Merit Mark Overview

What Is A Merit Mark?

The chief commander awards a “merit mark” to a member for substantial effort in personally furthering the interests, programs and objectives of America's Boating Club. It is a coveted award, for it is by and large the only official recognition a member receives for their efforts. Only one merit mark may be awarded in a year, no matter how extensive the contribution.

How Do I Earn A Merit Mark?

The Squadron's Commander, or District Officers, based on actual personal service performed, may make a recommendation for a merit mark on an annual basis. Active, additional active and family members are also eligible. Recommendations are based upon contributions within a calendar year and recommendations are gathered for submission to the District Merit Mark Chair each November for the current calendar year. Recommendations approved by the District Chair are submitted to the Chief Commander for final review and approval.

What constitutes "substantial effort?" While subjective, typical rules of thumb include:

1) demonstrated contributions in two or more "sides of the triangle" (education, civic, and fraternal) as related to Squadron operations, with contributions in all three areas preferred.

2) typically more than just a "few hours" of time; 2-5 hours is not enough, 8-10 "could" be enough; more hours look better than few.  National determines if a Merit Mark will be awarded and in general, is looking for at least 12 hours. What's important here is that a pattern of squadron involvement - not just island involvement - should be demonstrated by the merit mark applicant.

3) related to the Minnetonka Squadron, participating in docks-in and docks-out Squadron maintenance events - ALONE - does not qualify for a merit mark. However, such activities, including island maintenance, may be considered with other activities performed by the eligible member by the Squadron's commander for the basis of a recommendation.

4) Additional examples of activities that may be applied towards merit mark recognition:

  • Attending a general membership meeting or island dinner does not qualify; a consistent record of attending organized functions, and helping with their delivery to the membership (setup, cleanup, organize, manage, etc.) does qualify.
  • Taking a Squadron-sponsored class does not qualify; helping grade tests, teaching all or a portion of a Squadron-sponsored class does qualify.
  • Attending the boat show does not qualify; helping manage our booth at the boat show does qualify.
  • Having your boat inspected for safety or invasive species does not qualify; helping to deliver such inspections on behalf of the Squadron does qualify.

Merit Marks and Streater Cove

Please review Island Use Policies with respect to the requirement for merit marks.  You may review the policies by clicking the button below.