Sea Scouts director receives major award for efforts to promote safer boating in BSA

National Sea Scouts Director Keith Christopher this month received a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

The award, presented Sept. 11, 2017, in Rapid City, S.D., honors Christopher’s work to promote recreational boating safety within the Boy Scouts of America’s programs and beyond.

Charles Wurster, National Sea Scout Commodore, calls the award a great honor for a great man.

“Keith Christopher has advanced the cause of safe boating nationwide by his participation and leadership in a number of organizations dedicated to that purpose,” Wurster says. “In his role as National Director of Sea Scouts, BSA, he represents Sea Scouts and the entire Boy Scouts of America organization while striving to bring safe boating and sailing adventures to youth throughout the the country.”

Christopher, who has announced his plans to retire next year, wears many hats within the Boy Scouts of America.

He began his 43-year professional career with the BSA as a district executive in Charlotte, N.C. A string of promotions took him to BSA councils in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. In 2005, he joined the BSA’s National Service Center in Irving, Texas.

The past two years, I’ve been lucky enough to join Christopher on the annual Report to the Nation trip to Washington, D.C. Christopher leads a delegation of Scouts, Venturers and Explorers as they share news of Scouting success with high-ranking leaders in Washington.

In addition to about a million other responsibilities within the BSA movement, Christopher is the aquatics and boating representative for the BSA, which means he speaks for us on a number of national boards and advisory councils. The goal is to use the latest research and industry feedback to make the BSA’s boating and aquatics programs as safe as they can be.

An Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, Christopher is married with three children, including a daughter and two Eagle Scout sons. He has seven grandchildren.

Congrats, Keith!


      • I searched the article looking for military terminology and the only word, which was used once to denote their official title, that I can see that could be construed as military is Commodore, which is only used by the military during war time.

        Otherwise in everyday vernacular, the rank of Commodore is used by the ranking officer in a body of merchant ships – or – as in the case of this article describing the Sea Scouts, the chief officer of a yachting club or boating association.

        Just my two cents regarding this article honoring someone who has given over 43 years of service to the BSA.

      • I think JR was referring to Nahila’s use of “BRAVO ZULU.”

        Yes, it is a naval term … but it is starting to leak into civilian life. (That’s what happens when soldiers and sailors retire.) Keeping such shorthand out of the colloquial speech would be like tilting at windmills.

        • Thank you Q for that clarification. I was in the Army (1989-1995) and don’t recall ever using Bravo Zulu for “well done”.

          Careful of those pesky windmills!

      • With all due respect JR, the Sea Scouts relies heavily on our naval services customs and traditions. Look at the uniforms. You can see the influence of the Coast Guard with the New Century Uniform. Look at the “tradtional” Sea Scout uniforms that most still wear are Dress Blue and Dress White ‘Crackerjacks” and the Dungarees for the youth and Service Dress Blue, the old summer whites, and service khakis for the adults. Look at the POR badges, and they look like petty officer badges. Even close order drill, based upon NAVMC 2961, is still practiced, and an option for advancement to Quartermaster.

        While the BSA is not a military, or naval, organization, Lord Baden-Powell was a LTGEN in the British army, and used his military publication on scouting for creating the Boy Scouts after experimenting with adaptations on Brownsea Island in 1907. You can see the military connection in terminology still in use today by the BSA: troops, ships, patrols, patrol leader, crew leader, quartermaster storekeeper, bugler, chaplain aid, skipper, etc.

  1. A mention of the three dial faces {time, temp., barameter} on the award would have been informative and how they are vital to any sailer. …..🌪…..🌧….🌥…..⛵️….🔅..🏝…
    – –
    Also, dressed in the Sea Scout Commodore uniform, with some Sea Scout youths, would have been impressive. 🔱

  2. We were honored to have Keith attend SeaBadge-11-NY which took place at USCG Sector NY after he became National Sea Scouts Director.

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