Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
(All of the following information may also be found on pages 25-27 of your Participant Guide)
Are scholarships available at Sea Base? Yes! Scholarships are available for those with demonstrated need. (link)
Who can be awarded a Sea Base Scholarship? Scholarships are available to individuals or units with a demonstrated need.
Must parents register with the BSA to participate at Sea Base? Yes. Without exception every adult leader participating in a Sea Base program must be registered with the BSA and complete Youth Protection Training, BSA Safe Swim, BSA Safety Afloat.
How old must I be to participate in a Sea Base program? 13 years of age and graduated or graduating from the 8th grade in the season of arrival OR be 14 years of age by September 1 as evidenced by Annual Health and Medical Record.
What if I am not a strong swimmer?The Sea Base has no programs for non-swimmers or beginners. For your protection; if you are unable to complete the BSA Swim test in a strong manner you will not be allowed to participate.
Do we really need a BSA Tour and Activity Plan? Absolutely. Your crew cannot participate in Sea Base Adventures without a complete BSA Tour and Activity Plan.
Is it possible to use a sports or work medical instead of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record? No. You will not be allowed to participate in Sea Base programs unless you use the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. (link)
What if my doctor has not or will not sign Part C of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record? You will not be permitted to participate at Sea Base.
What if I arrive at Sea Base without having completed a BSA Annual Health and Medical Record? You will not be permitted to participate at Sea Base.
What if I arrive at Sea Base and exceed the weight limit of 295 pounds? You will not be permitted to participate at Sea Base.
I am participating in a Bahamas Sea Base Adventure. Where does my crew check in? Your crew will fly to Marsh Harbour (MHH), Abaco, Bahamas and then board a prepaid taxi to Conch Inn and Marina.
I am participating in a Sea Base St. Thomas Adventure. Where does my crew check in? Your crew will fly to St. Thomas (STT), USVI and board a pre-scheduled taxi to Sapphire Resort and Marina.
I am participating in a Florida Fishing, Keys Adventure or Out Island Adventure. Where does my crew check in? Brinton Environmental Center, Summerland Key, Florida, Mile Marker 23.8
I am participating in a Florida Sailing, Sea Base Scuba, STEM/Eco Adventure. Where do I check in? Florida Sea Base, Islamorada, Florida, Mile Marker 73.8
What time should my crew check in? See Base Crews should check in no earlier than 1pm and no later than 3pm.
Should our unit travel in uniform? Absolutely. Units must arrive in BSA Uniform.
What should I pack for my adventure? A packing list is provided for each adventure. Crews traveling to St. Thomas Sea Base or Bahamas Sea Base should bring:
(1) 24 inch duffle bag per person
(1) Oversize duffle bag per crew containing necessary items only.
Can my crew skip part of its journey and go to Key West, Key Largo or South Beach? No. Once your unit chooses to leave Sea Base your journey is forfeited and you may not return.
Can my crew arrive early or stay an extra day at Sea Base or aboard a vessel? No. Due to the growth and popularity of our program, we are not able to offer early arrival or late departures days any longer.
What about hurricanes? Program interruption due to hurricanes are extremely rare. If Sea Base is under evacuation orders, generally given 24- 36 hours prior to potential landfall, programs are cancelled and participants are evacuated. Sea Base refunds program fees for missed program dates only. Travel- trip insurance is highly recommended to cover the cost of travel expenses, especially July- August.
What about inclement weather that keeps us off the water while at Sea Base? Your safety is paramount. Occasionally inclement- tropical weather forces Sea Base to delay or cancel activities. Attempts will be made to reschedule activities when possible. Refunds will not be issued for activities including sailing, scuba diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, camping or others cancelled due to inclement weather.
Should I Buy Deck Shoes? No. Most captains do not allow shoes of any kind- including deck shoes while on board.
Why should sailing crews not bring metal or aluminum water bottles? They clang against the side of the vessel making it difficult for participants to sleep.
Where do I sleep on the sailing vessel? Due to heat most participants will choose to sleep on deck.
How much money should I bring to Sea Base? The average participant spends between $85 and $125 while at Sea Base.
Where can I find a detailed itinerary? One is not provided. Programs at Sea Base are largely weather dependent. There are no required destinations other than arrival and departure points. General outlines are provided by section in this publication.
Important Facts to Review Ahead of Attending Sea Base
Conservation- Take only memories, leave only bubbles- Sea Base Adventures are conducted in marine and historic sensitive environments. Participants must not touch or harm wildlife including coral. Participants must not take coral, artifacts, shells from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary or US Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument or any marine or historical sensitive environment. Participants must properly dispose of and when possible recycle all trash and refuse.
Flag Ceremonies- Florida Adventures Only- Assembly for raising begins each morning at 7:45. Assembly for retreat begins at 5:45.
Council Shoulder Patches and unit numbers- Units completing a Sea Base Adventure may affix or have its unit numbers affixed to the galley walls at Sea Base. BSA unit numbers are available for purchase in the Sea Base Ships' Store.
- BSA Sea Base requires units arrive onsite in uniform. Uniforms, field or activity, must be worn to flags.
Sea Base Custom Crew Gear- Every Sea Base participant should arrive with a long sleeve SPF 45 or greater shirt and wide brimmed hat. Sea Base provides the opportunity for units to order customized, Official BSA Sea Base apparel. (link)
Conch LUAU- Florida Adventures Only- On the last night of your Florida Sea Base Adventure your crew will participate in a Conch LUAU. This is a special dinner festival complete with fun, music and games. Dress for the Conch LUAU should be Keys- Hawaiian style. Floral shirts are available for purchase onsite at the Ships' Store.
Advancement and Merit Badges-
Advancement is not part of the formal at Sea Base experience. Sea Base does not have structured merit badge programs or merit badge instructors. A list of merit badges and/or advancements you may wish to consider preparing for ahead of your journey can be found here. (link
What Awards Can We Earn?
Project S.C.E.N.E- Does your unit participate in service? Florida Sea Base became the first Scouting facility in the US to be designated as a Scout Center for Excellence of Nature and Environment (S.C.E.N.E.). Through participation in environmental programs like exotic plant eradication, potential and actual marine debris removal, fish ID and counts and by completing a project prior to arrival at Sea Base crews can earn a Project S.C.E.N.E Award. A copy of Project S.C.E.N.E requirements can be found here. (Link - coming soon)
Captains Club- Florida, Bahamas and St. Thomas Sailing Adventures- BSA Sea Base Crews participating in any sailing program will have the opportunity Captains Club Awards. To earn this award units must: properly prepare for the adventure, elect a seasoned Youth Crew Leader, assume all vessel responsibilities, utilize proper sailing techniques, become proficient snorkelers and adhere to the Scout Oath and Law. Captains Club Requirements (Link - coming soon)
Castaway Club- Out Island Crews- BSA Sea Base Crews participating in Out Island Adventure will have the opportunity to earn Sea Base Castaway Club Awards. To earn this award units must: properly prepare for the adventure, elect a seasoned Youth Crew Leader, assume all base and campsite responsibilities, utilize proper paddling and fishing techniques, become proficient snorkelers, exhibit enthusiasm and a positive attitude while adhering to the Scout Oath and Law. Castaway Club Requirements (link)
Cayo Hueso Club- Keys Adventure Crews- BSA Sea Base Crews participating in Keys Adventure will have the opportunity to earn Sea Base Cayo Hueso Club Awards. To earn this award units must: properly prepare for the adventure, elect a seasoned Youth Crew Leader, assume all base and campsite responsibilities, utilize proper adventure techniques, become proficient snorkelers and exhibit a positive attitude while adhering to the Scout Oath and Law. Cayo Hueso Club Requirements (link)
Duty to God- BSA Sea Base encourages individuals and units to celebrate creation while at Sea Base. Sea Base Duty to God Award is designed to enhance adventure by propelling participants to find evidence of Higher Purpose in the oceans, reefs and interdependence of species. Majestic Depths Book and Duty to God Award Requirements.
Snorkeling BSA- Every Sea Base participant should arrive at BSA Sea Base having already become a proficient snorkeler. Upon arrival each participant will complete the BSA Snorkel Award. Snorkeling BSA Requirements.
BSA Stand Up Paddleboard- Limited Florida Programs Only- A limited number of Florida Sea Base participants will have the opportunity to earn the BSA Stand Up Paddleboard Award. BSA Stand Up Paddleboard Requirements.
BSA Kayaking Award- Limited Florida Programs Only- A limited number of Florida Sea Base participants will have the opportunity to earn the BSA Kayaking Award. BSA Kayaking Requirements.