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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.



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.



    • 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.



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.



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 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.

How to Start a Ship




NCUni NekFrtSmThe National Sea Scout Support Committee is please to introduce the New Century Universal Sea Scout Uniform ("NCUSSU").  The NCUSSU is an alternate uniform to the current adult and youth dress and work uniforms. It is intended to make it easy for members of newly formed Sea Scout Ships to outfit themselves in a Sea Scout uniform and may be chosen by any unit new or existing. When chosen by the unit, this universal uniform is worn by all youth and adult Ship members and may serve as both a dress uniform and a work uniform. The New Century Universal Sea Scout Uniform will be included in the next edition of the Sea Scout Manual, No. 33239.

Visit here to learn more about this exciting new option!


Governor Deval L. Patrick of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has issued a proclamation making October 8, 2012 Sea Scouts Day in the Bay State.

The Governor, in issuing his proclamation, reminded the citizens of Massachusetts that Sea Scouting in the United States began in Massachusetts, that it has grown from one Boy Scout Training Ship to become a national program for young men and young women that promotes our maritime heritage and provides hands-on maritime education, training, and experiences, while partnering with other civic organizations to promote safe boating, environmental conservation and community service.

Massachusetts Proclamation

Albatross Honored - 2012 National Sea Scout Flagship 

2012NatlFlag Albatross72web

IRVING, TX -The Sea Scout Ship Albatross has been selected as the 2012 National Flagship by the Boy Scouts of America. 2012 is the 100-year anniversary of the Sea Scout program, which will be celebrated by over 7000 Sea Scouts and their communities throughout the United States.

BoatUS and Sea Scouts, BSA recognizes Sea Scout Ship 72, S.S.S. Albatross from Martinez, California, chartered by Security Owners Corporation of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council as the recipient of the 2012 National Flagship Award. The award was created by BoatUS in 2002 to mark the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouts. It is presented in recognition of excellence in program quality, youth achievement, and adult commitment. It is these attributes, as reflected by the S.S.S. Albatross and its exemplary program of seamanship and youth development, that we honor them with this award.

A heartfelt congratulation goes to Ship Boatswain Catherine Murphy-Bevan, Skipper Adam Mollwitz, and the dedicated S.S.S. Albatross crew and adult volunteers. The S.S.S, Albatross name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy now on display at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas. An identical trophy will be presented to the ship’s leadership at the 60th Ancient Mariner Regatta, onboard the USS Hornet, in Alameda California.

As a part of the Ship’s qualifications, they met or exceeded all national standards as a part of their application for consideration. The ship’s quarterdeck and skipper completed a full application and provided support through written summary of their accomplishments and activities they participated in during this past year.

Since 1932, the Sea Scouts have been an active part of the Martinez Community, and the Western Region. This year the ship is participating in the Relay for Life, as well as hosting two Regattas.

The Albatross Sea Base, with the help of the crew, parents, and the adult staff, has become the training center for several units of the area. The Albatross main training vessel is a 65 foot ex-Navy torpedo Retriever from 1968, aptly named "Albatross". Their other training vessels include a ski boat named "Little Tross", a runabout named "Tadpole", a whaleboat named "Shanagagines", and other small sail and powerboats.

The co-ed Albatross crew works hard and plays hard: learning to maintain their boat; learn new skills; and compete in a wide array of events. A few highlights of their activities include:

  • Achieved the Gold level of the Journey to Excellence national award for 2011.
  • 100 % of their youth members advanced in rank, or advanced during the year
  • Increased their youth membership by a net of 17%
  • 45% of their youth members achieved Ordinary rank or higher, including one Quartermaster
  • An average of 90 % of their members attended their ship activities annually
  • The crew participated in over 50 on-the-water activities during the year. Including a 10 day Summer Cruise
  • Maintained their Boat and Sea Base, including installing a new cabin top for their crew's quarters.
  • 6 community service projects were held as a ship , such as color guards and cleaning up the local water front
  • Competed in 8 Regattas through out the region; hosted 2 Regattas; participated in Safety at Sea at Yerba Buena Island; participated in many more active meetings and months of events too numerous to mention.

An official Sea Scout SALUTE goes to Ship 72, S.S.S. Albatross for their efforts. We wish them well as they continue to promote water safety and provide a quality Sea Scout program to the youth of their area.

link-PDF  2012 National Flagship Albatross

Gold Centennial Sea Scout Award

The Gold Centennial Sea Scout Award is available for all Sea Scouts and Leaders to earn in 2012. To learn more about this opportunity and special Centennial Electives, please view the Gold Centennial Sea Scout Order Form Packet.

National Water Safety Congress Honors Sea Scout Centennial

Presentation by National Water Safety Congress to National Commodore Charlie Wurster and National Sea Scout Director Keith Christopher honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Sea Scouts


National Safe Boating Council Salutes the Centennial of Sea Scouts

Presentation by National Safe Boating Council to National Commodore and National Sea Scout Director honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Sea Scouts.

National Safe Boating Council


California Assembly Honors Sea Scout Centennial

The California Assembly honored the 100th Anniversary of Sea Scouts at the International Boating & Water Safety Summit on March 5, 2012.

California is the first state to honor the Sea Scout Centennial.

Representative from State of California presenting resolution from the California Legislature Assembly to Charlie and Keith saluting the 100th Anniversary of the Sea Scouts

Representative from State of California presenting resolution from the California Legislature Assembly to National Sea Scout Director Keith Christopher and National Commodore Charlie Wurster, saluting the 100th Anniversary of the Sea Scouts.

Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board Honors Sea Scout Centennial

The National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America passed the following Resolution Honoring the Sea Scout Centennial, February 8, 2012, on the 102nd Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.




WHEREAS, Arthur A Carey founded Sea Scouts in the United States in 1912, with the Boy Scout Training Ship Pioneer in Boston, and 


WHEREAS, for 100 years Sea Scouts has provided young people with positive opportunities through hands-on maritime experiences, and 


WHEREAS, Sea Scouts has championed responsible boating to guard against water accidents, and 


WHEREAS, Sea Scouts has partnered with civic organizations promoting safe boating, environmental conservation and community service and 


WHEREAS, Sea Scouts has inspired American youth to join maritime industries and competitive sailing, and 


WHEREAS, thousands of Sea Scouts have served in the US military and defended their country, and 


WHEREAS, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz stated that forty percent of the men under his command in World War II had been Scouts, who had won sixty percent of the decorations for valor, and 


WHEREAS, Sea Scouts in America host many Sea Scout competitive and safety training events throughout the United States. 


NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby 


RESOLVED that the Executive Board of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, hereby congratulates and salutes the Sea Scouts on their Centennial for providing leadership and positive opportunities for America’s youth. 








The Centennial Boatswain's Pipe, laser imprinted with the First Class Anchor, is availble for purchase from SG Trading Post.





The Chairman of the 2012 William I. Koch International Sea Scout has announced the selection of Kim Houton as the event Boatswain and Matt Gorman as the Boatswain's Mate.

Western Region Selects 2012-2013 Boatswain and Boatswain's Mate-

The National Sea Scout Support Committee and the Western Region Commodore, Glen Meskimen, are pleased to announce the selection of Parker Smith (San Rafael, CA) as Western Region Boatswain and Lila DeTreaux (Princeville, HI) as Western Region Boatswain's Mate.

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2012LongCruiseBadgeIRVING, Texas - When Eagle Sea Scout Paul Siple returned from Antarctica, the National Sea Scout Committee presented him with a Special Long Cruise Award; the border around the patch was gold instead of the standard red.  This year the National Sea Scout Committee has authorized the reissue of this historic emblem in celebration of the Sea Scouts, BSA Centennial.

The Centennial Long Cruise badge may be awarded to any Sea Scout or Sea Scout adult leader who meets the Long Cruise requirements during the 2012 Centennial year (January 1 – December 31, 2012).  The badge may be continually worn after 2012 by those who have earned this special recognition.

The Centennial Long Cruise Badge is available for purchase after January 1, 2012 at The Ship's Store.  Sales of the badge will be discontinued at the end of 2012.


News and information from the National Sea Scout Support Committee.