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

December 2016 star calendar

Star calendar 1–31 December 2016

2 Dec     At dusk, Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

3 Dec     Venus is 3 finger-widths below the moon tonight. Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Altair, part of the Summer Triangle, is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

4 Dec     Mars is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left. With binoculars, see if you can spot iota Capricorni, ½ finger-width to the right of Mars.

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