On the river with the Sea Cadets

Does your child have a love for the water or anything nautical? Do they need to build confidence, would like to be part of a team as well as enjoy some camaraderie? Then the Sea Cadets might be worth a try!


The world is changing in ways that many young people find difficult. As a result, too many young people are going into an adult world under-equipped with the resilience, self-belief and social confidence they need to make a decent life for themselves. Sea Cadets has the skills to change this. You can see the difference being a Sea Cadet can make in how they hold themselves, welcome new people, and support each other. It can improve how they listen better in school, aren’t offended by constructive feedback, and get on better with teachers.


Studies have established that Sea Cadets gain in many ways:

— More confidence

— Feeling more in charge of themselves

— A leader people want to follow

— Comfortable speaking to anyone

— A brilliant team player

— Skilled, with qualifications to prove it

— With positive habits and thinking

— Adaptable

— Motivated

The Sea Cadets help teenagers from getting lost before life has started. One in five teenagers experience mental health problems like anxiety and depression. And many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are shut out of opportunities because they cost too much. Sea Cadets provide financial support to those in need.


The Sea Cadet program revolves around Naval skills in its broadest sense, including orienteering across Dartmoor, travelling abroad, rock-climbing, rowing, ceremonial drill and parading with a band, first aid, engineering, cooking, even weather-forecasting and power-boating…. and getting badges to prove it, and perhaps taking part in national competitions…

Sea Cadets parade


Young people benefit from having an extended “family” in the Sea Cadets with peers both older and younger than they are. They are motivated by the achievements of those just a little older than they are and develop confidence through passing on their skills to those a little younger.

They find they want to listen to others with more experience in life than they have because they see how it gets them to where they want to go.

In turn, they’ll learn how to support people who are less experienced than they are, which will help in social situations such as at interviews.


Sea Cadets get all the support they need to show what they’re made of, whether or not they shine at school, including the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’ Awards and a range of BTECs.


If you have any spare time and are thinking of volunteering then the Sea Cadets are actively looking for volunteers. They are looking for people who are happy to roll up their sleeves, get involved, and make a positive difference to teenagers who are often struggling in today’s world and their communities.

There are a range of different roles to choose from. You don’t need to have a background in the navy or in water sports, you just need to have a positive attitude!


Share your love of being out on the water with the next generation, through the opportunity to teach water sports such as kayaking, sailing, powerboating, canoeing, rowing and windsurfing. Don’t worry if you don’t have prior experience, you can gain a national qualifications with the RYA and BCU to teach, all you need is lots of enthusiasm!


If you aren’t able to commit to a regular volunteering role, there’s still plenty of ways you can get involved and make an impact – no commitment is too small and a role on a Unit’s Management Team could be a perfect fit. You could volunteer in roles such as Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary or Fundraising. These roles are perfect if you’re not able to be at your local Sea Cadets unit every week, or if you have a specialist skill you’d like to share.


Whether you opt to be a uniformed leader, or wear your own clothes, you can be hands-on, teaching cadets at your local unit. You’ll run lessons, activities, games, projects and events that help cadets progress through the Sea Cadets Experience, gaining qualifications and confidence as they go. A role at a unit is ideal if you can support local young people on a regular basis, are happy to throw yourself into teaching activities and seek a rewarding role where you’ll be the key to helping young people flourish into confident, capable young adults.

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