Sea Scouts BSA

“The Next Beginnings and Happy Birthday”

Our National Boatswain'sThe first of June 2023 marked the beginning of BSA’s 2023—2024 program year. For all of us in the Sea Scout program, it also marked an ending and a beginning with Jewell Norris formally stepping down as our 2022-2023 National Boatswain and with Evan Nazareth assuming the helm as our 2023-2024 National Boatswain. On behalf of everyone in the Sea Scout program, I want to congratulate Jewell and to convey to her a hearty “Bravo Zulu” for her superb servant leadership as she guided the National Quarterdeck and consistently represented the youth perspective to the National Sea Scout Committee and to the National Council during a very challenging period for BSA. We welcome Evan as our new National Boatswain. He’s already hard at work developing the 2023-2024 National Quarterdeck team, picking up where Jewell left off on her initiatives, and developing plans to enhance Sea Scouting’s membership, growth, and retention.

Evan and the 2023-2024 National Quarterdeck represent the next beginnings of our Sea Scouting program and BSA. During our attendance at BSA’s National Annual Meeting in May, we heard loud the clear the direction that National leadership is taking us as we press forward as America’s Youth Leadership Program. This journey will involve increased emphasis on safety, how we collaborate as a Scouting family, increase our relevancy in the communities we serve, broadening BSA’s brand, and solidifying our organization’s financial position. A key metric is increasing youth membership, especially in the Sea Scout program. Our goal is to reach 5,000+ youth members, and as of 4 July 2023, we have 3,271 youth Sea Scouts registered in 320 Ships. To reach the 5K+ goal, we need to invite to our exciting program an additional 1,729 youth and to charter new Sea Scout Ships to not only reach our goal but to provide strong sustainment and longevity for our program.

Happy 111th Birthday, Sea Scouts, BSA!Speaking of Happy Birthdays, I want to wish everyone in the Sea Scout program an incredibly Happy One Hundred and Eleventh Birthday! Sea Scouting became BSA’s first high adventure program on 9 July 1912, when Arthur A. Carey of Waltham, Massachusetts, embarked a group of older Scouts on board the schooner Pioneer. The deck log of the Pioneer, recognized as the first Sea Scout Ship, is the first documented evidence of our birthday, noting that the first Sea Scout cruise was underway on 9 July 1912. Later in the summer of 1912, Charles T. Longstreth organized a Sea Scout patrol on his yacht in Philadelphia, and like the Sea Scouts on board Pioneer, led the way in the development and creation of our program.

On our 111th birthday, I ask all our youth leaders in every Sea Scout Ships to plan a birthday party or some sort of celebration anytime in July – during a Long Cruise or weekend sail, a weekly meeting, or ship activity to honor our past, to celebrate our many successes, and to enjoy our time as Shipmates. In addition, as we move forward, I also ask our youth leaders that we, as a Sea Scout family, celebrate our birthday every year in July to mark our “next beginnings” for the following BSA program year.

Finally, I want to wish everyone safe travels and to have a lot of fun this summer! Many of our Sea Scouts will be embarked on Long Cruises, attending the National and World Jamborees, sailing on the USCG Barque EAGLE, attending NYLT and NAYLE, on treks at Philmont, Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, and taking part in many other adventures! Take advantage of these fun opportunities to rank up, learn new seamanship skills, and to make lifetime memories. Take care and Happy Birthday!!!

Ben Feril
National Sea Scout Program Chair/National Commodore

**“I am ready to get underway!” (International Code of Signals, 1969 Edition (Revised 1993), pg 84)

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