Commodore’s Corner- February 2017

Is there an Alumni Association for Sea Scouts and Sea Scouters?

Yes; it’s called the National Organization for Sea Scout Alumni (NOSSA). Check it out at

Is the BSA Interpreter Strip authorized for wear on a Sea Scout uniform?

Accommodation of standard BSA insignia is one of the hallmarks of the New Century uniform; so that part’s easy—yes on the New Century uniforms.  Regarding the traditional uniforms, the conclusion is also yes; because the “Guide to Awards and Insignia,” page 68, refers to “… youth member and Scouter…” without specifying, or excluding, any programs.  Also, this is consistent with the inclusion of the World Crest on all Sea Scout uniforms.  (Together, the badges let a foreigner know you are a member of the world brotherhood of Scouting and that you speak their language.)

I earned the Venturing Leadership Award (VLA) in the past for my contributions to Sea Scouting, not Venturing. Now there is a Sea Scout Leadership Award (SSLA) how can I signify that my award was for contributions in Sea Scouts?

Individuals who received the VLA, prior to January 1, 2017, based substantially upon their contributions to the Sea Scout program, may wear the miniature Sea Scout Device, No. 931, on the VLA/SSLA knot, No. 14220.

Since the Sea Scout Leadership Award is new who should be on the selection committee for our Council awards?

The selection committee paragraph of the SSLA Information Packet reads:
“The selection committee will be made up of past recipients of the SSLA and leadership from the appropriate organizational level. Only youth and the immediate past youth award recipients are eligible to vote. In the case that no past recipients are available, a committee can be formed at the discretion of the respective Commodore and Staff Advisor but the committee must be made up of at least 50% youth, all adults will serve as nonvoting members.”

Ideally, a SSLA selection committee should be comprised of youth members who are recipients of an SSLA, or a VLA based substantially upon their contributions to the Sea Scout program.  Currently, there are not sufficient recipients to staff selection committees. The respective Sea Scout Commodore may include other distinguished individuals to fill out the selection committee.  For example: Venturing recipients of the VLA.

This is a significant award and an important responsibility.  Comply with the norms in your Council.  Check with your Staff Advisor, Council Executive or designee, and key Council Scouters such as your Council Commissioner or designee.

The VLA has seldom been awarded twice to the same individual, at the same level. SSLA selection committees should reflect upon this tradition when considering an individual for a SSLA, who has previously received a VLA based substantially upon their contributions to the Sea Scout program, at the same level.

What are BSA’s methods for pilot projects, and other experiments to increase membership?

BSA has had a committee working on updating and defining these ideas.  Check out this attachment that describes their results.

You can submit your question to the Commodore’s Corner at; or click here. We’ll answer the most frequent or urgent questions in a future edition of the Commodore’s Corner.

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Boating season and traditional “opening day” events are a good opportuity for your Ship to spread the word about the adventure of Sea Scouts.  #SeaScouts #getonthewater