Frequently Asked Questions

(All of the following information may also be found on pages 25-27 of your Participant Guide)

Does my crew need a tour plan?  As of April 2017 the Boy Scouts of America no longer requires units to submit BSA Tour and Activity Plans. 

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.

What is Sea Base’s Cancellation Policy?  Please notify Sea Base immediately if your unit intends to cancel. Early notification may allow Sea Base to rebook your canceled adventure. If Sea Base rebooks the adventure, all fees except for the original $250 reservation fee will be returned to your unit. Sea Base will not refund any fees to your unit if the adventure is not rebooked. Sea Base does not refund crews for canceled flights or ground transportation. Sea Base strongly recommends trip insurance.

How many adult leaders do I need to meet Youth Protection Standards for my crew?  

  • Two adult leaders, ages 21 and over, are required for all Scout activities.
    • Two adult leaders, ages 21 and over male or female are required for all Scout activities which include all male youth.
    • One adult female and one adult male OR two adult females, ages 21 and over are required for all Scout activities which include both male and female youth participants.
  • Scouts ages 18 – 20 are considered youth participants, however they must complete the required trainings that all other adult leaders must take.

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, and Hazardous Weather Training.

What trainings must adults complete to participate at Sea Base? All individuals over the age of 18 must complete Youth Protection Training, BSA Safe Swim, BSA Safety Afloat, and Hazardous Weather Training. One adult age 21 or older must complete Wilderness First Aid Training and one adult age 21 or older must complete CPR/AED Training.

How old must I be to participate in a Sea Base program? The ages specified below as evidenced by Annual Health and Medical Record.

Age Restrictions Scuba, Out Island, Bahamas, and St. Thomas Programs. Participants must be 13 years old by the date of their arrival to participate in the programs listed below. Participants who would turn 13 during their adventure are not eligible to participate.

      • Scuba Adventure
      • Scuba Advanced Marine Exploration
      • Scuba Certification
      • Scuba Live Aboard
      • Out Island
      • Sea Base Bahamas
      • Sea Base St. Thomas

Age Restrictions Florida Sailing and Multi-Adventure Programs. Participants must be 12 years old by the date of their arrival to participate in the programs listed below. Participants who would turn 12 during their adventure are not eligible to participate.

      • Coral Reef Sailing
      • Keys Adventure
      • Keys Adventure Sailing
      • Fishing Adventure
      • Marine STEM
      • Sea Exploring
      • STEM Eco-Sailing

Important! 12 year old participants must be physically, mentally, and emotionally mature and Sea Base strongly suggests that all 12 year old participants be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

AGE REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE RELAXED. 

Why doesn’t Sea Base allow 12 year old participants to SCUBA dive? BSA National Camp Accreditation prohibits Sea Base from allowing anyone under the age of 13 to SCUBA dive in its programs.

Why doesn’t Sea Base allow 12 year old participants to participate in the Bahamas or St. Thomas Sea Base programs? Offshore (outside the continental United States) programs require a high level of physical, mental, and emotional maturity to successfully travel and participate.

Why does Sea Base require 12 year old participants to be physically, mentally and emotionally mature to participate? Sea Base is a high adventure program that can be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. Programs are offered in sometimes harsh marine environments. Youth must be capable and prepared to safely navigate travel and programs.

Why does Sea Base strongly suggest that all 12 year old participants be accompanied by a parent or guardian? High Adventure programs are challenging. Having a parent or guardian present who best understands a Scout’s needs best prepares them for success.

Because Sea Base suggests 12 year olds to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, can more than half of my crew be composed of adult leaders age 21 and up? No.  The maximum number of adults (age 21 and up) permitted to attend is half of each attending crew.

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.

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.

Who can sign my BSA Annual Health and Medical Record?  

  • For Scuba Certification Adventure, it must be an MD or DO, no exceptions. For the other Scuba Adventures, it depends on whether they are taking medications, have health issues, had COVID etc. If they are fit, then a PA can sign. Parts A, B, and C must be filled out completely for the form to be accepted.

  • For all other Adventures, a licensed physician (MD, DO), nurse practitioner (LPN), or physician assistant (PA) can sign the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. Parts A, B, and C must be filled out completely for the form to be accepted.

Are there special Health and Medical requirements for SCUBA Adventures?  Yes. You can view a list of medical concerns that may limit SCUBA eligibility by clicking HERE, and by reviewing your participant guide.

What if I arrive at Sea Base and exceed the Maximum Weight Limit for my height and do not have a note from my physician? If you exceed maximum weight for height as explained in the Height and Weight chart and your planned high-adventure activity will take you more than 30 minutes away from rescue by US Coast Guard, you may not be allowed to participate.

What if I arrive at Sea Base and exceed the Maximum Weight Limit by more than 20 pounds, but have a note from my physician? Those who exceed the Maximum Weight Limit for their height by more than 20 pounds may not be permitted to participate. Anyone who weighs over 295 pounds regardless of height will not be permitted to participate.

What if I arrive at Sea Base and weigh more than 295 pounds? No one who weighs more than 295 pounds will be permitted to participate. Exceptions cannot be made for individuals over 78 inches. Due to rescue equipment restrictions and evacuation efforts from remote sites, under no circumstances will any individual exceeding 295 pounds be permitted to participate.  Anyone arriving at Sea Base exceeding 295 pounds will be sent home at their own expense.  No refund will be given.

Where does my crew check in?  The appropriate check in location for your specific adventure can be found on your participant guide.

What time should my crew check in? Sea Base Crews should check in no earlier than 1pm and no later than 3pm on their arrival date.

What time should my crew depart?  Sea Base crews should depart no later than 10am on their departure date.

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 in your participant guide. 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.

How much does the crew duffel hold?

The duffel is 22″ L x 12″ W x 12″ H and holds approximately 52 L. We will issue a mesh bag of similar size for you to use during your time here or the crew duffel bag is also available for purchase to pack ahead of time from the ship store

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.

For my sailing adventure, 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? $150- $175.

Should my crew buy snorkel gear? Yes. Masks and snorkels will not provided as part of your adventure, but can be purchased/ordered through the ship store. Fins and inflatable vests are still provided.

Should my crew buy fishing gear? No. Fishing gear is provided as part of your adventure.

Where can I find a detailed itinerary? One is not provided. Programs are weather and tide dependent. There are no required destinations other than arrival, midweek and departure points. General program overviews can be found on your adventure’s participant guide.

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.

Uniforms– 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.

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)

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)

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)

Citizen Science Award- The Citizen Science award recognizes Marine STEM scouts that complete every monitoring, engineering, and research project offered throughout the week. Scouts who earn the Citizen science award are those who have a passion for research, are diligent in their reporting, and are willing to venture out into uncharted waters to seek new knowledge for the sake of our planet!

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.ages

Certified Wilderness First Aid Training Providers

Certified CPR/AED Training Providers