What Sea Scouts Had To Say

This summer, the “Voice of the Youth” Sea Scout Survey was conducted. Sea Scouts from all over the county shared their thoughts on all parts of our program. The results of the survey have already been put into use, as reported in Sea Scouts’ Voices Heard Loud and Clear. Many of you asked for the results of the survey, so some highlights have been highlighted in the Infographic below.

Proofed Infograpgic

So You Are a New Boatswain…What I’ve learned in leadership

Your Ship just elected you as the new Boatswain. You are now in charge of a range of scouts, boats, and events. You have a new level of responsibility. Right now your ship respects you, they for voted you and that means you earned it and earned their respect; so here is some advice so you don’t lose it in seven does and don’ts.

1. You don’t know it all. Humility is the key to effective leadership. If you ‘know it all’ then you ignore everyone else’s combined leadership ability. You don’t want to be alone on the water, and you don’t want to be alone in your leadership.

2. Be fearless. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just learn from them. It is totally fine to make mistakes as long as you take responsibility. If you are fearless then you will receive two rewards. (1) Your scouts will respect you even more, and (2) you will be able to make decisions quickly and learn to make GOOD decisions quickly. In Air Force ROTC we call that “snap”. It is something that combines both confidence, wisdom, and control. On the water you need “snap”, things happen quick.

3. Don’t show any insecurity. As soon as you do this people will not only question your decision but will question you. If you are unsure, keep it in and turn that into motivation to get through.

3. Remember Sea Scouts is Scout lead.. You are the leader of your scouts, not the Mates, not even the Skipper; you should make the decisions (with their guidance and approval though). This goes back to ‘you don’t it all’, so listen to the adults but still this is your opportunity to lead and to take chances.

4. If you see something you don’t like, fix it! What will your legacy be? Your mind is the only thing holding you back. Remember you have control of your mind, not the events around you. If you can bridle your mind, you have incredibly strength.

5. Think in the long term. Don’t get hung up on the small things, push on. But don’t live in the future, constrain yourself to the present.

6. Put yourself last. Always be kind. This is easy to do when times are good, but even when someone goes after you, still remain yourself. The greatest leader is one of good character, the opposite of those who might go against you.

7. Be honest. If isn’t true don’t say it. If it isn’t good don’t do it. How you lead is up to you, but don’t waste your time in leadership thinking of how you can be a good leader, be one. Have fun and best of luck!

Eugene DeNezza, II
Northeast Region Boatswain

The National Boatswain Bearing Episode 2

The next Episode of the National Boatswain Bearing is now available! This month Peter will be talking about how to plan a dynamic winter program. The National Sea Scout Boatswain’s Monthly Video Series, The National Boatswain Bearing, will highlight exciting news and updates occurring in our program! This initiative stemmed from responses on the Youth Sea Scout Survey that was sent out earlier this year.

Summer Plans and Leadership Opportunities

It’s never too early to start planning your summer!  There are all kinds of activities for you and your ship to enjoy this summer like the Central Region Sea Scout Rendezvous in Springfield, IL on May 15-17, 2015.  At this event, you can enjoy cardboard canoe races, Sea Scout triathlons, swamped canoe races, and much more!

NAYLEThere are also so many ways to improve your leadership skills across the nation while having an awesome time.  After taking Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS) and your council’s National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), you can attend National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).  NAYLE participants take their leadership skills to the next level while having epic adventures.  During the 2015 year, NAYLE will be offered at all of the four high adventure bases! The sessions are as follows:


Florida Sea Base (fee: $995):

  • Feb. 28-Mar. 6
  • Apr. 11-17

Philmont Scout Ranch (fee- $395):

  • June 14-20
  • June 21-27
  • July 4-10
  • July 12-18
  • July 19-25
  • July 26-Aug. 1
  • Aug. 2-8

Northern Tier (fee- $385):

  • June 21-27
  • July 5-11

Summit Bechtel Reserve (fee- $395):

  • July 12-18
  • July 19-25

For more information on NAYLE, visit:  http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/09/25/nayle/.

If you staff your council’s NYLT and you want to improve your leadership skills, there is a great way to do this also.  “The NYLT Leadership Academy is designed to train youth staff to be world-class presenters, evaluators and leaders of their council National Youth Leader Training course.”  You do not have to attend NAYLE to attend the NYLT Leadership Academy.  Both are excellent programs to strengthen your leadership capabilities.

In 2015, the NYLT Leadership Academy is being offered in two locations: Washington, DC, and St. Louis, MO.

Washington, DC (fee $395)-

  • July 5-11
  • July 12-18

St. Louis, MO (fee: $395)-

  • July 26-Aug. 1

For more information on the NYLT Leadership Academy, visit:  http://nylt-leadershipacademy.org.

SEALAnother great leadership opportunity is attending SEAL. SEAL is a national Sea Scout leadership training based at sea. SEAL focuses on sailing and navigation. Although it is a tough course, it is rewarding.  There are various locations this coming summer including (fee: $245-$280):

  • Newport Beach, CA: June 18-28
  • Chesapeake Bay, MD: June 20-28
  • Galveston Bay, TX: July 10-19
  • Long Island Sound, NY: July 11-19
  • Seattle, WA: July 22-31

Not only are these experiences unforgettable, leadership is a big part of earning your Quartermaster so get out there and have an awesome summer learning new leadership techniques!

Katie Bruton

Central Region Sea Scout Boatswain


Announcing the New Sea Scout Wiki

The National Sea Scout Support Committee is pleased to announce that a new online resource is now available to Sea Scouts and Sea Scout leaders. The resource is called “Sea Scout Wiki” and is built on the same software that supports the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.

Sea Scout Wiki wiki.seascout.org is an online forum for sharing success stories and best practices for promoting BSA’s Sea Scout program. Sea Scout Wiki is built by Sea Scouts and leaders who have experience with making Sea Scouting work well … and having fun doing it. If you would like to get involved in building Sea Scout Wiki, contact National Committeeman Bruce Johnson below.

The New wiki.seascout.orgThe Sea Scout Wiki  is currently under development along with many of new resources. The brand new “Marketing Toolbox”, new Paddlesports Resources, an online edition of the Sea Scout Manual, and links to our partner organizations are some of the highlights.

A link to Sea Scout Wiki is being added to the Sea Scouts BSA website. Over time the Wiki will be fully integrated into the Sea Scouts BSA website. Let us know how we can improve the wiki to make more useful to you.

Sea Scouts’ Voices Heard Loud and Clear

On October 10-11, 2014 Sea Scout Volunteers from all over the nation representing each region and many of our partnering organizations gathered for their annual National Sea Scout Committee Meeting to discuss the progress Sea Scouting has made in the past year. The focus of the meetings was “Membership” and ideas poured in from around the country on how to best improve and expand our program.

The National Boatswain and the National Technology Chair presenting at the NSSC Metting. (Photo: J. Gilliland)

The National Boatswain and the National Technology Chair presenting at the NSSC Metting. (Photo: J. Gilliland)

Besides the participation of the National Boatswain and the immediate past National Boatswain, the National Sea Scout Support Committee had an extra weapon this year. Sea Scouts. Yes, because of the outpouring of input Sea Scouts from around the country, the committee was able to use our most valuable resource, our youth members to further our program. The results of the nationwide “Voice of the Sea Scout” Survey as well as a report from the National Youth Sea Scout Task Force were presented to the committee and both were considered in each decision that the committee made.
It doesn’t end there, following the meeting, the National Youth Sea Scout Task Force will continue to provide input on several projects that the committee is working on. In the coming months our youth will be providing input on the future of our advancement requirements, our use of technology, and the marketing of our program.
Previous National Boatswain, Billy McElligott, spoke at the conclusion of the meeting about the progress that we as youth have made in impacting our program in the last year. As the current National Boatswain I have made every effort to have every Sea Scout’s voice heard, but if you would like to provide any feedback, input, suggestions, or concerns to the National Boatswain please fill out the form below.

Smooth Sailing,
Peter Schmidt
National Boatswain

Winter Blues Got Your Ship Down?

A Sea Scout works on ship maintenance over the winter.

A Sea Scout works on ship maintenance over the winter.

Since the summer and warm weather has passed us, it’s time to think about winter activities.

There are so many different ways for you and your fellow ship members to hone your seamanship skills. One way to do this during the cold months is to work on your navigation knowledge and skills. There are many online options for courses and your local Power Squadron should have several options for classes.

Not only will navigation training prepare you to become a better sailor, but navigation is also a large portion of the seamanship requirements on the path towards Quartermaster.

As you are improving your boating skills you and your ship should also consider doing fundraisers. These fundraisers could go towards your summer (or winter) ship activities or boat upkeep. One of the ships in Chicago does a Christmas tree sale that goes towards their ship funds. Another unit sells Christmas wreaths, as you can see, the possibilities are nearly endless with some determination and creativity.

This time of year is also a perfect time to make sure your boats are in top-notch condition so that the summer can be spent on the water. So, instead of thinking about how you aren’t able to go out on the water as much, think about how you can get ahead so that when you are boating, you are more capable of enjoying your time.

As your ship comes up with wonderful winter ideas, make sure to post to Instagram and Tweet them with the hashtags #SeaScouts #GetontheWater so others can see great ideas of how to spend the winter months.

Happy Holidays!
Katie Bruton
Central Region Sea Scout Boatswain

National Capital Area Sea Scouts Earn Heroism Award

Ship 100 Heroism Honorees

Heroism Honorees from left to right. Zach Skiles; Aidan Wiecki; Todd Skiles, Skipper, Ship 100; pictured with Katja Broecker, District Executive, Bull Run District NCAC

National Capital Area Council is proud to announce two local Scouts representing Sea Scout Ship 100 and Boy Scout Troop 1882 have been awarded the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Honor Medal for acts of heroism in saving a life. Aidan Wiecki and Zachary Skiles, who are dual-enrolled in both the Sea Scout and Boy Scout programs of the BSA were recently honored at Battlefield High School in a joint ceremony.

Honor Medal

The BSA Honor Medal.

The award was given in recognition of their actions on June 14, responding to a serious auto accident. The Scouts were traveling on the outer beltway through Alexandria, Va. to sail the unit’s sailboat to a new marina, when at 4:30 a.m., a driver in front of them collided with a concrete median divider at high speeds, causing the front of the car to disintegrate and engulf in flames. The Scouts and their adult leaders followed the first aid training they received through the Boy Scouts to make the best decisions regarding whether to remove a semi-conscious passenger from the car and how to treat the victims. They were able to safely assist and get the passenger to safety and also helped clear debris and converted a pickup truck bed into a safe place for the victims to rest while waiting for emergency medical responders. When bystanders began to gather and take pictures, they assisted with shielding the victims and reinforcing directions for non-essential people to clear the area. Both the driver and passenger were hospitalized and survived despite their injuries.

The Honor Medal may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. Since the BSA Honor Medal was initiated in 1923, less than .002% of all Boy Scouts have been awarded this recognition.

Sea Scouts is a specialized co-ed segment of the Boy Scouts of America, organized to address members’ boating skills and promote knowledge of our maritime heritage while focusing on sailing and cruising either sailboats or power vessels.

Ship 100 is chartered by the Knights of Columbus at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Troop 1882 is chartered by the American Legion Post 1799 and meets at Haymarket Baptist Church.

This press release was initially released by the National Capitol Area Council, Photos are complements of Todd Skiles.

Safety at Sea San Francisco

Flare practice at Safety at Sea San Francisco.

Flare practice at Safety at Sea San Francisco.

One of the most exciting programs offered to Sea Scouts around the country is Safety at Sea. Safety at Sea is a day or weekend long event where Sea Scouts partner up with the US Coast Guard to learn about maritime safety. Sounds boring, right? Not so, the best part about Safety at Sea is that you are not just learning you are doing! From steering a fast response Coast Guard Vessel, to lighting flares, patching pipes, extinguishing fires, firehose practice, swimming in survival suits,  to maritime law enforcement, and so much more Sea Scouts get first hand experience to prepare them for any maritime emergency.

Safety at Sea FirehoseIn San Francisco Bay, Safety At Sea is held on Yerba Buena Island and has been a part of scouting the Western Region’s Area 3 for over two decades. This year we were fortunate enough to have a unit from Klamath Falls, Oregon to join us as well. As a volunteer I was assisting in the flashpan event where we teach the youth to properly use a fire extinguisher and the concept of rigging a tow.
Both of these concepts are pivotal in a maritime environment. There are many other events, such as operating a dewatering pump and a simulated damage control event. These events go a long way in preparing our youth to respond to emergency situations in as calm a manner as possible as well as knowing the proper responses for situations. Safety At Sea has had it’s share of fair and foul weather years and it’s the foul years that test the knowledge learned each year on the island.
If you want to learn more about Safety at Sea check out this video created by the Western Region Commodore or check out #SafetyAtSea on Instagram!


Cat Murphy-Bevan
Western Region Boatswain

Davy Jones Rendezvous

Last month one of the largest Sea Scout events in the Southern Region, the Davy Jones Rendezvous, took place on High Rock Lake at the Old North State’s Charles T. Hagan, Jr. Sea Scout Base and the Old Hickory Council’s Raven Point Seabase. Over 200 Sea Scouts and Venturers attended, making it the largest Davy Jones Rendezvous to date.

The Davy Jone Rendezvous Logo. Click for more photos!

The Davy Jones Rendezvous Logo. Click for more photos!

The weather cleared up Saturday morning and we had a tremendous day on the water and on land. Some of the events were modified by their coordinators with great success and we had a couple of popular new events. One of the most popular events was the sailboat regatta which started on land with the sailors wading to their boats being held by their crew member. They had to hoist the sail, race the course, climb out of the boat, and run back to shore and tag the finish line. This regatta comes out of a 1930’s  BSA manual. Another popular event was the one match string burn, but it was modified to require that the participants split a piece of wood, use a hand ax to gather shavings and start the fire with the material gathered. Finally, the fishing tournament was added for the first time and new and folks who had never tried fishing before were able to do quite well. To get more information  or to see pictures form past events visit the Davy Jones Rendezvous on Facebook.

Kin Cartrette

Davy Jones Rendezvous Event Coordinator


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