Sea Scouts (1998-present)

In August of 1998, with the replacement of Exploring with Venturing, Sea Explorers would be renamed Sea Scouts and be a part of Venturing.  For the most part, the program of Sea Scouts post-1998 is no different from Sea Explorers before 1998.  The renaming of the program would also produced a renewed interest in the program.  After years of neglect from National, now the program would be better emphasized.  Out of this, work would begin on new editions of the Sea Scout, Skipper, and Crew Leader Manuals, some not seen for almost 40 years.

For more information about the Sea Scout program, visit the web site of the National Sea Scout Committee.

NEW in Sea Scouting:
A new version of the Sea Scout Manual is out (#33239C). Still no sign of the new Crew Leader or Skipper Manuals.

There is now a national organization for Quartermasters equivalent to NESA: the National Quartermaster Association (NQMA).  Info can be found HERE.

The coveted Skipper's Key (aka Scouter's Key) is back as a separate medal.  It is available soon from National Supply.  It was last available from the 30s to the 50s, when it was discountinued in favor of everyone using the Scouter's Key.
Skipper Key

Read the latest National Sea Scout Log at the National Sea Scout website HERE.  (NOTE: this is a PDF file).

See the cover article on the Sea Scout Advanced Leadership training program for Sea Scouts in a recent issue of Scouting magazine (Building Leaders on the Chesapeake Oct. 2000).  SEAL Training, which started off during the Sea Explorer era, is sort of JLTC for Sea Scout youth leaders.  Below is the pin.  I have recently created a page devoted to it here.

SEAL pin

National Sea Scout Events
These are the known Sea Scout events, and their insignia.  Let me know what I've missed.

The old National Sea Scout Sailing competitions has been restarted as The William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup. More info on this event and the winners may be found HERE.
2002 Chicago- Lake Michigan
2004 Massachusetts
2006 Miami Beach
2008 Annapolis- US Navy Academy
2010 Connecticut- USCG Academy

At the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, there was a continguent of Sea Scouts setup next to the Venturing Mining Co.  As in the past, they had their own patch done for it.



At the 2001 National Scout Jamboree, there was a continguent of Sea Scouts setup next to the Venturing Rainforest.  As in the past, they had their own patch done for it.

2001 National Jamboree Sea Scout emblem

Program, Uniform, Unit Organization
The program, uniform, advancement and unit organization of the Sea Scouts is largely identical to the prior Sea Explorer program. However, shirt strips saying "Sea Scouting, B.S.A" on white, navy blue, and tan were produced and made available in the 2000 BSA catalog. In the 2001 BSA catalog, these were replaced by strips saying "Sea Scouts, B.S.A.".

The Sea Scout Uniform can be confusing to those outside the program.  Especially so when it follows the variety of naval-style uniforms where you have different uniforms for time of year, and for youth and adults.  Please check the current edition of the Sea Scout Manual (#33239C) for current and correct information on appropriate uniforms and insignia placement, as things have changed in 2002.   Some uniform options that were allowed, were dropped, and some options were brought back.

Here is a list put together by a long-time Sea Scouter:

Dress:                     navy blue coat, white shirt, navy tie and trousers, matching cover
Winter Working:      navy (black) shirt, belt, cover and trousers (optional ball cap)  [NO LONGER AN OPTION]
Summer Dress:        sea scout white shirt & white trousers or navy coat with white trousers
Summer Working:    khaki shirt, belt and trousers, matching cover (black tie optional)
Hurricane Strap:      silver for officers and black for Quartermasters

SEA SCOUTS (Except Quartermasters)
Winter Dress:          navy Donald Ducks (Crackerjack) w/Fighting Bob Evans hat (‘dixie cup’ hat)
Summer Dress:        white Donald Ducks (Crackerjack) w/FBE hat
Working:                  navy blue shirt or Ship's t-shirt & trousers w/FBE or ball cap

Black shoes for all uniforms except white shoes with white trousers and deck shoes or sneakers for Sea Scout working uniform and for officers in summer working when sailing.  See the Sea Scout Manual for insignia placement, as there are differences in the different uniforms.

Advancement Program
In addition to the traditional Sea Scout advancement program of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster, along with the Qualified Seaman and Small-Boat Handler awards, Sea Scouts may also earn the new Venturing Awards.  The Sea Scouting Bronze Award is really just the Sea Scout Ordinary Award.  This allows Sea Scouts a ready path to earning the Venturing Gold and Silver Awards.  See the Venturing page for more info on these awards.

For those who may be unclear on this point: only those Venturers who are registered with Sea Scout Ships and are thus Sea Scouts may earn Sea Scout Advancement.  The Sea Scout Advancement is NOT available to all Venturers.  There has been a lot of confusion in this area, not helped by incorrect information in the published literature.

For advancement requirement, go HERE for Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster requirements.

With the restoration of the Sea Scouts name came a renewed spirit of reviving the program.  This can be seen in the new 10th edition of the Sea Scout Manual, and in the upcoming 4th edition of the Skipper's Handbook, and third edition of the Crew Leader's Handbook (now re-titled Petty Officers Handbook), which will hopefully come out in soon, perhaps as a CD-ROM addition to a new Sea Scout Manual.

The National Sea Scout Log was brought back in 1999.  It had last been published in the 1940s.  You can obtain copies in PDF format at the National Sea Scout Committee web page HERE.


Sea Explorer Manual (9th Edition) (#3239)
 1st     1987 
 2nd    1997  [new cover] (#33239A)

paperback, ~270pg

Sea Explorer Manual, 9th edition, 1997 new cover

Sea Scout Manual (10th Edition)
 1st     2000 #33239B  402pg
 2nd    2003 #33239C  404pg

wire bound

Handbook for Skippers
4th edition
 1    ???


Petty Officers Handbook
3th edition
 1   ???


National Sea Scout Log
 V9 1999-2001
 V10 2002

published quarterly, 4 pages







Quartermaster Awards

































Updated: 11/04/2009mrb