Sea Scout Uniforms: National Programs

Figure 1.--This English photograph was taken in 1936. It shows two Sea Scouts and an English Boy Scout.

Sea Scout movements exist in many countruies around the word. All are integrated into the national Boy Scout movement which in many instances includes girls. Sea Scouting was created as an adjunct of the principal Boy Scout program in England. It proved popular in England with its seafareing tradiin. It quickly spread to mny other countries as well, epecially former British colonies and other countries with eafaring tradiion. Sea Scouting has always been a minor program in American Scouting. The approach to Sea Scouting varies around the world. In America it has been set up as an option for older Scouts. In New Zealand and some othr countries, boys can begin participating in Sea Scouting even as Cubs.


Australia has a strong Sea Scout progrm, but we have few detils at this time.


Scouting was not possible in Azerbaijan during the Soviet era. Wgen independence (1992) groups in Azerbaijan have tried to create a Scouting movement. We have virtually no information on these efforts at this time. A reader has, however, forwarded us a photograph of a group of Sea Scouts taken in 1994. The boys wearh white sailor hats and blue uniforms. We have no further information, but the boys seem to be at a fairly established camp.


Belgian Sea Scouts also have a Sea Scout program. Here HBU has been somewhat confused because Flemish Scouts speak Dutch and we have confused them wih Dutch Scouts. We are trying to sort out this misunderstanding now.


The Boy Scout Sea Scouting program, like Scouting itself, was conceived in England. English Sea Scouting apparently began at a Boy Scout camp fire. Among other topics, Lord Baden-Powell suggested that older Scouts might wanst to learn about handling boats and seamanship. He thought that therewas a need for young men to learn naval skills to prepare for service on ships. The idea sparked some interest. The first English Scouts were, in effect, both regular Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts. Baden-Powell felt that the best approach was a seperate branch of Scouting which could focus on a program entirely devoted to the teaching of nautical skills. Baden-Powell asked his brother Warington to take charge of the first specialized Scout branch. Warington was interested. Bill Harvey was the first Sea Scout skipper. Warington wrote a book entitled Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys. The book and the idea proved very popular in England and gradually found its way to other countries. The English Sea Scout organization was formally charered in 1910. This was also the year that Scouting was chartered in the United States.


We know little about Estonian Scouting at this time. Scouting began in Estonia (1912) before World War I. The movement was active during independence (1918-40), but we have few details. We do know that there was a Sea Scout section, but the only information we have at this time is a single photograph.

Hong Kong

There are two Sea Scout groups in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Sea Scouts like other Sea Scouts arpund the world have a sailor-style uniform rather than a unoiform like regular Scouts. Sea Scouts uniforms have a basically white theme as opposed to the green Scout uniforms. The Sea Scout uniform is the most destinctive of the various Hong Kong Scout uniforms. The boys wear a sailor cap and square collared middy blouse with blue short pants.

(The) Netherlands

The Netherlands has a strong sea faring tradition. From the early years of Scouting, Sea Scouting has been a popular option. Sea Scouting continures today to be popular in the Netherlands.

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the countries with an especially important Sea Scout movement.Due to the nature of New Zealand, being two relatively small islands, sea scouting is particularly popular. New Zealand boys and girls can begin Sea Scouting and any level, including the entry Kea level.


We do not know a great deal about specialized Scouting in Scotland. We do know that there are Sea Scouts. One Edinburgh troop is a mixed unit, regular and Sea Scouting. The Scottish Sea Scouts wear light blue shirts raher than the dark green shirts Scouts wear. It looks like Sea Scout Cubs wear a light blue shirt just like the older Sea Scouts. There does not appear to ne a special Sea Scout Cub uniform.

United States

The Sea Scout program was founded in 1912, only 2 years after the Scouting program itself. In America Sea Scouting was set up as option for older Scouts. Arthur A. Carey played a leding role in founding theSea Scout program in America. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) appointed Carey Chairman of Waltham, Massachusetts to be the National Council Committee on Sea Scouting. Carey took a group of boys out on the schooner Pioneer. Another man, Charles T. Longstreth. in 1912 organized a Sea Scout patrol on his yacht in Philadelphia. Both Carey and Longstreth compiled pamphlets on Sea Scouting based on their experiences. Carey's Cruising for Sea Scouts was the first American publication on Sea Scouting. Longstreth published his pamflet, Nautical Scouting in 1915. One of the issues that concerned the BSA from the beginning er program for both oldr and younger boys. The first effort to address a program for older boys was the Sea Scout program.


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Created: September 2, 2002
Last updated: 7:38 PM 10/24/2004