!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Sea Scouts

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sea Scouts

The March issue of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News has several articles that address, in editor Gregory Trauthwein's words, "the industry's continued — almost desperate — need for qualified workers to fulfill current demands and fuel future growth."

New to me was the story of the Sea Scouts, the nautical branch of the Boy Scouts, and a plausible source of new students at maritime academies and other training venues that turn out individuals qualified for civilian and military maritime employment.

Sea Scout Ship Chaser
Source: www.ssschaser.com

Sea Scouting offers males and females who have completed the eight grade, and who are at least 14 years old but not yet 21, the opportunity to learn maritime skills. As author Marc Deglinnocenti explains,
The first advancement rank for a 14-year-old Sea Scout recruit is the Apprentice rank. It consists of learning some basic shipboard safety rules, swimming skills, good attendance, and of course what all good Scouts learn — knot tying. The advancement structure then goes to Ordinary [Seaman] and then to Able [Seaman]. The highest crew rank is the Quartermaster. ... To achieve a Quartermaster the youth must plan and conduct all aspects of a long cruise on one of our vessels [such as SSS Chaser, pictured above].
Training takes place in the classroom (e.g., principles of navigation and piloting), underway (all aspects of safe voyaging), and dockside (e.g., diesel engine repair).

It should be noted that membership in the Boys Scouts of America is not open to atheists, agnostics, and avowed homosexuals.