Sea Scouts, the BSA’s on-the-water and high-adventure program for young people ages 14-20, are represented nationally by youth leaders who comprise the national Sea Scout quarterdeck.
Each year, five Sea Scouts are selected to serve on the national quarterdeck. These Sea Scouts are the public face of the program. Like the national Venturing officers do for Venturing, the national quarterdeck’s primary role is to support its overall program and work with the 16 territory boatswains, who in turn support council-level quarterdecks.
The multiple levels can help provide Sea Scout ships with resources to facilitate training, promote programming, boost social media presence and provide networking. Though the national quarterdeck is made up of youth, they have the support from adult leaders on the national Sea Scout committee as well as the national commodore, the volunteer chair for the national Sea Scout committee and a professional Scouter who serves as the national Sea Scout director.
Let’s meet who is on the quarterdeck this year.
Jewell Norris, national boatswain
Unit: Ship 502, Houston, Texas, Sam Houston Area Council
Jewell is an Able Sea Scout (the Sea Scout ranks are Apprentice, Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster). This year, she will be the national boatswain, the top youth member of Sea Scouting. Prior to being selected to the national role, she served as a territory boatswain. She is a graduate of Sea Scout Advanced Leadership Training and has served as the senior patrol leader during her council’s National Youth Leadership Training course. She is an Eagle Scout, a Brotherhood member of the Colonneh Lodge in the Order of the Arrow and is an assistant Scoutmaster for her troop.
Tyler Clendenning, mate of program
Unit: Ship 5297, Hanover Park, Ill., Pathway to Adventure Council
Tyler has achieved the Sea Scout rank of Ordinary and is an Eagle Scout. He’s also a Brotherhood member of Takhone Lodge in the Order of the Arrow. He hopes to reach the Able rank soon, and he’s working on Supernova awards, which are STEM-related BSA awards. Tyler also earned the Pope Pius XII Catholic religious emblem. Previously, Tyler served as a territory boatswain and marketing chair for Weekend on the Water, a Sea Scouts event hosted by the Alamo Area Council.
Matthew Irsfeld, mate of communication
Unit: Ship 444, Littleton, Colo., Denver Area Council
Matthew is an Ordinary Sea Scout, an Eagle Scout and a Brotherhood member in the Order of the Arrow. In the Order of the Arrow, he serves as the Tahosa Lodge chief and helped with Momentum Discover, a national virtual OA event in 2021. Previously, Matthew served as a territory boatswain and as the mate of communication for his council.
Marina Bahamonde-Partlan, mate of Western territory support
Unit: Ship 100, San Francisco, Calif., Golden Gate Area Council
Marina is an Apprentice Sea Scout. Previously, she has served as a boatswain’s mate on the territory level, and she is active in her ship as a yeoman. Within a ship, Sea Scouts take on positions of responsibility; a yeoman’s duties include publicity and communications.
Erica Menasco, mate of Eastern territory support
Unit: Ship 846, Cypress, Texas, Sam Houston Area Council
Erica is an Able Sea Scout. Previously, she has served as a territory boatswain. She organized and executed in-person and virtual long cruises to help Sea Scouts advance in rank. She has been recognized with a council Sea Scout Leadership Award and a territory Sea Scout Leadership Award.