Sometimes writing an article is hard, I don’t know why, and sometimes it’s just fun. This one is just plain fun. Oh, and it’s about the Houston Star Report for 2021.
The Houston STAR Report is an annual report prepared by the Squadron to let District 21 know how, and what, we are doing over the space of a year. The Houston Star Report to District 21 is formatted by Squadron Department and is quite detailed and covers everything a regular Squadron should do. So, it makes a pretty good guide for what each Department should do throughout the year.
It’s All About the STARS
The problem for a Department Head (Educational, Administration, Executive, etc.) is to get the required and extra activities and education all done thru the year. Only by getting it all done, does the Squadron earn all the points possible. A Five Star Squadron, or top of the line Squadron, must earn over 115 points. I won’t keep you in suspense, by my count with the Houston STAR Report, Houston earned 105 points for a very solid “4 Star Squadron” rating. As none of the other Squadrons in District 21 submitted a report, we can guess that they did not reach the 1 Star Rating of 40 points. And of course, we all know that we have had back-to-back plague years; some Squadrons are simply lucky to be there.
At the recent District 21 Conference, the Houston Squadron presented suggestions on how other Squadrons, who have not been as busy as us, might get back into the game. Some folks listened; some went to the Happy Hour.
This is How We Turned Out
What follows is s summary of the points the Houston Squadron earned, reported in the Houston STAR Report, what was done to earn them and what areas the Squadron missed points.
Executive Department – 10 points of 19 available
Cooperative Charting – 0 points
Public Relations – 0 points
Safety – 2 points, conducting a forma Safe Boating Program
Vessel Safety Check – 4 Stars (P/D/C Derden did 146 )
Environmental – 2 points, Leave No Trace & Crab Trap Removal
Partnering – 2 points
We partnered with Galveston Bay Foundation and Leave No Trace, Inc.,
Lake Conroe Sailing Association, AMC Training, Waterford Marina,
BSA Sea Scouts and GSA Mariners, and the National Safe Boating Council.
Educational Department – 47 of 56 available
Teaching Aids – 0 points
Chapman Award – 2 points
American Boating Course – 5 points
Elective and Advance Grade Courses – 9 points
Reporting – 6 points
Seminars – 5 points
On Water Training – 2 points
Administrative Department – 25 points of 30 available
Membership – 15 points
Leadership Development – 2 points
Operations Training – 3 points
Youth Activities – 3 points
Boating Activities – 2 points
Secretary’s Department – 14 points of 14 available
Publications – 3 points
Articles submitted to the Ensign – 3 points
Website – 5 points
Roster – 1 point
Historian’s Report – 2 points
Treasurers Department – 3 points of 3 available
IRS Report 990 – 1 point
Delinquency – 1 point
Dues – 1 point
Commander’s Department – 10 points of 22 available
District Meetings – 0 points (in all fairness, there were no District meetings to attend – Plague)
National Meetings – 3 points
Members Attending National Meetings – 2 points
Educational Fund – 1 point
Goal Statement – 0 points
Merit Marks – 1 point
Grant/External Funding – 3 points
So, this is a picture of the health/activity level of the Squadron. It is an awesome report and it tells the story that we are a heathy, active Squadron. Here is the list of areas we can improve on –
Coop Charting – 6 pts
Public Relations (Boat Shows) – 3 pts.
Teaching Aids – 10 pts.
Boat Operator Certifications – 1 pt.
Assistance to Other Squadron’s Training Events – 1 pt.
Interactions with Other Squadrons – 3 pts
Increasing our membership to 255 – 15 pts
And improvements are already happening – the Squadron attended 3 Boat Shows this year, is executing On the Water Training on Lake Conroe in conjunction with Rinker’s Lakeside, the technical issue causing our Coop Charting to produce no results will not happen again (probably – that is a different story), and Roger Runnels has some great ideas for teaching aids. As for membership, if we are busy doing the fun stuff that we are supposed to be doing, out membership will increase. People like to have fun.
So if we keep doing what we are doing, and make the necessary improvements, next year our score will be in the astronomical range of 144 or so. Next year we will be a solid “5 Star Squadron”.