Now that Sea Scouts have their own program, it’s time for them to have their own leadership awards.
The new Sea Scout Leadership Award will debut in 2017 to recognize outstanding service to Sea Scouting in 2016. There will be awards to celebrate youth and adults at the council, area, regional and national levels.
Here’s what the awards will look like:
Eagle-eyed readers will note the similarity to the Venturing Leadership Award.
Sure enough, the Sea Scout Leadership Award is modeled after the Venturing Leadership Award, which is presented by councils, areas, regions and the BSA National Council to Venturers and Venturing advisors who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Now that Sea Scouting has broken off from Venturing to become its own program, it no longer made sense for Sea Scouts to earn this Venturing award.
What will recipients of the Sea Scout Leadership Award wear?
Insignia for the Sea Scout Leadership Award will include the existing Venturing Leadership Award knot with Sea Scout miniature device and neck ribbons with a Sea Scout pendant, similar to the existing Venturing Leadership Award.
What about other awards?
The Sea Scout rank and awards structure — all the way to the prestigious Quartermaster Award — won’t change.
What is new is a Sea Scout’s eligibility for Venturing awards, including: Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit; Quest, TRUST and Ranger; and the Venturing Leadership Award (VLA).
Sea Scouts working on any of those Venturing awards and recognitions will be grandfathered in so they can complete those requirements through Dec. 31, 2016.
On Jan. 1, 2017, eligibility for Venturing awards and recognitions will be limited to registered Venturers. But a Sea Scout may dual-register in a Venturing crew to maintain eligibility for Venturing awards. Likewise, any complete Sea Scout ship may dual-register as a Venturing crew.
Moreover, the Eagle Scout rank will continue to be available to Sea Scouts who achieved First Class rank in a Boy Scout troop.
General BSA awards, such as religious emblems, Nova awards, BSA Lifeguard and more will continue to be available to Sea Scouts.
Will there be a “Unit Leader Award of Merit” for Sea Scout Skippers?
Yes, the application form for the Unit Leader Award of Merit is being updated to specifically include Sea Scout skippers.
The existing Unit Leader Award of Merit knot, with a Sea Scout miniature device, will be used to recognize these outstanding skippers.
And get this: A new Sea Scout Skipper of Merit badge-of-office is being developed, which will be similar to the existing badges for Cubmaster of Merit, Scoutmaster of Merit, Team Coach of Merit and Venturing Advisor of Merit.