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SEAL – Sea Scout Advanced Leadership Training. By Skipper George Hay Kain, III Sea Scout Ship Yorkshire , Ship 25, York, Pennsylvania National Sea Scouting Committee – Boy Scouts of America. What Is SEAL?.

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seal sea scout advanced leadership training

SEAL – Sea Scout Advanced Leadership Training

By Skipper George Hay Kain, III

Sea Scout Ship Yorkshire, Ship 25, York, Pennsylvania

National Sea Scouting Committee – Boy Scouts of America

what is seal
What Is SEAL?
  • Developed in 1996 by the National Sea Scout Committee as the Sea Explorer Advanced Leadership Course (SEAL)
  • Acronym SEAL retained after 1998 name return of Sea Exploring to Sea Scouting
  • A course designed to develop leadership skills in young adults
what skills are taught
What Skills Are Taught?
  • Planning
  • Coordinating
  • Commanding
  • Delegating
  • Preparing
  • Implementing
  • Training
skills taught continued
Skills Taught (Continued)
  • Supervising
  • Motivating
  • Problem-solving
  • Communicating
  • Counseling
  • Evaluating
  • Re-implementing
how are these skills taught
How Are These Skills Taught?
  • A week-long “at sea” experience is used as a learning laboratory
    • Roughly six students to a boat with a Captain and two instructors
  • This setting provides a unique opportunity to teach and apply skills immediately
  • Bad decisions or team failure have real consequences
what is a typical day
What Is a Typical Day?
  • Each session is a short, guided, participatory discussion relating to a specific leadership skill
  • Discussion is followed by an exercise related to the topic
  • This is followed by actual implementation of the subject matter under the direction of the Boatswain-of-the-day
  • All participants then evaluate the resulting performance
what seal is not
What SEAL is NOT
  • SEAL is NOT a seamanship course
    • Applicants are expected to have their seamanship skills in hand BEFORE arrival
    • There is no time to teach basic boating skills
  • It is NOT a holiday or a recreational cruise
what seal really is
What SEAL really IS
  • A “jump start” for junior leaders of new Ships
  • A “tune up” for leaders from more experienced Ships
  • A hard-core, tough, physically and mentally demanding experience
what should students know beforehand
What Should Students Know Beforehand?
  • Study Chapter 4 of the Sea Scout Manual
    • Outline the chapter in detail
    • The outline must be forwarded to the SEAL Skipper beforehand, and is graded
  • Know the basic nomenclature of a sailing vessel
  • Be able to perform basic coastal navigation
  • Be able to tie all the knots for Apprentice and Ordinary ranks
  • Know standard helm commands
  • Know the points of relative bearings
is the applicant ready
Is the Applicant Ready?
  • Two tests are sent to the applicant’s skipper to administer to the applicant prior to the course:
    • Chapter 4 of the Sea Scout Manual
    • Basic Coastal Navigation
  • The results of these pre-tests remain within the applicant’s ship. Use them to see what the applicant needs to study in more detail
what is basic coastal navigation
What Is Basic Coastal Navigation?
  • Setting a course
  • Computing speed, time, and distances
  • Computing compass error
  • Obtaining a fix by two lines of position
  • Plotting a Ded reckoning position
  • Finding latitude and longitude from a chart
  • Knowing the rules of the road
are there other requirements
Are There Other Requirements?
  • Applicant must be Ordinary by 1 June of the year of the course.
    • Applicant does not have to Ordinary to apply
    • Applicant must be Ordinary to begin course
  • The best applicants are about 16 years of age, but there is no specific age requirement
  • Applicant should have leadership potential within his or her ship
    • Ideally a prospective Boatswain or Boatswain’s Mate
what does the seal graduate get out of this
What Does the SEAL Graduate Get Out of This?
  • Mastery of the skills taught at SEAL will apply to the graduate’s ship, school, community, and job situations – virtually everything in life
  • The coveted SEAL pin
  • Opportunities to attend special post-SEAL events (varies from year to year)
    • Rides on Aircraft Carriers and Submarines
    • Trip to New Zealand to help with the America’s Cup Race
    • Trip to England to interact with British Sea Scouts
what does your ship get out of this
What Does Your Ship Get Out of This?
  • A Sea Scout equipped with the management tools to fire up the ship’s program
  • A Sea Scout ready to serve in a senior ship leadership position such as Boatswain or Boatswain’s Mate
cost locations dates
Cost, Locations, Dates
  • Course cost varies from $125 to $175 plus transportation to and from the course location
  • Past course locations have included:
    • Chesapeake Bay
    • Gulf Coast
    • San Francisco Bay
    • Ohio River, West Virginia
    • Great Lakes
  • Dates vary, but are over summer vacation, most often in July
  • See National Sea Scout website for current offerings and application forms
application information
Application Information
  • Applications are available for download from the National Sea Scout website
  • Application deadline is 1 March each year
  • The applicant lists his or her desired course locations in priority order
  • If two applicants apply from the same ship, they should apply for different locations
send your best sea scouts to seal
Send Your Best Sea Scouts to SEAL
  • You as the skipper will be glad you did
  • The SEAL graduate will be glad you did, too
further questions
Further Questions?

Contact the National SEAL Training Coordinator, Mr. Jim Elroy at or

Telephone 805-797-7900