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Introduction to Sea Scouting

Sea Scouting has the same Purpose and Values as any other Scout Troop, and delivers the same Programme, but with a nautical twist.

All young people in Scouting have the opportunity to enjoy water activities, but in Sea Scouting, considerable emphasis is on these activities, and many aspects of naval and nautical traditions are incorporated.

Sea Scouting is available to young people from the age of 10½ through Sea Scout Troops and Explorer Sea Scout Units.

In the Scout section, Sea Scouting may exist as a Sea Scout Group, or there may be a Sea Scout Patrol within a typical Scout Troop.

Explorer Sea Scouts can be found in Units. They may be linked through partnership agreements to Sea Scout Groups, water activity centres or as part of other District-based units. Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts in a Sea Scout Group follow the same programme as all other Beavers and Cubs, albeit with the likelihood of some water-based activities being included in the programme.


Sea Scouts and Explorer Sea Scouts regularly get involved in a wide range of water activities from canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, pulling (rowing) and narrow boating to power boating and offshore sailing. Sea Scouts also find time for many of the traditional scouting activities, such as camping and hiking, and other activities within the Scouting Programme.


Sea Scouts may wear a light blue shirt or dark blue jumper and a Sea Scout cap.

Leaders of Sea Scout Troops and Explorer Sea Scout Units wear the Sea Scout Leader's uniform.

Further information about Sea Scout uniform, and the placement of badges, can be found in Chapter 10 of POR.


The Sea Scout flag is dark blue, bearing the Scout symbol and motto.  Groups or Units that are recognised by the Royal Navy may also fly the Defaced Red Ensign.

Ceremonial information

The colours ceremony at the start of meetings and events, and the sunset ceremony at the end, are conducted using a red ensign rather than a Union Flag. You never break an ensign, you simply hoist it with dignity, and not normally to the masthead, but to a gaff (which may not always be practicable in the small Scout headquarters building).

There are slight variations in the details of proceedings, but this is typical and good practice.

When the Duty Patrol Leader is ready the hoist the ensign, the still is sounded on a bosun’s call, and the Troop salutes. When the ensign is secured, the PL salutes, the carry on is piped, and the salute is ended.

Sea Scout Salute

By convention, most Sea Scout groups adjust the Scout salute just a little, to make it more consistent with naval tradition. The hand is kept horizontal, shortest way up, shortest way down.


If you are Leader of a Sea Scout Group or Unit, or interested in Sea Scouting, you are welcome to join the UK Sea Scouting Facebook group. This is managed by our UK Specialist Adviser for Sea Scouting, and is a platform for discussions, networking and sharing ideas.


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