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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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NEW TOUR PLAN FOR OUTINGS

Effective March 1, 2011, the new tour plan went into effect. Please go to the link below to find the new tour plan form and have your FAQs answered--

Q. Why should I complete a tour plan ?
A.
The tour plan is a checklist for best practices to be prepared for safe and fun adventure. Completing the tour plan may not address all possible challenges but can help ensure that appropriate planning has been conducted, that qualified and trained leadership is in place, and that the right equipment is available for the adventure.

In addition, the plan helps to organize safe and appropriate transportation to and from an event, and defines driver qualifications and minimum limits of insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles used to transport participants.

Please complete and submit this plan at least 21 days in advance (check with your local council) to ensure your council has enough time to review the plan and assist you in updating the plan if it is found defective. When the review is complete, the second half of the plan is returned to you to carry on your travels.

Q. When do I need to complete a tour plan ?
A.
Times when a tour plan must be submitted for council review include:

  • Trips of 500 miles or more; or

  • Trips outside of council borders [Exception: not to your council-owned property]; or

  • Trips to any national high-adventure base, national Scout jamboree, National Order of the Arrow Conference, the Sumitt Bechtel Reserve, or regionally sponsored event ; or

  • When conducting the following activities outside of council or district events: 

  • Aquatics activities (swimming, boating, floating, scuba, etc.) 

  • Climbing and rappelling 

  • Orientation flights (process flying plan) 

  • Shooting sports 

  • Any activities involving motorized vehicles as part of the program (snowmobiles, boating, etc.) 

  • At a council's request (contact your local council for additional guidelines or regulations concerning tour plans)

Regardless, the tour plan is an excellent tool that should be included in preparation for all activities, even those not requiring it. It guides a tour leader through itineraries, travel arrangement, two-deep leadership, qualifications of supervision, and transportation.

Q. What is different on the tour plan vs. the tour permit?
A.
Several items:

  • The unit leadership certifies the plan.

  • The local council reviews the plans but does not "approve" them.  No regional review is required. 

  • The tour plan consists of a tour planning worksheet that is completed by the unit/contingent. After processing, the council retains the tour planning worksheet and returns the tour plan to the unit. 

  • The plan can be printed on standard 8 ½-by-11-inch paper! 

  • 21-day advance notice requested for units to submit the plan for review. 

  • A single point of contact (not on the tour) for council use included. 

  • Defined reasons/times when a tour plan must be submitted for council review. 

  • Updated Pledge of Performance.

Q. My council is telling me my plan is defective; what does that mean?
A.
It would be best to address that with the reviewer directly so that defects can be removed. In many cases, it may just be that part of your plan was incomplete. Common reasons could include lack of two-deep leadership; training not completed, documented, or expired; excessive daily travel; and not including vehicles with the capacity to carry the tour.

Q.  Is planning and preparing for Hazardous Weather Training required for all tours? 
A. 
Yes, it has been required for all tours, including local and national, Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing, since January 1, 2009. It should be repeated every two years and is appropriate for not only adults, but Boy Scout-aged youth as well. A CD is available for use at your unit, district, and council events where Internet access is not available. Search www.scoutstuff.org for Item 610642 .  

Q. What should we use for permission from parents?
A. 
The Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Guardian is an appropriate resource. 

Q.  Do I need anything else if we are going on a discovery flight?
A. 
Yes, please complete the Flying Plan Application along with an Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Guardian  (for each participant).