With separation of Sea Scouts from Venturing, how long can Sea Scouts continue to work on Venturing awards?

Sea Scouts, who are working on any of the Venturing awards and recognitions, will be “grandfathered” to complete those awards and recognitions through December 31, 2016.  This includes Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit; Quest, TRUST, and Ranger; and the Venturing Leadership Award (VLA).  Beginning January 1, 2017, eligibility for Venturing awards and recognitions will be limited to registered Venturers.  Any Sea Scout may dual-register in a Venturing Crew to maintain eligibility for Venturing awards.  Likewise, any Sea Scout Ship (unit) may dual register as a Venturing Crew.

Venturing Leadership Awards are generally presented in the spring to recognize leadership service that occurred in the prior calendar year.  A new Sea Scout Leadership Award has been approved, for use beginning in 2017, to recognize leadership service in 2016.  Until then, Sea Scouts and Sea Scout leaders will continue to be eligible for the Venturing Leadership Award.  Insignia for the Sea Scout Leadership Award will include the existing VLA knot, with Sea Scout miniature device, and neck ribbons with a Sea Scout pendant, similar to the existing VLA.

Will there be a “Unit Leader Award of Merit” for Sea Scout Skippers?

Yes, the application form for the Unit Leader Award of Merit is being updated to specifically include Sea Scout Skippers.  The existing Unit Leader Award of Merit knot, with Sea Scout miniature device, will be used to recognize these outstanding Skippers.  A new Sea Scout Skipper of Merit badge-of-office is also being developed; it will be similar to the existing badges for Cubmaster of Merit, Scoutmaster of Merit, Team Coach of Merit, and Venturing Advisor of Merit.

When will a revised Sea Scout Manual be issued?

We expect a new Sea Scout Manual, No. 33239, to be published this summer.  The manual is in the final stages of production.  The revised manual will have lots of new content including paddlesports, updates to the rank advancement requirements, reorganization of advancement electives, and a new appendix illustrating official Sea Scout insignia.

Can a Sea Scout work on the new advancement requirements before the revised manual is published?  When must I switch to the new advancement requirements?

Yes, you may begin using the new advancement requirements immediately.  The new requirements have been official since November 2015.  If you are currently working towards a specific rank, you may continue with the old requirements through May 31, 2017.  Beginning June 1, 2017, every Sea Scout must use the new requirements.

Get more details at this link:  https://seascout.org/news/updated-advancement-requirements

I heard a new knot has been added to the requirements for the rank of Ordinary; what’s up with that?

You heard right.  The new knot is the trucker’s hitch; it can be used for binding loads and for obtaining a mechanical advantage without a block and tackle.  Check out this (non-Scout) silly video about the trucker’s hitch.  If you think you can make a better video that really teaches how to tie a trucker’s hitch (and doesn’t show any safety violations; like sailing a dingy without a lifejacket!), post it on youtube.com and send the link to commodorescorner@seascout.org.  We’ll announce the best video in the June edition of Commodore’s Corner.

How can I communicate with the National Sea Scout Support Committee (NSSSC)?  How is the committee organized to meet future challenges and opportunities?

Send your ideas and recommendations to seascouts@scouting.org.  We will pass your communication along to one of the action groups that make up the National Sea Scout Support Committee.  The NSSSC recently reorganized into six action groups:  Communications (including electronic media), Ship Growth and Retention (including mentoring new Skippers), Membership, Operations and Administration, Program (including training), and Relationships (both external and internal to BSA).  You may notice that many of the action groups stem directly from the Strategic Plan emphasis areas we discussed in the April edition of the Commodore’s Corner.

How can I submit a question to the Commodore’s Corner?

Send your question to: ; 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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It’s boating season, #SeaScouts let’s #getonthewater!