What is Sea Scouts?

Sea Scouts is a part of the Boy Scouts of America, and is co-ed for ages 14-21. Sea Scouts has promoted better citizenship and seamanship for over 100 years through instruction and practice in water safety, boating and outdoor skills, social and service experiences, and knowledge of our maritime heritage. All of the above can prepare your child for a career in the maritime industry, the Navy, or just make them safer in, on, around, and under the water. But the benefits of Sea Scouts go beyond just skills.

Learning to safely operate a watercraft, whether it’s a sailboat or a canoe, requires teamwork, leadership, attention to detail, self-discipline, and critical thinking. These are skills that will prove invaluable to anyone who develops them.

No former experience in Scouting or boating is necessary.

About Ship 717

Ship 717 – serves the greater Cincinnati area, Hillsboro, and part of Northern Kentucky and includes both male and female leaders and scouts. It is divided into two crews, Alpha and Bravo, which meet weekly at different times and locations to ensure maximum opportunity for participation.

Alpha crew meets in Erlanger, Kentucky, just a quick drive South from Cincinnati and is part of the Dan Beard Council. Bravo crew meets near Rocky Fork Lake in Hillsboro, Ohio and is part of the Simon Kenton Council. We believe we may be the only Ship in the country that belongs to two councils.

Both crews have access to large and small sailboats, power boats, canoes, and kayaks. You can learn more about our fleet here.

We get out on the water as often as we can, but when the weather doesn’t allow us to hoist sails we work on the seamanship skills, plan future excursions, participate in community service events, and more.

A Personal Testimony

My name is James and I’m one of the adult mentors for Ship 717. I’m very new to Scouting, but I convinced my son to join Sea Scouts because I wanted to spend more time with him and I liked the idea of the two of us learning a new skill at the same time.

I joined as an adult volunteer and attend every meeting alongside him. We’ve only been involved in Scouting for a few months now, but our relationship is already much richer than before and I’m watching him learn to take pride in his uniform and build new skills. Just recently, we both were able to take part in an all-day course through America’s Boating Club and earned our Ohio boating licenses together. We’ve both been at the helm of one of the Ship’s sailboats several times and even helped pull the largest vessel out of the water and drop the mast for the winter. We’re learning skills together, laughing together, occasionally getting wet together – but the important part is that we’re together. And now two of my daughters ask me weekly whether they’re old enough to join as well.

Is it expensive?

Not really. Like any new thing, there are start up costs. The BSA requires that all members pay annual dues and you’ll need to acquire uniforms. But Sea Scout uniforms are designed to be affordable and the major components can be purchased at most Walmart stores. You’ll also need to purchase a Personal Flotation Device (lifejacket). Reach out to the Skipper for more specifics.