Sea Scouting, the 104-year-old nautical arm of the Boy Scouts of America, will become its own independent program within the BSA, effective immediately.
During board meetings Wednesday in Texas, BSA volunteers and professionals approved a resolution establishing Sea Scouts, BSA, as an independent program. The resolution was signed by Michael Surbaugh, BSA Chief Scout Executive.
From 1998 through Feb. 10, 2016, the Sea Scouting program was part of Venturing.
Now, Sea Scouting is in the same boat as Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting and Venturing — in that each is a separate BSA program. (Exploring is part of Learning for Life, a BSA subsidiary.)
Making Sea Scouting a full-fledged program is more than a cosmetic change.
The move is a “significant milestone for Sea Scouts, BSA,” according to a release from the National Sea Scout Support Committee. The change provides “Sea Scouting with access to the full range of attention and support at the National Council and throughout the BSA organization.”
National Commodore Charles D. Wurster, National Director Keith Christopher, National Boatswain Edward Campbell and the National Sea Scout Support Committee will use this status to help grow and improve Sea Scouting, according to the release.
Their goals in 2016 include providing additional resources to existing ships and trying to increase the size of the nationwide fleet.
Speaking of, this is a good time to note that Sea Scouting is open to young men and young women who are 14 (or 13 and finished with the eighth grade) but not yet 21. And you don’t need to live near the ocean to be a Sea Scout. There are ships based on rivers and lakes, too. Learn how to join Sea Scouting here.
Also big in 2016? Communication. Sea Scouts, BSA, is rolling out better communication tools, beginning with its new website.