The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is a unique Scouting program that offers aquatics programs found nowhere else. Whether your interests lie in sailing, scuba diving, rustic camping on an undeveloped barrier island, fishing or a combination of all, this is the place for your troop or crew.
The Sea Base began in the early 1970's as a local program in the Florida Keys called the Florida Gateway to High Adventure under the guidance of Sam Wampler, a professional Scouter from the South Florida Council. It offered primarily sailing programs using local marinas and chartered boats sailing to the Bahamas and back. As the idea caught on and grew, it joined the high adventure offerings of the National Council of the BSA along with Philmont Scout Ranch and the Northern Tier High Adventure Base. In 1979 the Sea Base acquired a permanent facility on Lower Matecumbe Key and when this opened for Scouts in 1980 it was renamed the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. As the popularity of this program grew, scuba diving was added and in 1984 the BSA received the gift of Big Munson Island from Homer Formsby. This undeveloped island offered tremendous program potential as an outpost for primitive camping, Robinson Crusoe style. During this time period the sailing program concentrated on sailing around the fabulous Florida Keys. New sailing programs were started that originated and ended in Marsh Harbour in the beautiful Abaco Islands of the Bahamas.
Sea Base programs continued to excite the imagination of Scouts and Scouters and as attendance grew the need for a second facility was obvious. Thanks to the generosity of J. Porter Brinton of Greenwich, CT, the Brinton Environmental Center opened in 2001 making the Sea Base even better. The Sea Base has continued to add and upgrade facilities and programs to meet the needs of Scouts.
Sea Base now operates twelve different adventures out of four different locations: one is St. Thomas, USVI, two in the Florida Keys, and one in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. The adventures Coral Reef Sailing, Sea Exploring Adventure, Eco-Adventure, Scuba Adventure, Scuba Certification, and Live Aboard Scuba Adventure operate in the Florida Keys at Mile Marker 73.8 at Sea Base on Lower Matecumbe Key located 75 miles south of Miami (Lower Matecumbe Key - MAP). Out Island Adventure, Keys Adventure and Florida Fishing programs operate in the Florida Keys on Summerland Key at Mile Marker 23.8 at the Brinton Environmental Center located 125 miles south of Miami (Summerland Key - MAP). (Key West, the southernmost point in the Keys, Florida and the continental United States, is located at Mile Marker zero.) Bahamas Adventure and Bahamas Tall Ship Adventures operate out of the Bahamas Sea Base in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas, located about 100 miles east of Fort Lauderdale.
Scouting's most complete aquatic facility offers a complete variety of water activities from scuba diving to sailing "Tall Ships". All participants have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and fish among the most beautiful coral reefs in the northern hemisphere. In 2010, in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of the Boy Scouts of America, the Florida Sea Base celebrated 30 years of providing Scouts and Scouters from across America ocean adventures that make a lifetime difference.
Troop 71 attended Sea Base "St. Thomas" August 3-9, 2015.