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Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership Training (SEAL)

The Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership (SEAL) training program is designed to teach leadership skills while underway. SEAL is designed to “jump start” the junior leaders of new Ships and to fine tune leaders of experienced Ships. It is a hard core, physically and mentally demanding, and remarkably rewarding hands-on leadership experience. New and experienced Sea Scouts can succeed at SEAL so long as they are willing to learn and work hard at preparation.

Download the SEAL Application 2015 here.


History and Purpose

In 1996, the National Sea Scouting Committee created a new youth leadership course called Sea Scout Advanced Leadership (SEAL) training. The course is designed to develop leadership skills in young adults. Seamanship is the medium through which the course is taught; however, nautical skills are the means, not the end. This course, which utilizes an “at sea” experience as a laboratory, is intended to teach and apply leadership skills. There are few other media offering the opportunity for young people to actually put leadership skills utilizing group dynamics into practice. In SEAL, there is no “play acting.” All situations and tasks are real, not created. Bad decisions or team failure can produce immediate and real problems.



This week long “at sea” experience allows the student to learn and apply new skills immediately. Courses consist of five to seven youth with a Course Skipper and two instructors. Each instructional module relates to a specific leadership skill with exercises designed to show mastery of the concepts taught while under the leadership of the Boatswain of the Day. SEAL is NOT a seamanship course. All applicants are expected to have basic seamanship skills prior to arrival.

Skills Taught

Evaluation Team Building Leadership
Training Communicating Goal Setting
Planning & Preparing Motivating Managing, Supervising & Commanding
Counseling Implementing & Re-Implementing Problem Solving


Preparing for SEAL

SEAL candidates must arrive at the course prepared to learn, lead, and excel. It is not a seamanship course and all candidates must become intimately familiar with the Safety & Seamanship chapter and appendix of the current Sea Scout Manual. Candidates will be required to outline the chapter in detail. Additionally, candidates must be able to perform basic coastal navigation on paper and must be able to tie all knots required for Apprentice Sea Scout and Ordinary Sea Scout ranks. They must know and understand the basic nomenclature of a sailing vessel; know and understand helm commands and points of relative bearings. All of this information is in the Sea Scout Manual.


Conducting the Training

This course is managed by the National Sea Scout Committee and have been conducted at Chesapeake Bay, the Texas Gulf Coast, the Pacific, the Ohio River Valley, Florida Keys, Long Island Sound, and the Great Lakes. Course dates vary but are always held in the summer months. Costs are typically from $125 to $250 not including candidate transportation to and from the course. Check our event calendar for course offerings.



    • Achieve Ordinary Rank by June 1st the year of the course.
    • Apply leadership skills with their ship after the course.

Before Students Arrive

The student will:

  • Prepare an outline of “Chapter 4” of the Sea Scout Manual to be forwarded to the course’s Skipper for evaluation.
  • Know basic nomenclature of a sailing vessel.
  • Know and be able to perform basic coastal navigation.
  • Be able to tie all knots required for Apprentice and Ordinary Ranks in less than three minutes.
  • Know standard helm commands.

Two practice tests are sent to the applicant’s Skipper prior to the course that cover seamanship covered in “Chapter 4” of the Sea Scout Manual and basic coastal navigation. The student’s performance on these practice tests helps the student know better how to prepare for the course.



By the end of the course, graduates will be equipped with leadership skills and management tools necessary to fire up a ship’s program. They will be prepared to serve in leadership positions such as Boatswain or Boatswain’s Mate in their ships as well as in their schools, jobs, and communities.



Each graduate receives the coveted SEAL pin. SEAL patches are also available to graduates, which can be worn on their uniform instead of the pin. SEAL graduates are also selected to represent Sea Scouts with other opportunities such as trips on submarines, aircraft carriers, and as course marshals for the America’s Cup races.



Applications are due each year by March 1st, and are available for download here. All courses are posted, and the applicant must list their preference in priority order. If two or more Scouts from the same ship are applying, they should apply for different locations. Further questions should be directed to the National SEAL Training Coordinator, Mr. Jim Elroy here or by telephone at (805) 797-7900.


Preparing for SEAL

The Skipper’s evaluation of the candidate’s readiness for SEAL is critical. The application consists of an admonition and instructions to the Skipper regarding evaluation of the applicant. Preparation and full readiness regarding the knowledge of seamanship as set out in the Safety & Seamanship Chapter of the Sea Scout Manual and coastal piloting is absolutely essential prior to arrival at the training site. Failure to fully prepare ensures failure of this course and the waste of a valuable space for someone else that would have been able to participate.


To assist candidates' preparation, two tests are forwarded to their Skipper. The first tests the candidates knowledge on the Safety & Seamanship Chapter of the current Sea Scout Manual, the second tests their knowledge of basic coastal navigation. In the navigation test, candidates will set a course, compute speed, time and distance, compass error, a fix by two lines of position and finding latitude and longitude. These tests are used by the candidate and her Skipper to determine the candidate's readiness for SEAL. Using the results of the test, the Skipper can tell if the candidate needs help before she reports to SEAL training.

How to Start a Ship





Modlin, Charles Arthur, known to all as Chuck, passed away at home on Wednesday, January 29th at the age of 92. Chuck was born February 17, 1921 in Gardena, CA the only child of Charles and Maddie. He began his life-long association with the Sea Scouts at the age of 15. In August of 1939 he enlisted in the US Navy. He served during WWII on the USS Davis and was a participant in the Normandy invasion in June, 1944.

After the war, he again became involved with the Sea Scouts; an association lasting over 50 years, until his death. He was the skipper of the Sea Scout Ship 73, the Volunteer. Chuck made a huge impact in the lives of so many young men, guiding them to become admirable young men.

Chuck met the love of his life, Ruth, in 1970. They married in 1971 and had 42 wonderful years together. They traveled the world and enjoyed many great adventures.

Chuck is survived by his beloved wife, Ruth; Ruth's two children, John (Barbara) and Barbara (Mike); 5 grandchildren, Bryan, Jeff, Matt, Christine and Kendra; 7 great grandchildren; and nieces, Gina (Benjamin) and Angela (Tom).

Service will be at 11:00 on Saturday February 8th at the Long Beach Sea Base, 5975 Appian Way, Long Beach, CA. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Boy Scouts of America.

Published in Orange County Register on Feb. 6, 2014

We are pleased to announce the selection of the Western Region Sea Scout Commodore, Glen Meskimen. He has accepted the role of Region Commodore, representing the Sea Scouts in all areas of the Western Region for 2011-2012.  Glen has been involved in the Sea Scout program since 1960, where as a youth he was a member of Ship 145 in Redwood City, California. He earned his Quartermaster award in 1964 and has been involved with the program over the years, serving as Skipper for two ships during his tenure.  His interests include: sailing, golf, and travel.

In his role, Glen will represent all Sea Scouts in all councils of the Western Region on the National Sea Scout Committee. His duties include: 1) To support and encourage councils by helping them develop local resources to successfully grow Sea Scouts; 2) To establish and maintain cooperative relationships with regional boating and maritime organizations; 3) To encourage councils to organize new Sea Scout ships and improve the quality of existing ships leading to longer retention of members and leaders; 4) To supervise the policies and standards related to Sea Scout advancement, activities, and programs such as regattas, rendezvous, Bridges of Honor, training courses, or conferences; 5) To oversee the scheduling and staffing of Seabadge courses as approved by the National Sea Scout Committee; 6) To oversee the coordination for any SEAL courses held within the region working directly with the National SEAL Training Coordinator; 7) To develop and support, upon request, Sea Scout functions at regional Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scout activities and conferences; 8) To serve as a voting member of the National Sea Scout Support Committee; 9) To be responsible for working with the regional Sea Scout operating committees as needed to carry out support of all programs; 10) To serve as a liaison between the regional, area, and National Sea Scout Committee; 11) To serve as the liaison and assign, as requested, committee members to serve on other BSA Regional and Area committees with other BSA programs (Outdoor Programs, Membership, Program Content, Commissioners, etc); 12) To maintain communications with the all areas, councils, and Sea Scouters through the Sea Scout Web site, housed and linked through the national Sea Scout Web site server. Be sure to include items of interest from all areas of the region; and 13) Attend Sea Scout Bridges of Honor to recognize Sea Scouts for earning the rank of Quartermaster as schedule permits, including sending letters of recognition.

Glen can be reached: 1970 Magnolia Blvd. W., Seattle, Washington  98199*Cell: 206-369-6771 and by e-mail at

Join us in congratulating Glen in this new role. We look forward to having him share his experiences with the Sea Scouts of the Western Region and serving as their representative on the National Sea Scout Committee.