Commodore’s Corner- May 2018

News item:  Keith Christopher, National Sea Scout Director, to retire at the end of May.

Keith Christopher has served as National Sea Scout Director since the fall of 2008, almost ten years.  As he nears retirement we all wish him well.  He will be recognized at a special reception 5:30pm Wednesday, May 23, at the National Annual Meeting in Dallas.  If you are going to be at the NAM, please plan on attending the reception to honor Keith.

Who will be the next National Sea Scout Director?

Janice Downey has been selected as the next National Sea Scout Director.  Her bio is attached.  Janice comes to us with a great reputation for getting things done and an eagerness to work on carrying Sea Scouts forward in our second century.  As she says,  “I’m so very excited for this new opportunity to get to better know Sea Scouts.  I look forward to being your biggest champion and supporting you to grow the best kept secret in BSA!”  Janice’s most recent project was the successful roll-out of the new Lion Cub Scout program.  We welcome Janice to her new role and look forward to working with her.

I heard there is a realignment in the works at the BSA National Service Center that will affect the Sea Scout program.  What’s up?

Yes, there is a realignment happening.  On the volunteer committee side of the BSA organization, Sea Scouts has been “reporting up” to the Program Development Support Committee (PDSC) for the last couple of years.  On the staff side of the organization, Sea Scouts has been positioned in a different chain-of-command.  The national BSA leadership decided the transition in the position of National Sea Scout Director presented an opportunity to re-align the organization–with Sea Scouts under Program Development on both the volunteer side and the staff side.  The reorganization will be completed by the end of May.

We’ve been trying to start a new Sea Scout Ship in my Council; and we have enough youth and adult volunteers to build a successful Ship.  But, several of our prospective youth members are already registered in a Troop; so the Council says we don’t have enough youth who would be “primary registrations.”  What should we do now?

The normal policy for starting a new Sea Scout Ship requires five “primary registration” youth.  So, the simplest way to comply is for your prospective youth members bring in more of their friends to join.  Alternatively, your Council Scout Executive has the authority to make an exception to the normal policy; and allow a unit to register (or re-register) with five or more youth–even though you don’t have five primary registrations.  If you ask for an exception, your Ship should make a commitment to strive to achieve five primary registrations.

To advance in Sea Scouts there are requirements for time in active membership and for leadership.  Must these requirements be met after achieving the previous rank, or may these requirements be met from earlier membership and service?

The requirements are intentionally silent on when the active membership and leadership must be completed.  So, excess active membership time, and leadership service, previously accumulated may be used for follow-on advancement.

Here’s an example:  The minimum active membership requirements are: Apprentice – 3 months, Ordinary – 3 months, Able – 6 months, and Quartermaster – 6 months.  So, a Sea Scout who has a total active membership time of 24 months has met the minimum active membership time for Quartermaster.  Continuing the example:  A Sea Scout who has 4 months of active membership while an Able, and has at least 20 more months of active membership since joining, has met the active membership requirement for Quartermaster.

Likewise, for leadership requirements.

Does a candidate for Quartermaster Rank attend his/her own Bridge of Review / Board of Review?

Yes; a Quartermaster candidate does attend his/her own review.  “In the old days” the rules may have been different; which has led to some confusion from time to time.  When in doubt about any advancement question, consult the Guide to Advancement.  Representatives of the National Committee are currently working to insure the Sea Scout Manual and the website are in alignment with the Guide to Advancement.

Can a Sea Scout be a Den Chief?

Yes indeed.  Sea Scouts are a great resource as Den Chief’s; and the position of Den Chief can count toward advancement in your Ship, Crew, or Troop.  With girls entering Cub Scouts this year, some Sea Scout young women may find serving as a Den Chief is a unique opportunity to serve as a mentor and role model for these new Cub Scouts coming up.

I cannot find my ship on BeAScout, what should I do to fix this?

We are aware of the issue and the development team is working to address it. We will have more news about BeAScout upgrades next edition.

News about Sea Scout logo merchandise. 

Check SG Trading,, for increased availability of “Class B” garments in women’s sizes.

Subscribe to the Commodore’s Corner at

Send your questions to