It is called “the best kept secret of the BSA” and it is Sea Scouts BSA.
On Saturday, September 11, 2021, Life Scout Austin, an ASPL from Troop 447, visited the “Safety @ Sea 2021” event by the Coast Guard Auxiliary at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD. Ever since Austin had seen a small sailboat at Camp William B. Snyder as a Cub Scout, he wanted to join the Sea Scouts, but he had to wait until he had reached the age of 14. The event is sponsored jointly by the United States Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, FOSSOM Inc. (Friends of Sea Scouts of Maryland), and Sea Scouts BSA.
Since Sea Scouts BSA were sponsors, Scouts were allowed to participate in the 2021 Safety @ Sea event. This annual event gives Scouts and Scouters a close look at the many facets of Maritime safety in sailing, motor boating, paddle crafts, etc. It also introduces the Scouts to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and membership in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the all-volunteer branch of the Coast Guard.
For Scouters it was an excellent opportunity to brush up their skills or to network with the many Units, NST-12 and National representatives, like NST-12 Commodore Stanley Kwok.
Among the most popular activities at the event were the Helicopter rescue demonstration and the “man overboard” drill and of course the live flares station.
Sea Scouts is the official maritime program of the BSA for male and female youth from 14 to 20 years. Sea Scouts BSA has 4 different ranks: Apprentice, Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster. Last year only 36 Sea Scouts achieved the highest rank of Quartermaster nationwide.
To get a valuable introduction in leadership skills for adults, Scouters of both Sea Scouts BSA and from Scouts BSA should consider the Seabadge training offered throughout the year. Check out the next opportunity at seascout.org/adult-training/seabadge/ .
To learn more about the Sea Scouts BSA program, please visit seascout.org.