Ship Nine-Four was inspired by a sense of adventure from some of the older Scouts in Troop Nine-Four, Anderson Creek, NC. This craving for the challenges of a new adventure quickly spread to youth in other local Scouts BSA Troops and youth throughout the community. The founding of this Ship was truly driven by the youth. Anderson Creek POA, who was already the charter organization for Pack 757, Troop 94B, and Troop 94G, was eager to expand their support of the Scouting program and Ship 94 was officially chartered in January of 2021.
Our fleet of vessels started with the donation of two 19-foot sailboats that had been neglected for years. Our Scouts spent many hours toiling on repairs that winter while dreaming of the sailing adventures that awaited them when summer would bring them sunshine and fair wind for their sails. When not working on the vessels, the Scouts conducted leadership training, learned seamanship theory, and built lasting friendships that would solidify them as a high-performing team once they hit the water.
“The Ark Royal”
Sea Scout Ships, unlike other Scouting units, choose a name by which it will be identified. The Carolina Coast is steeped in maritime history and nautical lore. It seemed only natural to create a tie to those distinguished roots. The Scouts of Ship Nine-Four chose “Ark Royal” as its moniker. The Ark Royal was an English galleon, originally ordered for Sir Walter Raleigh and later purchased by the crown for service in the Tudor navy. She was used as the English flagship in a number of engagements, including the battles that resulted in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and had a long career spanning over 50 years.
The Ship Logo
The Ship Nine-Four logo was designed by one of our Sea Scouts drawing on experience that he had designing patrol patches in his Scouts BSA Troop. The design is elegant in its simplicity yet iconic and instantly recognizable. The anchor symbolizes the steadfast grounding in the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The rope tied in a square knot represents the bond with Scouts from around the world. The fleur-de-lis has been used as the symbol of the Scouting Movement since its foundation in the early part of the 20th Century.
Plank Owner Patch
A plank owner is an individual who was a member of the crew of a United States Navy ship or United States Coast Guard Cutter when that ship was placed in commission. Originally, this term applied only to crew members that were present at the ship’s first commissioning. Today, however, plank owner is often applied to members of newly commissioned units, new military bases, and recommissioning crews as well. In Ship Nine-Four, a limited number of Plank Owner patches were produced that were only issued to Scouts who join the Ship in its first year and a few select individuals who played critical roles in helping our Ship to get underway.
Ship Nine-Four’s bell was presented as a gift from Ship 244, The Dawn Treader, in Cary, NC. The Dawn Treader’s generosity is just one example of the kindness that they have shown to the Ark Royal. From the very creation of our unit, the Scouts and Scouters of the Dawn Treader have acted as mentors and older siblings to our fledgling Ship. For their help, kindness, and generosity, the Ark Royal will be forever grateful.