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Sea Scouts to eliminated

Lowering age cap for Venture, Sea Scouts, OA and/or moving the programs.

Dan Ownby, National Chair-Elect of the BSA, stated during the BSA Virtual National Annual Meeting that Scouting will " End all youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corp for all young adults over 18 " (Jump to 56:53 of the video)

57:30 “Create a membership category that would allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils” - Does this mean special diversity programs?
What kind of special programs?

54:40 - "While preserving useful traditions we must pivot from valuing the past to looking to the future. Not allowing tradition from giving our members what they value. We must invest resources in those programs that our customers most value, allowing others to be cut from the vine."

Dan Ownby says “our ox will be gored” and it’s “not a time to hide sacred cows”. Is it hiding sacred cows or preserving tradition?

This raises a bunch of questions for what Venturing, Sea Scouts, Explorers, and the OA are going to look like going forward.

It appears that BSA National is proposing or considering or plans to implement major changes on all BSA programs, Sea Scouts, Venturing, Order of the Arrow and Explorers and move programs around. I understand that Sea Scouts would be moved under the Explorers program which does not have an advancement mechanism. This would almost end the rank of Quartermaster as the requirements to attain it are extensive and, in most cases, take until after the scout has turned eighteen. It would also pull scouts away from Sea Scouts who are working toward Eagle but not in a traditional troop. Finally, it would take some of the most extensive leadership opportunities available to scouts completely off the table.

Many scouts want to stay in the scouting program, when they age out of regular scouting. So they transition to Sea Scouts or Venturing. Our young people need good, wholesome organizations to be involved with. They need to be able to hang out with other young people with good, wholesome ideals, youth who follow the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. We have witnessed too many young people over the last few years and especially the last several months being pulled into organizations that don’t exhibit those ideals.

I think gutting Ventures, Sea Scouts, and OA will really hurt BSA and our youth.

Here’s some further discussion on the topic.


I hope they can be convinced to not do this. Please contact the National Office and ask them to reconsider this move. Ask them to keep Sea Scouts, Venture Scouts and OA as they are. Having advancement mechanisms is important to scouts. It keeps them interested and motivated. Our youth need those programs.

If money is an issue, then proper fundraising can be the key. If over $15million was donated to George Floyd’s brother in less than 4 weeks and BLM received commitments of a billion dollars in a few weeks, then Scouts BSA should be able to raise the cash it needs. Instead of cutting programs, BSA should reach out and raise money.

Our society seems to be undergoing a cultural purge and BSA is under attack. We need to raise our voices and stand for our BSA.

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Sea Scouts used to be an Exploring category and it is just going back to that

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The History of Sea Scouting in the United States

1910- Lord Baden-Powell’s older brother, Warington, wrote a book called Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys. It was enthusiastically received by the young men of Britain and soon found its way to the United States.

1912- Sea Scouting in America was founded when Arthur A. Carey of Waltham, Massachusetts, had Sea Scouts using the schooner Pioneer and was appointed Chairman of the National Council Committee on Sea Scouting. That summer, Charles T. Longstreth organized a Sea Scout patrol on his yacht in Philadelphia. Both of these men prepared pamphlets on Sea Scouting and Carey’s Cruising for Sea Scouts was the first literature related to Sea Scouting.

1915- A booklet that preceded the first Sea Scout manual published. It gave some direction to Sea Scouting. It was entitled Nautical Scouting and was compiled by Charles Longstreth. In a report to the National Executive Board, Mr. Carey recommended that Sea Scouting be recognized as a special department of the Boy Scouts of America. He suggested that the pamphlet Cruising for Sea Scouts be accepted as a supplement to the Handbook for Boys until a more complete Sea Scout manual could be written.

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September 1, 1949- Sea Scouts officially became Sea Explorers. This was primarily a change in terminology since the old Sea Scout program continued much the same is it had in the past.

1954- The National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America authorized the Research Institute for Social Service of the University of Michigan to make a national study of adolescent boys. This survey revealed the needs, desires, and concerns of 14- to 16- year old boys across the nation. As a result, a completely new Explorer program was developed and put into effect on January 1, 1959.

May 1964- The Exploring Division put the revised Sea Exploring program into effect with a new edition titled Sea Exploring Manual, written by Arthur N. Lindgren.

The concern is that the current Explorers program does not have advancement and is not even recognized as a scouting program for most people. I was in a Police Explorers post in high school and had no idea that Explorers was a part of scouting until about three years ago. My son is an Eagle scout and is in Sea Scouts. We like that it has advancement and follows the scout oath and leave not trace and other components of scouting. Sea Scouts would have more members if it was more embraced by scouting. Put the Sea Scout uniforms in the scout shops. Include their pictures more often. Stop trying to build new programs and going after crowds who are not interested in scouts. Support your base and your base will support you.


My observation was the Exploring program was moved to Learning for Life but has now been moved back under the main BSA organization. This affected support of the law and order exploring units during that period.

Council and district commissioners are in the process of recovering unit support for law and order units. In my council, council level volunteer support for Sea Scouting was not lost.

I do not expect the Sea Scout program to change much. It is still a career feeder program for the merchant marine, coast guard and navy. It has recently been adopted as the official youth program for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The problem has to do with those pesky 18-20 year olds who haven’t figured out how many pizzas they could buy if they just would forgo registering with BSA.
My venturers certainly benefited from working along-side those young adults.

I just took a survey that National put out. These comments explain quite a few of the questions. National’s surveys are stating to look like a way that they broadcast what they are planning, rather than really looking for opinions.
Example: Someone from my Council went back to work for National. They were going there to work on something that had been mentioned in a survey at that time. Question asked in format of ‘Do you think this is a good idea?’. Just a few weeks latter at a committee meeting she said she was going to leave to work on that same item. They had to have decided to do what was in the ‘survey’ a year ahead of the survey going out.
Same process with girls in Troops.


I don’t think the OA has anything to worry about either. National and local councils will keep it around for the same reason they’ve kept it around so long already. It’s the major source of free labor for maintaining camp properties.


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