Sea Scouts is a unique program within the Boy Scouts of America, and it is the second oldest program in the BSA family. Sea Scouts, like Scouts BSA, pursue challenging rank advancement; like Venturers, share a love for high adventure; and like Exploring, offers a viable career path to the marine and maritime industry and the military. Just as the name implies, the Sea Scout program focuses on boating. Activities include in, on, under and around the water programs. Challenging rank advancement, nautical uniforms, and customs and ceremonies prepare youth to be safe on the water and treasure our maritime heritage. A youth must be 13 years of age and graduated from the eighth grade or be 14 to join Sea Scouts. You can stay in Sea Scouts until you are 21 years of age.

Like traditional Scouts, the Sea Scout mission is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

You might think that Sea Scouts focuses on specialized information and skills, but learning leadership skills, performing community service, and providing good social experiences are also critical elements of the program. Sea Scouting is all of these things and more, but the primary purpose is “forming responsible and caring adults.”

You may have heard that Sea Scouts are Scouting’s best kept secret. We are small and we do something that is unique to the Scouting program, but at our core, we are not unique. Sea Scouts are the Boy Scouts of America.

“While the Sea Scout program unquestionably has a vocational value, its chief purpose is not to make sailors or seamen. Nor is it even remotely associated with any marine organization or to be regarded as a feeder for the Navy. Its chief emphasis is placed on the “Scout” and not on the “Sea.” The best ships in Sea Scouting are making SCOUTS young men and women who will be marked for their courtesy, their reliability, and their alertness and shipshapeness. The occasional ship which lays all stress on sailing and seamanship invariably fails; it may succeed in making sailors but it does not produce Sea Scouts.”

The Handbook for Skippers, BSA, 1939

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Any adults interested in leadership positions with the Ship must complete a series of State and BSA background checks, as well BSA Youth Protection Training and additional trainings for their specific position.