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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.

 

Curriculum

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.

 

Requirements

    • 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.

 

Goals

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.

 

Recognitions

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

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.

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  1. Ideals
    1. Explain the symbolism of the Sea Scout emblem.
    2. Give a brief oral history of the U.S. flag.
    3. Demonstrate how to fly, hoist, lower, fold, display and salute the U.S. flag. Explain flag etiquette and protocols for both land and sea.
  2. Active Membership
    1. Attend at least 75 percent of your ship’s meetings and activities for six months.
      Note: Check with your ship’s yeoman.
    2. Do one of the following. Recruit a new member for your ship and follow through until the new member is registered and formally admitted with an admissions ceremony, or assist in planning and carrying out a ship recruiting activity, such as an open house or joint activity with a youth group or organization (another Sea Scout ship will not count).
  3. Leadership
    1. Complete quarterdeck training, either as an officer or as a prospective officer.
    2. Serve as an activity chair for a major ship event. Responsibilities should include planning, directing, and evaluating the event.
  4. Swimming
    Pass all requirements for the BSA’s Swimming merit badge.
  5. Safety
    1. Discuss BSA Safety Afloat with an adult leader.
    2. Describe the safety equipment required by law for your ship’s primary vessel.
    3. Develop a ship’s station bill for your ship and review it with an adult leader.
    4. Plan and practice the following drills: man overboard, fire, and abandon ship.
    5. Describe three types of equipment used in marine communications.
    6. Demonstrate your knowledge of correct maritime communications procedures by making at least three calls to another vessel, marinas, bridges, or locks.
    7. Galley
      1. Before an activity, submit a menu that uses cooked and uncooked dishes, a list of provisions, and estimated costs for a day’s meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Once the provision list is approved, help obtain the items on the list.
      2. Explain the use of charcoal, pressurized alcohol, and propane. Include safety precautions for each.
      3. Prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on the activity. Demonstrate your ability to properly use the galley equipment or personal cooking gear generally used by your ship.
      4. Demonstrate appropriate sanitation techniques for food preparation and meal cleanup.
  6. Marlinspike Seamanship
    1. Name the various materials used to manufacture rope, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the characteristics of laid and braided rope.  Discuss the meaning of lay, thread, strand, and hawser. Explain how rope is sized and measured.
    2. Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots: stevedore’s knot, French (double) bowline, bowline on a bight, timber hitch, rolling hitch, marline hitch, and midshipman’s (taut-line) hitch.
    3. Demonstrate your ability to secure a line to pilings, bitts, cleats, and rings, and to coil, flake, and flemish a line.
    4. Demonstrate how to cut and heat-seal a synthetic line and whip the end of plain-laid line using waxed cord or similar material.
  7. Boat Handling
    1. Name the principal parts of a typical sailboat and a runabout.
    2. Name the principal parts of the masts, booms, spars, standing and running rigging, and sails of a gaff- or Marconi-rigged sloop, schooner, and ketch or yawl.
    3. Describe the identifying characteristics of a sloop, ketch, yawl, cutter, and schooner.
    4. Demonstrate your ability to handle a rowboat by doing the following: row in a straight line for a quarter mile, stop, make a pivot turn, return to the starting point and backwater in a straight line for 50 yards/meters. Make a turn and return to the starting point.
  8. Anchoring
    1. Name the parts of a stock anchor and a stockless anchor.
    2. Describe five types of anchors. Describe how each type holds the bottom, the kind of bottom in which it holds best, and the advantages or disadvantages of each type.
    3. Calculate the amount of anchor rode necessary for your ship’s primary vessel in the following depths: 10, 20, and 30 feet in normal and storm conditions.
    4. Demonstrate the ability to set and weigh anchor.
  9. Navigation Rules
    1. Explain the purpose of Navigation Rules, International and Inland.
    2. Know the general “Rule of Responsibility.”
    3. Define stand-on and give-way vessels for the following situations: meeting, crossing, and overtaking for both power and sailing vessels.
    4. Explain “Responsibility Between Vessels” (vessel priority).
    5. Explain the navigation lights required for power-driven and sailing vessels underway. Explain what is required for a vessel under oars.
    6. Describe the sound signals for maneuvering, warning, and restricted visibility.
  10. 10. Piloting and Navigation
    1. Demonstrate your understanding of latitude and longitude. Using a Mercator chart, demonstrate that you can locate your position from given coordinates and determine the coordinates of at least five aids to navigation.
    2. Explain the degree system of compass direction. Explain variation and deviation and how they are used to convert between true headings and bearings to compass headings and bearings.
    3. Describe three kinds of devices used aboard ship for measuring speed and/or distance traveled and, if possible, demonstrate their use.
    4. Understand Universal Coordinated Time (Greenwich Mean Time or Zulu Time) and zone time. Demonstrate your ability to convert from one to the other for your local area.
    5. Explain the 24-hour time system and demonstrate that you can convert between 12- and 24-hour time.
    6. Make a dead reckoning table of compass and distances (minimum three legs) between two points, plot these on a chart, and determine the final position.
      Note: Ideally this requirement should be met while underway. If this is not possible, it may be simulated using charts.
  11. Practical Deck Seamanship
    1. Name the seven watches and explain bell time.
    2. Explain the duties of a lookout and demonstrate how to report objects in view and wind directions with respect to the vessel.
    3. Name relative bearings expressed in degrees.
    4. While underway, serve as a lookout for one watch.
    5. Demonstrate the use of wheel or helm commands found in the Sea Scout Manual.
    6. Supervise and contribute to the cruise log for three days of cruising (one cruise or a combination of day cruises). Submit the cruise logs to your Skipper.
  12. Environment
    Discuss with an adult leader the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as related to oil discharges. Explain what a “Discharge of Oil Prohibited” placard is and find it aboard your ship’s vessels.
  13. Cruising
    1. Plan and participate in an overnight cruise in an approved craft under leadership that lasts a minimum of 36 hours.
    2. While on the cruise, perform the duties of a helmsman for at least 30 minutes.
  14. Boating Safety Course
    Successfully complete a boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) offered by one of the following agencies: a state boating agency, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, or other private or military education courses.
  15. Service
    As an Apprentice, log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
    Note: Arrange for this work through the ship’s officers.
  16. Electives—Do any three of the following:
    1. Drill: Demonstrate your ability to execute commands in close-order drill.
    2. Yacht Racing: Describe the procedures used in yacht racing and the signals used by the race committee to start a race. Serve as a crew member in a race sailed under current International Sailing Federation Rules.
    3. Sailing: In a cat-rigged or similar small vessel, demonstrate your ability to sail single-handedly a triangular course (leeward, windward, and reaching marks).
      Demonstrate beating, reaching, and running. A qualified sailing instructor should observe this requirement.
    4. Ornamental Ropework: Make a three-strand Turk’s head and a three-strand monkey’s fist. Using either ornamental knot, make up a heaving line.
    5. Engines: Perform routine maintenance on your ship’s propulsion system, including filter, spark plug, oil changes, proper fueling procedures and other routine maintenance tasks. Refer to operations manuals or your ship’s adult leaders for correct procedures and guidance.
    6. USPS: Join a local Power Squadron as an Apprentice member.
    7. Boatswain Call: Demonstrate your ability to use a boatswain’s pipe by making the following calls—word to be passed, boat call, veer, all hands, pipe down, and piping the side.
    8. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: Successfully complete either the Coast GuardAuxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship or Sailing Skills and Seamanship course. All core sessions, as well as at least three elective sessions, must be completed to fulfill this requirement.

Source:  Sea Scout Manual, 11th Edition, 2012 printing