If you love Sea Scouting, you were probably elated about the February resolution to make Sea Scouting its own separate program. Previously a subset of Venturing, Sea Scouts will now enjoy the same status of other BSA programs, including awarding members with program-specific honors.
But what about Sea Scouts who were in the process of earning Venturing awards and recognitions when the February resolution was announced? As with previous BSA program changes, updates to award eligibility are phased in over time. In the past, Sea Scouts were eligible for several Venturing awards such as:
- Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit
- Quest, TRUST, and Ranger
- Venturing Leadership Award (VLA)
Eligibility for these honors has been reviewed since the program’s status change and we’ve got good news for Sea Scouts in the process of earning Venturing honors. Here’s a glimpse of the Venturing award eligibility guidelines from the Sea Scouts’ official webpage:
Sea Scouts, who are working on any of the Venturing awards and recognitions, will be “grandfathered” to complete those awards and recognitions until December 31, 2016. After that date, eligibility for Venturing awards and recognitions will be limited to registered Venturers. Any Sea Scout may dual-register in a Venturing Crew to maintain eligibility for Venturing awards. Likewise, any Sea Scout Ship (unit) may dual register as a Venturing Crew.
Venturing Leadership Awards are generally presented in the spring to recognize leadership service that occurred in the prior calendar year. A new Sea Scout Leadership Award has been approved, for use beginning in 2017, to recognize leadership service in 2016. Until then, Sea Scouts and Sea Scout leaders will continue to be eligible for the Venturing Leadership Award. Insignia for the Sea Scout Leadership Award will include the existing VLA knot, with Sea Scout miniature device, and neck ribbons with a Sea Scout pendant, similar to the existing VLA.
Be sure to head to the Sea Scouts’ official webpage for the full details on eligibility for other advancement awards and recognitions, and learn about the new Unit Leader Award of Merit for Sea Scout Skippers!
Do you know any Scouts who have earned Venturing awards? Share your story with us in the comments!