RSPS History

In the early 1970's, a number of Potomac River Power Squadron members recognized the need for a squadron to serve the needs of boat enthusiast in the rapidly expanding area of Montgomery County. A proposal for the Rockville Power Squadron was formulated and was endorsed by the Potomac River Power Squadron and the Northern Virginia, Prince Georges, and Hagerstown Power Squadrons.

On 15 March 1972, D/5 Cdr William D. Seldon , AP presented the RPS charter to 32 founding members, some of whom are active in our squadron today. In 1989 Cdr Seldon rose to become Chief Commander of USPS. This year marks USPS' 75th anniversary.

The first issue of the SKIPJACK, edited by Joseph P. Laehy, JN, appeared in January 1973. A contest for the design of the RPS burgee was held, and the winning design was accepted and approved by D/5 and National later that year.

On 11 February 2003, members approved a by-laws change which changed the name to Rockville Sail and Power Squadron (RSPS).

RSPS was awarded the D/5 Caraville Award for teaching advanced classes in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 RSPS won the D/5 Henry E. Sweet Award for excellence in Education. Also in 2006, members of the Hagerstown, Maryland Squadron voted to disband and transfer memberships into RSPS. Approval was granted at the February 2007 USPS Governing Board.

At the 2008 D5 Education Conference, the Rockville Sail and Power Squadron received recognition for many achievements. The top prize was the Prince Henry the Navigator Award. This is presented for best educational performance by a squadron in celestial navigation courses (JN and N). Thanks to the dedication of P/C Jon Van Winkle, SN and a determined bunch of students we had 10 graduates for the JN course, giving us the highest percentage of members passing a celestial navigation course. The RSPS also received Second Place honors for the Caravel Award (Seamanship, Piloting, and Advanced Piloting) and Third Place for the Henry Sweet Award for all educational programs combined. RSPS was the first recipient of the District 5 Seamanship Award. This award was created in memory of Kenneth G. Smith, SN to recognize the top squadron in the Seamanship course.

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