Coast Guard Auxiliary – Sea Scout Partnership
In August 2018, an agreement between United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Boy Scouts of America made Sea Scouts the official youth program of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard. Since 1939 the Auxiliary has supported the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions. This partnership gives Sea Scouts an opportunity to benefit from Coast Guard seamanship and vocational training, while introducing Sea Scouts to the Coast Guard.
A pilot rollout was conducted beginning In March 2019. The national rollout began on November 1st. The Auxiliary Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) document is available below. There are many opportunities for collaboration between the Auxiliary and Sea Scouts in all parts of the country. Check this page and AuxBWiki for more information and resources to put the agreement into use.
Key points regarding the MOA and the AUXSCOUT SOP
- The two big changes called for in the MOA are: (a) Sea Scouts who are least 14 years old will be able to apply for Auxiliary membership; and (b) local Auxiliary flotillas and divisions are encouraged to charter Sea Scout Ship
- Sea Scout leaders should reach out to their Auxiliary counterparts to introduce themselves and invite the Auxiliary to attend local Sea Scout meetings and activities. All Auxiliarists are authorized to provide public education, vessel safety checks, and public affairs support, but this may not be widely understood. All local Auxiliary flotillas and divisions are permitted to charter Sea Scout Ships if they wish.
- It is very important to remember that “A Scout is Friendly.” This is a new world for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which has never made this sort of commitment in the past. Reaching out in a friendly way will definitely have the best results in the long run. Don’t make demands. Look for ways to work together. This could mean helping to staff a boating safety booth at a boat show or participating in a joint shoreline clean-up at the local beach.
Implications for BSA Councils
This arrangement represents an opportunity to start new Sea Scout Ships (units) and to strengthen existing Ships by working with a partner who can serve as a charter organization and who can provide expertise in Seamanship and access to a wide range of opportunities for youth. This 8 minute video will explain the basics, or if you have a need to give a similar presentation in your council, you may find these slides and talking points to be useful.
Recorded webinar: AUXSCOUT for Sea Scout Commodores and other Sea Scout leaders. October 2019