The Venturing Sea Scout Bronze award is aimed at Crews who are focused on sailing. I know of one such crew in our area who go sailing at a local lake. I think this would be difficult to earn without support and mentoring from a unit focused on sailing. I’ll present the requirements here so you can get an idea of what is involved, but if you really want to earn this I encourage you to find a unit which can support you.
Requirements for the Sea Scout Bronze Award are the same as for the Ordinary rank for Sea Scouts.
Venturing Sea Scout Bronze Award Requirements
- Give an explanation of the Sea Scout emblem and tell how and why is is used. Prove that you have a general understanding of the customs and courtesies of the sea.
- Give a brief history of the U.S. flag and show when to fly it and how to hoist, lower, fold, display, and salute it.
- Attend at least 75 percent of your ship’s meetings and special activities for six months.
- Complete quarterdeck training, either as a petty officer or as a prospective petty officer, as provided and required by your ship and council.
- Recruit a new member for your ship and follow through until the new member is registered and formally admitted. (This requirement may be waived by the ship committee if additional membership is not possible at the time the Sea Scout applies.)
- Boats: Know the identifying features and special advantages of 10 of the following types of boats: canoe, catamaran, dinghy, dory, kayak, motor cruiser, motor lifeboat, motor sailer, motor whaleboat, pram, pulling whaleboat, punt, runabout, self-bailing surfboat, skiff, trimaran. Name the principal parts of the type of craft commonly used by your ship.
- Know the proper display of boat flags and courtesy on small boats.
- Demonstrate your ability to handle a rowboat.
- Marlinspike Seamanship: Using line appropriate to the craft you normally use, tie the following knots and explain the use of each: overhand knot, stevedore’s knot, bowline on a bight, timber hitch, rolling hitch, marline hitch, midshipman’s hitch, and double bowline (French bowline).
- Name the various materials used for rope, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the characteristics of laid and braided rope. Understand the meaning of lay, thread, strand, and hawser.
- Demonstrate the ability to secure a line to pilings, bitts and rings, and to coil, flake, and flemish a line. Know how rope is sized and measured. Demonstrate how to cut and heat-seal a synthetic line.
- Ground Tackle: Describe five types of anchors. Describe how each type holds the bottom, the kind of bottom in which it holds best, and any other advantages or disadvantages.
- Name the parts of a stock anchor and stockless anchor.
- Demonstrate the ability to weigh and set anchor.
- Piloting: Explain the degree system of compass direction. Explain variation and deviation, and show how corrections are applied to correcting and uncorrecting compass headings assigned by your consultant.
- Name relative bearings expressed in both degrees and points. Be able to report objects in view and wind directions with respect to the boat, and know the duties of a lookout.
- Name three kinds of devices used aboard ship for measuring speed and/or distance traveled and, if possible, demonstrate their use.
- Make a dead reckoning table of compass and distances (minimum three legs) between two points, plot these on a chart, and determine the final position.
- Note: It is best if this requirement can be met while under way. If this is not possible, it may be simulated, but the courses and charts used must be those in the normal cruising area of the ship.
- Communications: Name the three principal methods of visual signaling and explain the advantages and limitations of each method.
- Name the three principal types of radiotelephone equipment in marine use and demonstrate your knowledge of correct radiotelephone procedures.
- Time: Understand Universal Coordinated Time (Greenwich mean time) and zone time, and demonstrate the ability to convert from one to the other for your local area. Name the seven watches and bell time. Understand the 24-hour system of telling time.
- Swimming: Meet the requirements for the Swimming merit badge.
- Cruising: Take part in the planning and make a two-day (including overnight) cruise in an approved craft under leadership. Submit a satisfactory log of the cruise.
- Name the wheel or helm orders specified in the current Pilot Rules manual. While on the cruise, perform the duties of a helmsman.
- Note: For each day of the cruise, fill out a cruise log.
- Safety: Know the man overboard, fire, abandon ship, and all other drills used by your ship.
- List the equipment that should be contained in an abandon ship bag, and list the duties to be performed before abandoning ship.
- List safety equipment required by law for your ship’s main vessel. Discuss BSA Safety Afloat with a ship’s officer.
- Galley: While on a cruise or at a camp, prepare or take charge of a breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including boiled, fried, and uncooked dishes. Demonstrate your ability to properly use the galley equipment or personal cooking gear generally used aboard your craft. Demonstrate appropriate sanitation techniques for food preparation and meal cleanup.
- Submit a menu, list of provisions, and estimated costs before meeting the above requirement.
- Explain the use of charcoal, pressurized alcohol, propane, and compressed natural gas stoves, including safety precautions for each.
- Sailing: Name the principal parts of the masts, booms, spars, standing and running rigging, and sails of a gaff- or Marconi-rigged sloop, schooner, and ketch or yawl.
- Describe the identifying characteristics of a sloop, ketch, yawl, cutter, and schooner.
- Work: As a Seaman Apprentice log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
- Note: Arrange this work through the ship’s officers.
- Electives: Do any three of the following. (Note: Many ships place emphasis on differing skills because of the nature of their programs. Check with ship’s petty officers before selecting electives to ensure that they will be consistent with the ship’s program.)
- Drill: Demonstrate your ability to execute commands in close-order drill.
- Signaling: Send and receive semaphore messages using proper procedures at a rate of at least 30 letters a minute.
- Compass: Box the compass to 32 points and demonstrate your ability to compute the degree heading for each point. Describe the relationship between the 32 points and the relative bearing system using points.
- Yacht Racing: Describe the procedures used in yacht racing, and the signals used by the race committee to start a race, and serve as a crew member in a race sailed under current International Sailing Federation Rules. (Note: Secure the help of your ship’s officers to obtain a copy of the current version of the ISAF racing rules from the U.S. Sailing Association and secure a berth on your nearest qualified yacht club race, or sail in your local council or regional sailing races.)
- Sailing: In a cat-rigged or similar small boat, demonstrate the ability to sail singlehandedly a triangular course (leeward, windward, and reaching marks). Demonstrate beating, reaching, and running. A qualified instructor must observe this.
- Ornamental Ropework: Demonstrate your ability to make a three-strand turk’s head and a three-stand monkey’s fist. Using either ornamental knot, make up a heaving line. (Note: Most ornamental ropework is far too complicated to describe and illustrate effectively within a manual of this type. Secure the help of a consultant and read the literature the consultant recommends.)
- Engines: Perform routine maintenance on your ship’s propulsion system, including filter, spark plug, oil changes, and other appropriate proper fueling procedures. Refer to operation manuals or ship officers for correct procedures.