Cub Scouting | Boy Scouting | Senior Scout 


Senior Scout Programs

SEA SCOUTS – The earliest senior program for the BSA was Seascouts. In 1912, Sea Scouts was officially begun. The early program was based on the English manual written by Lord Baden-Powell’s brother Warrington. Two manuals were written for the American program. The first of these was “Cruising for Sea Scouts” followed by  “Nautical Scouting”. The first official “Sea Scout Manual” was published in 1920.  In 1925, the program was revamped. A new manual was written and the uniform became the sea-going uniform we know today. In 1949, it became known as Sea Explorers but retained the basic program. In mid 1960, Sea Explorer became Sea Exploring. This was an expansion of the program which included co-ed units and a classification of units for traditional and non-traditional programs. Sea Scouting is alive and active as a part of the Venturing program. 

EXPLORER SCOUTS – In 1933, Explorer Scouts was approved by the National Committee to become part of the Senior Scout program. It was built around the idea of advanced outdoor activities for Scouts in their middle and older teens. At first there were no separate units for Explorer Scouts and no distinctive uniform. In 1944, the program was revamped. Advancement and a distinct uniform were added. The uniform went from the khaki to forest green. Advancement was Apprentice, Woodsman, Frontiersman and Ranger. In 1949, the program was again revised with rank advancement being Apprentice, Bronze, Gold and Silver. In 1959, the Explorer advancement program was dropped. The logo was modernized and Exploring was moving away from the Boy Scout program to meet the needs of teenagers. In 1971, Exploring went co-ed. In 1998, Career Awareness Exploring was moved to “Learning For Life” while the remaining units became part of the Venturing program. 

AIR SCOUTS – In 1941, during the war, Air Scouting was begun. The purpose of the program was to help Scouts learn about the world of aviation. The national office took the Aviation Merit Badge and created four merit badges: Aerodynamics, Airplane Design, Aeronautics and Airplane Structure. The Air Scout Candidate Awards were created for Boy Scouts to interest them in this program. The early advancement levels were Apprentice, Observer, Craftsman and Ace. In 1947, Rating Strips were added. These dealt with specialized aviation knowledge. In 1949, Air Scouts became Air Explorers. In 1965, the Air Explorer program became simply a career oriented program called Aviation Exploring.