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Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership Training (SEAL)

The Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership (SEAL) training program is designed to teach leadership skills while underway. SEAL is designed to “jump start” the junior leaders of new Ships and to fine tune leaders of experienced Ships. It is a hard core, physically and mentally demanding, and remarkably rewarding hands-on leadership experience. New and experienced Sea Scouts can succeed at SEAL so long as they are willing to learn and work hard at preparation.

Download the SEAL Application 2015 here.

 

History and Purpose

In 1996, the National Sea Scouting Committee created a new youth leadership course called Sea Scout Advanced Leadership (SEAL) training. The course is designed to develop leadership skills in young adults. Seamanship is the medium through which the course is taught; however, nautical skills are the means, not the end. This course, which utilizes an “at sea” experience as a laboratory, is intended to teach and apply leadership skills. There are few other media offering the opportunity for young people to actually put leadership skills utilizing group dynamics into practice. In SEAL, there is no “play acting.” All situations and tasks are real, not created. Bad decisions or team failure can produce immediate and real problems.

 

Curriculum

This week long “at sea” experience allows the student to learn and apply new skills immediately. Courses consist of five to seven youth with a Course Skipper and two instructors. Each instructional module relates to a specific leadership skill with exercises designed to show mastery of the concepts taught while under the leadership of the Boatswain of the Day. SEAL is NOT a seamanship course. All applicants are expected to have basic seamanship skills prior to arrival.

Skills Taught

Evaluation Team Building Leadership
Training Communicating Goal Setting
Planning & Preparing Motivating Managing, Supervising & Commanding
Counseling Implementing & Re-Implementing Problem Solving

 

Preparing for SEAL

SEAL candidates must arrive at the course prepared to learn, lead, and excel. It is not a seamanship course and all candidates must become intimately familiar with the Safety & Seamanship chapter and appendix of the current Sea Scout Manual. Candidates will be required to outline the chapter in detail. Additionally, candidates must be able to perform basic coastal navigation on paper and must be able to tie all knots required for Apprentice Sea Scout and Ordinary Sea Scout ranks. They must know and understand the basic nomenclature of a sailing vessel; know and understand helm commands and points of relative bearings. All of this information is in the Sea Scout Manual.

 

Conducting the Training

This course is managed by the National Sea Scout Committee and have been conducted at Chesapeake Bay, the Texas Gulf Coast, the Pacific, the Ohio River Valley, Florida Keys, Long Island Sound, and the Great Lakes. Course dates vary but are always held in the summer months. Costs are typically from $125 to $250 not including candidate transportation to and from the course. Check our event calendar for course offerings.

 

Requirements

    • Achieve Ordinary Rank by June 1st the year of the course.
    • Apply leadership skills with their ship after the course.

Before Students Arrive

The student will:

  • Prepare an outline of “Chapter 4” of the Sea Scout Manual to be forwarded to the course’s Skipper for evaluation.
  • Know basic nomenclature of a sailing vessel.
  • Know and be able to perform basic coastal navigation.
  • Be able to tie all knots required for Apprentice and Ordinary Ranks in less than three minutes.
  • Know standard helm commands.

Two practice tests are sent to the applicant’s Skipper prior to the course that cover seamanship covered in “Chapter 4” of the Sea Scout Manual and basic coastal navigation. The student’s performance on these practice tests helps the student know better how to prepare for the course.

 

Goals

By the end of the course, graduates will be equipped with leadership skills and management tools necessary to fire up a ship’s program. They will be prepared to serve in leadership positions such as Boatswain or Boatswain’s Mate in their ships as well as in their schools, jobs, and communities.

 

Recognitions

Each graduate receives the coveted SEAL pin. SEAL patches are also available to graduates, which can be worn on their uniform instead of the pin. SEAL graduates are also selected to represent Sea Scouts with other opportunities such as trips on submarines, aircraft carriers, and as course marshals for the America’s Cup races.

 

Applications

Applications are due each year by March 1st, and are available for download here. All courses are posted, and the applicant must list their preference in priority order. If two or more Scouts from the same ship are applying, they should apply for different locations. Further questions should be directed to the National SEAL Training Coordinator, Mr. Jim Elroy here or by telephone at (805) 797-7900.

 

Preparing for SEAL

The Skipper’s evaluation of the candidate’s readiness for SEAL is critical. The application consists of an admonition and instructions to the Skipper regarding evaluation of the applicant. Preparation and full readiness regarding the knowledge of seamanship as set out in the Safety & Seamanship Chapter of the Sea Scout Manual and coastal piloting is absolutely essential prior to arrival at the training site. Failure to fully prepare ensures failure of this course and the waste of a valuable space for someone else that would have been able to participate.

 

To assist candidates' preparation, two tests are forwarded to their Skipper. The first tests the candidates knowledge on the Safety & Seamanship Chapter of the current Sea Scout Manual, the second tests their knowledge of basic coastal navigation. In the navigation test, candidates will set a course, compute speed, time and distance, compass error, a fix by two lines of position and finding latitude and longitude. These tests are used by the candidate and her Skipper to determine the candidate's readiness for SEAL. Using the results of the test, the Skipper can tell if the candidate needs help before she reports to SEAL training.

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Adult Resources

quarter-medQuartermaster

The highest award for Sea Scouts presents a challenge that, when met, will affect a young person lifelong. The Quartermaster candidate must think analytically about how the program is delivered and supported, while developing a deeper understanding of Scouting ideals. Most requirements represent intensification of what was learned for previous ranks, but with significant additions in the Quartermaster service project, cruise, and study of weather and forecasting. The cruise involves taking long-term command of a vessel and crew and conducting critical drills.

Requirements

  1. Ideals
    1. Initiate a discussion on the ideals stated in the Sea Promise.
    2. Prepare a written analysis, offering recommendations for improvements regarding one of the following ship’s programs: bylaws and code, training programs, ceremonies, quarterdeck meetings, recruiting programs, or fund-raising.
  2. Active Membership
    1. Attend at least 75 percent of your ship’s meetings and special activities for 18 months. Note: Check with your ship’s yeoman.
    2. Present a talk or program at least 15 minutes long on Sea Scouts to a service club, religious organization, PTA, or other adult organization.
  3. Leadership
    1. Quartermaster Project: While an Able Sea Scout, plan, develop, and demonstrate leadership to others in a service project that is helpful to any religious institution, school, or your community. The project plan must be approved by your Skipper and ship committee and approved by the council or district advancement committee before you start. This service project should involve your ship and at least one other group.
    2. Officer: Either serve as an elected officer for at least six months or serve as an activity chair for three major events (These events are in addition to the Able requirement.)
    3. Quartermaster Cruise: Take command of a vessel with a crew of not less than four Sea Scouts for at least 40 consecutive hours, including two nights.  You must delegate and supervise all duties. During the cruise complete the following: Inspect the vessel for required equipment; supervise all menu preparation; prepare the boat to get underway with a proper checklist approved by the adult leaders; anchor, dock, and maintain course by commands to the helmsman; remain underway for an extended period during darkness; and discuss appropriate nighttime running procedures. While underway, perform the following drills: man overboard, damage control, abandon ship, fire, collision, and any other drills used by your ship. During this cruise no substantial errors may be committed.
      or
      Successfully complete SEAL (Sea Scout Advanced Leadership) training.
  4. Swimming
    Either complete the requirements for BSA Lifeguard or complete a Red Cross lifesaving course or other certified lifesaving course.
  5. Safety
    1. Know the heavy-weather precautions taken aboard both power and sailing vessels when dangerous weather approaches, and demonstrate these precautions aboard the vessel used by your ship.
    2. Know the special precautions that should be taken when limited visibility is encountered.
    3. Draw the International Code flags and pennants from memory and give the single-letter meanings (Alpha = Have diver down, keep clear) of the flags.  Show how to use the book International Code of Signals.
  6. Marlinspike Seamanship
    1. Teach the Apprentice, Ordinary, and Able marlinspike seamanship requirements to a crew.
    2. Make an eye splice in double-braided line.
  7. Boat Handling
    1. Take charge of the craft used by your ship and give all commands to the crew for picking up a mooring buoy and properly mooring the vessel in several wind and current situations.
    2. Demonstrate and teach the principles of springing into and out from a dock, from both bow and stern, using an engine depending on the type of vessel used by your ship.
    3. Teach Ordinary and Able boat handling requirements to a crew.
  8. Anchoring
    1. Teach the Ordinary and Able anchoring requirements to a crew.
    2. Know the methods of bringing a vessel to anchor and a mooring with special emphasis on wind and current with respect to the vessel’s course and speed.
    3. Take charge of a vessel used by your ship and give all commands to the crew for setting and weighing anchor in several wind and current situations.
  9. Navigation Rules
    Teach the Ordinary navigation rules requirements to a crew.
  10. Piloting and Navigation
    1. Teach the Ordinary and Able piloting requirements to a crew.
    2. Know the methods of fixing a boat’s position in limited visibility.
  11. Weather
    1. Read and understand a local weather bulletin. Know how to obtain current marine and weather reports from the National Weather Service in your area by telephone, radio, or online.
    2. Demonstrate your ability to read a barometer, thermometer, anemometer, psychrometer, and weather vane. Be familiar with the Beaufort Wind Force Scale.
    3. Demonstrate your knowledge of the weather signs for your local area, including cloud types. Prepare a 48-hour forecast and compare your forecast with the actual weather that occurred.
  12. Environment
    1. Discuss the three types of marine sanitation devices and the laws governing sewage discharge.
    2. Explain what gray water is and how it should be handled in your boating area.
    3. Explain what aquatic nuisance species are and how you can help stop their spread.
    4. Write a 500-word report on an aquatic environment (freshwater, coastal, estuary, or sanctuary). Include in the report the location, habitat, history, animals and plants that inhabit the area, its importance to man, current regulations, and what boaters can do to help preserve it for future generations.
  13. Electives—Do any four of the following.
    1. Sailing: Know the principles of handling a schooner, ketch, yawl, or other suitable sailing vessel. Under competent direction, take charge of a crew and demonstrate your ability to handle a suitable sailing vessel in all points of sail.
    2. Engines:
      1. Explain the principal features of steam turbine, turboelectric, direct reversing diesel, diesel-electric, gas turbine, nuclear, gasoline, and diesel engines and the relative advantages of each type.
      2. Explain the operation of spark ignition and compression ignition for internal combustion engines used aboard small vessels.
      3. Demonstrate your familiarity with the engine aboard the vessel used by your ship, including its principles of operation, fuel, lubrication, cooling and electrical systems, and their component parts.
      4. Demonstrate your ability to locate and correct minor engine troubles according to the engine manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide.
    3. Vessel Maintenance: Take charge of reconditioning or overhauling at least one of your ship’s vessels, or take charge of hauling out the principal vessel used by your ship. In either case, lay out a plan of the work to be done in advance, including an estimate of the materials, tools, cost, and time involved.
    4. Electricity:
      1. Know and demonstrate the correct method of rescuing a person in contact with a live wire.
      2. Understand the construction of simple battery cells. Demonstrate the proper care of storage batteries.
      3. Explain the difference between direct current and alternating current and the best uses for each.
      4. Demonstrate that you know how to replace fuses, reset circuit breakers, and properly splice shipboard electric cable.
      5. Submit a diagram of the electrical system aboard the vessel used by your ship.
      6. Explain wire tables, the current-carrying capacity of circuits, and the hazards and prevention of electrical overloading.
      7. Explain electrolysis as applied to the deterioration of a boat’s underwater fittings by galvanic action and its prevention.
    5. Navigation:
      1. Explain how the sextant works. Show how to use it and demonstrate measuring horizontal angles and altitudes.
      2. Find latitude by the altitude of Polaris or by the sun’s altitude at local apparent noon. Demonstrate how longitude is determined.
      3. Demonstrate finding error in the boat’s compass by the sun’s azimuth.
    6. Drill: Demonstrate your ability to handle the ship’s company in close-order drill. Do all required maneuvers.
    7. Piloting: Under competent direction, assume the duties of navigator of your ship’s vessel. Plot its projected course between two ports at least two hours apart and cruise that course mooring to mooring handling all piloting duties.  The cruise should be made in daylight hours with good visibility.
    8. Yacht Racing Crew: Take charge of a crew in a race using current ISAF racing rules.
    9. Rigging: Demonstrate your ability to splice and handle wire rope, attach wire rope fittings, and complete a safety and tuning inspection of a ship vessel.
    10. USPS: As an apprentice member of the United States Power Squadrons complete the Advanced Piloting course.
    11. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: Join a local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla as a Basic Qualified member and qualify for any Operational Auxiliary Program (AUXOP) or Trident Marine Safety specialty rating.

Source:  Sea Scout Manual, 11th Edition, 2012 printing