Organized in 1914, USPS, now referred to as America’s Boating Club is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to improving boating skills and making boating more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation, and related subjects. Our members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. We enjoy participating with our fellow members on the water and in the classroom. America’s Boating Club has some 55,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. America’s Boating Club is America’s largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions.
Each squadron’s activities involve the three primary objectives of USPS: community service, continuing education, and enjoying the friendship and camaraderie of our fellow members.
What is the Grand Rapids Sail and Power Squadron (GRSPS)?
America’s Boating Club of West MI (GRSPS) is a part of District 9, which is one of 33 districts within America’s Boating Club (USPS) organization. Being a “unit” of the USPS, we are also a group of fellow sailors and power boaters that have a passion for teaching and promoting safe boating. Self-education is stressed in our organization and is provided in a casual and fun atmosphere. Ten nautical courses and one teaching course are offered to the GRSPS membership in two categories: Advanced Grades and Elective Courses.
Civic service includes the Boat Smart course taught to the general public several times a year at various locations. A Co-operative Charting program is conducted in cooperation with the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA); the government agency, which publishes the nautical charts we all use for navigation. We report corrections and additions to NOAA so they can update their charts.
Socially, the GRSPS schedules regular meetings in the fall, winter and spring months in conjunction with the General Business meetings, which are held on the second Thursday of each month. Specific locations and times are published in the monthly newsletter, the Waterspout. Meetings usually start around 1830 (with a social hour) and often include a program involving a topic of nautical interest. This is an excellent opportunity for new members to meet and become acquainted with other squadron members. Our summer social events are usually a “Predicted Log” in June, a “Rendezvous” in July and the United States Coast Guard Parade in August in Grand Haven as part of the USCG Annual Festival. Other events may also be planned throughout the year.