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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. Organize and conduct two impressive opening and closing ceremonies for your ship.
    2. Submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on how our nation’s maritime history has contributed to our way of life.
  2. Active Membership
    1. Attend at least 75 percent of your ship’s meetings and special activities for one year.  Note: Check with your ship’s yeoman.
    2. Prepare and present a program on Sea Scouts for a Boy Scout troop, Venturing crew, Venturing Officers’ Association meeting, school class, or other youth group. Your presentation should last a minimum of 15 minutes and describe the activities of your ship and Sea Scouts.
  3. Leadership 
    Either serve and fulfill the responsibilities of a crew leader or an elected officer of your ship, or serve as an activity chair for two major ship events. Responsibilities should include planning, directing, and evaluating the event. (These events are in addition to the Ordinary requirement.)
  4. Swimming
    Pass all requirements for the BSA’s Lifesaving merit badge.
  5. Safety
    1. Develop and use a customized vessel safety checklist for a boat used by your ship.
    2. Demonstrate your understanding of fire prevention on vessels.
    3. Know the classes of fires and the substances that will extinguish each type of fire.
    4. In a safe place, under adult supervision, demonstrate your ability to successfully extinguish a class A and a class B fire with an approved fire extinguisher. See that the fire extinguisher used is properly recharged or replaced.
    5. Conduct a fire safety inspection of the vessel normally used by your ship or of your ship’s meeting place. Note any fire hazards and report them to your ship’s adult leaders.
    6. Complete the American Red Cross Standard First Aid course.
    7. Obtain CPR certification from a certified agency.
    8. Demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver and tell when it is used.
  6. Marlinspike Seamanship
    1. Complete a back splice, eye splice, short splice, long splice, and a palm-and needle whipping.
    2. Sew a flat seam, round seam, and grommet eye in canvas or sail material. Describe how each is used in construction of and the care of sails.
    3. Describe the parts of a block and explain how blocks are sized. Describe the following types of tackle: luff, gun, double purchase, single whip, and runner. With the help of another shipmate, reeve a double purchase tackle.
  7. Boat Handling
    1. Demonstrate your ability to properly operate a small boat equipped with a motor. Included should be fueling, starting, leaving a dock, maneuvering, and coming alongside.
    2. Know the names and functions of lines used to secure a vessel to a wharf or pier. Understand and execute docking commands used in handling lines on your ship’s primary vessel.
  8. Anchoring
    1. Describe the various kinds of anchor rode and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
    2. Identify the parts of the anchor cable starting with the anchor and ending at the vessel.
    3. Describe the methods of marking chain and demonstrate that you know the chain markings on your ship’s vessel.
    4. While on a cruise assist in the construction of an anchor watch schedule and stand one watch.
    5. Identify a capstan or windlass and explain its use in handling line, wire rope,or chain.
  9. Navigation Rules
    1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of Navigation Rules, International and Inland.
    2. Explain vessel lights for the following: towing (astern, alongside, pushing ahead, and cannot deviate), fishing, trawling, restricted maneuverability, underwater operations, constrained by draft, and aground.
    3. Describe special lights and day shapes deployed on the following vessels: not under command, restricted by ability to maneuver, constrained by draft, fishing (trawling), and sailing vessels under power.
    4. Understand the system of aids to navigation employed in your area. Include buoys, lights, and daymarks, and their significance and corresponding chart symbols.
    5. Read in detail a National Ocean Service (NOS) chart, preferably for the area normally cruised by your ship, identifying all marks on it.
    6. Explain the use of tide tables, current tables, light lists, and how to update a chart using the Notice to Mariners.
  10. Piloting and Navigation
    1. Describe the deck log kept aboard your ship’s principal craft. Keep a complete log for three cruises.
    2. Lay a course of at least three legs and execute it using dead reckoning.
    3. Demonstrate your ability to fix your position by the following methods: taking bearings from two known objects, running fix, and estimated position.
    4. Establish distance from a known object using “double the angle on the bow”and explain how to set a danger angle.
    5. Discuss how GPS (Global Positioning System) operates and the purpose of waypoints. While underway, demonstrate your ability to use a GPS using three different waypoints.
    6. Discuss the method of establishing a radar fix.
  11. Practical Deck Seamanship
    1. Demonstrate your knowledge of personal safety equipment needed while cleaning, maintaining, or repairing your vessel.
    2. Know the names, uses, sizes, and proper care of the common hand tools used by your ship.
    3. Identify and explain the use of the following: thimble, shackle, turnbuckle, pelican hook, and other ship’s hardware and fittings commonly used aboard your ship’s vessels. Describe how each is sized.
    4. Demonstrate proper surface and coating preparation, coating techniques, care of stored coatings, and cleaning of brushes and tools used to maintain surfaces on your ship’s vessel.
    5. Explain techniques used for the maintenance, protection, and repair of hulls and decks on your ship’s vessel.
  12. Environment
    1. Demonstrate your knowledge of local environmental laws related to the proper storage, disposal, and cleanup of maritime coating materials, fuels, and other environmentally sensitive materials.
    2. Discuss with an adult leader the dumping of garbage in the marine environment. Review the contents of the MARPOL placard and locate it aboard your ship’s vessels.
    3. Write a 500-word report on a marine endangered species (mammal, bird, fish,or reptile). The report should include a description of the species, its habitat,history, current population numbers, and current steps being employed to help its recovery.
  13. Cruising 
    Earn the Long Cruise badge.
  14. Electives—Do any three of the following.
    1. Sailing: While leading a crew of not less than two other persons, demonstrate your ability to sail a sloop or another suitable vessel correctly and safely over a triangular course (leeward, windward, reaching marks), demonstrating beating, reaching, running, and the proper commands.
    2. Vessels: Teach and lead a crew under oar using a boat pulling at least four oars single- or double-banked. Perform the following maneuvers: get underway, maneuver ahead and back, turn the boat in its own length, dock, and secure.
    3. Drill: Demonstrate your ability to give and execute commands in close-order drill.
    4. Engines:
      1. Understand the safe and proper procedures for the use of gasoline and diesel inboard engines, including fueling, pre-start checks, ventilation,starting, running, periodic checks while running, securing, postoperative checks, and keeping an engine log.
      2. Using the type of engine aboard the vessel you most frequently use, demonstrate your understanding of basic troubleshooting and the preventive maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.
    5. Yacht Racing:
      1. Demonstrate your understanding of the shapes, flag hoists, gun, and horn signals used in yacht racing as well as a working knowledge of the racing rules of the International Sailing Federation.
      2. Serve as helmsman, with one or more additional crew members, of a sloop-rigged or other suitable boat with a spinnaker in a race sailed under ISAF racing rules.
    6. Maritime History: Know the highlights of maritime history from the earliest times to the present. Include the evolution of vessel construction and propulsion, important voyages of exploration and development, the origin of maritime traditions, and the achievements of notable maritime leaders in U.S. sea history.
    7. Ornamental Ropework: Demonstrate your ability to fashion the following items of ornamental ropework: four-strand Turk’s head, coach whipping, cockscombing, round braid, flat sennit braid, wall knot, and crown knot. Make a useful item such as a boatswain’s lanyard, rigging knife lanyard, bell rope, etc., or decorate a portion of your ship’s equipment such as a stanchion, rail, lifeline, tiller, etc.
    8. Fiberglass Repair and Maintenance: Demonstrate your proficiency and knowledge of fiberglass repair and gel coating while working on your ship’s vessel or other similar vessel.
    9. Specialty Proficiency: Become a certified scuba diver or become proficient in boardsailing, surfing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting/canoeing.
    10. USPS: As an apprentice member of the United States Power Squadrons complete the Seamanship and Piloting courses.
    11. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: Successfully complete the Coast Guard Auxiliary Weekend Navigator course.

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