Re: Why I joined and reply about Signaling
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 19:25:21 -0400 (EDT)
The reason the morse code requirement was dropped from the advancement
requirements was that it has little use now. The US Navy does not teach it
any longer and the US Coast Guard stopped monitoring emergency frequencies
that carried morse code signals. In this day of VHF radios and cell phone,
there are better ways to communicate.
However, there were requirements added. The new requirements are very
practical and much harder than memorizing morse code. One such requirement
requires a Quartermaster applicant to take a three day cruise, where he or
she is incomplete command. He or she must plan the cruise, train the crew,
supervise the cruise including conducting emergency drills. The Quartermaster
applicant can not touch anything himself. He or she must do the entire
operation by deligating and supervising. This is the ultimated test. Can you
teach, supervise and command. There must be no errors. You find out how hard
this is when you try and dock a 50 foot boat in the wind, by giving compass
and helm commands. If you do not possess a high level of skill and leadership
ability, you will not be able to perform this task.
If the adult observer must step in, the Quartermaster applicant has failed.
There are other requirements that were added, including knowledge of lights
and day shapes. No vessels will signal you with morse code, but all
commercial vessels show lights and day shapes that warn you of danger and
various problems. Before the new requirements, Sea Scouts, were not required
to know this information.
However, before any of these decisions were made, A group of Sea Scouts
were assembled from around the country and worked on the Sea Scout
advancement for a year. THEY MADE THE DECISION, to drop certain
requirements, because of lack of value, not because they were hard.
I thought they did a great job. I know how hard they worked, because I was
I believe you are on the right track, when you say, we should never lower
requirements, because it would make things easier. I agree with you 100% in
that area. But we must not remain stationary. Just because we always did it
this way, does not mean that we should not change.
I thought you might be interested in this information.
National Sea Exploring Committee
Ship 410 Miami, Fl