters and on-the-water role models. Reach out by sharing your expertise, your time or even just a friendly smile. Provide a class or a seminar, a vessel safety exam or just a hand with a line at the dock. Remember, we welcome all. Email: James Pahl-Washa