Last week during the Venturing and Sea Scout Reception at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, the inaugural Sea Scout Leadership Award Class was announced. This year’s recipients include Rachel West of Georgetown, Texas and Natasha Leahey Sayles of Irving, Texas.

Rachel served as the 2016-2017 National Sea Scout Boatswain. During her term, she oversaw several initiatives, most notably the writing of a new Boatswain’s Manual which will be available online in shortly. Because of here efforts and foresight, the future leaders of ships across the country will have it a little bit easier.


Natasha is the longtime Office Manager for the Sea Scout program. One of Natasha’s nominators had this to say about her, “She is truly one of the most valuable assets to the Sea Scout family. She works tirelessly, but beyond that, she is thoughtful and kind…There is no doubt in my mind that Natasha has all the qualities the Sea Scout Leadership Award was designed to recognize. Her work with the BSA is not a job. It is a passion – a life’s work.”



Sea Scout Ship 100, Dominion, of the National Capitol Area Council, was recognized as the 2017 National Flagship. Sea Scout Ship Dominion sails every other week on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay and their long cruise took them to the US Virgin Islands. They participated in many other events such as flying at the Manassas Airport and volunteering with several hunger related  organizations. The formal award presentation followed in Manassas, Virginia on June 3rd.

Following the award presentations, Mercedes Matlock took office as the 2017-2018 National Boatswain, assuming the watch from Rachel West. You can view the entire reception online here.


Photos courtesy of Bob Vogt.