National Sea Scouts boatswain promotes program

As Evan Nazareth neared earning the Eagle Scout rank, he didn’t want his Scouting journey to end. Of course, there are plenty of exciting opportunities within Scouting after earning the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program, and Evan found those opportunities in Venturing, Order of the ArrowExploring and Sea Scouts.

Evan Nazareth

He joined or was elected to all of them, receiving the highest honors within the respective programs: the Sea Scouts Quartermaster Award, the OA Vigil Honor and Venturing Summit Rank. Evan also has been elected to leadership positions, including the national Sea Scouts boatswain.

Halfway through his term as the top youth member of Sea Scouting, he and the team of national quarterdeck officers have been working hard to encourage others to join in the fun.

“There are many reasons why one should join: if you love the water, if you want more opportunities in Scouting, exploring careers or if you want to expand your patch collection,” the 19-year-old Sea Scout with Ship 244 from Cary, N.C., says. “Sea Scouts offers further growth, helps you to bond with older youth and will make you a better leader.”

What is Sea Scouts?

Sea Scouts is the BSA’s on-the-water and high-adventure program for young people ages 14-20. You don’t have to live near the coast to be a Sea Scout; you just have to love the water.

“I specifically was drawn to Sea Scouts because of paddlecraft, and I knew I would have the opportunity to learn about sailing, which is what my Sea Scout ship primarily focuses on,” Evan says. “Through Sea Scouts, I have been able to do a wide variety of on-the-water activities, such as motorboating, scuba and waterskiing.”

While most of their adventures are aquatic, Sea Scouts do more than water-related activities. They can go rock climbing, backpacking, camping — practically anything in Scouting you can think of, they can do.

You can find a Sea Scout ship near you by visiting and typing in your ZIP code. If there isn’t one, you can start one.

Serving as boatswain

Earlier this year, Evan received the word he had been tapped as the next national boatswain (pronounced BO-sun) as he left a college award banquet.

“I had wanted to run for this position for a long time, and seeing that come to fruition was an incredible feeling,” he says.

Evan is a Sea Scout Experience at Advanced Leadership (SEAL) training graduate, has completed Seabadge, has sailed on the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle, and is an honoree of the National Sea Scout Leadership Award and the National Service Territory Venturing Leadership Award for NST 15.

As the 2023-24 national boatswain, Evan has been charged with working alongside the youth-led national quarterdeck to empower councils and promote the program.

So far, they have updated the Sea Scouts website with news stories, restarted a national newsletter, built connections with prospective ships and council quarterdecks, and supported the Capital Area Council for an upcoming Virtual Sea Scout Academy. They’re working on a podcast, too.

Evan has also made presentations at the BSA’s National Annual Meeting, the National Jamboree, national Sea Scout roundtables and at a Seabadge course. He’s gone on multiple Sea Scout events hosted by his council, the Occoneechee Council.

For the remainder of his term, Evan plans to continue promoting Sea Scouting and supporting units and councils.

“Youth and adult leaders should consider starting or joining ships, because Sea Scouts is a unique opportunity to develop themselves in terms of education, training and everything else related to on-the-water skills while having fun,” he says.

The 10 most recent national Sea Scout boatswains

2022-2023: Jewell Norris

2021-2022: Cassidy Christian

2020-2021: Aven Alexander

2019-2020: Hannah Carter

2018-2019: Jack Otto

2017-2018: Mercedes Matlock

2016-2017: Rachel West

2015-2016: Edward Campbell

2014-2015: Peter Schmidt

2013-2014: Billy McElligott


About Michael Freeman 445 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.