When the new edition of the Sea Scout Manual arrives in Scout Shops this fall, you will notice some significant changes. A section on Paddlecraft has been added to support new paddlecraft alternatives to some of the traditional Sea Scout rank requirements. Other changes have been made to advancement, as well. The most significant is the reorganization of electives.
Electives no longer follow the requirements for each rank, rather they can be found following the Quartermaster rank requirements. They have been organized into strands that support maritime careers, military preparation, and recreational boating, and as we develop new partnerships, it will be easy to add new elective options for youth to pursue.
Each elective has also been assigned a level of difficulty. A youth working on Ordinary Rank may work on any three electives. Level 2 electives and up are for youth working on Able Rank, while a Quartermaster candidate is limited to Level 3 electives.
When advancement changes, recording tools must also be changed. Several Scouters contributed to these tools. David Perry has built a traditional SPAR, and George Crowl has developed an Excel spreadsheet that reflect the changes made to rank advancement. In addition, Wayne Hastings has created SPARS for the Small Boat Handler and Qualified Seaman bar awards. Keep in mind that these are for unit recording purposes. The Guide to Advancement makes it clear that we should work toward 100 percent electronic data entry at my.scouting.org.