Sea Cadet training is all focused on developing positive personal attributes in young people. Our Core Values underpin all that we do, and Cadet safety is paramount.
Practically, we achieve this by providing the cadets with a challenging and interesting program based on nautical themes, using the uniform and proud traditions of the Royal Navy as tools to provide a sense of community, pride and self-discipline.
Junior Cadets and Cadets
Developmentally, the Sea Cadet program is divided into two elements:
Junior Cadets - ages 10-12
Cadets – ages 12-18
The Junior Cadet Program is focused on participation and learning what Sea Cadets is all about in a fun and age-appropriate context. The Cadet program is also focused on participation, but with an increasing emphasis on skill and leadership development and progressing through the rank structure (see below for further details).
The uniform that Junior Cadets wear is similar to the Cadet No.4 rig, but simpler. Their rank and badge structure is designed to recognise committed participation more than skills (although basic proficiency badges do also form part of their training). Generally, their classes are focused on familiarising them with the Sea Cadet program as a whole, and introducing them to the fun and challenge of what we do.
The Junior Cadet curriculum is divided into four basic sections:
UNIT (Red badge)
Learning about what we are, focused on the structure and traditions of the Unit and the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps as a whole. It involves learning about the uniform (both how to wear it and what it means), the rank structure and proficiency and specialisation qualifications available to cadets and basic drill (marching)
WATERBORNE (Blue badge)
In short, “boating”. The cadets learn about water safety, basic seamanship (eg. ropework) skills, and the basics of rowing, kayaking and sailing.
OUTDOOR & RECREATION (Green badge)
This is based on keeping the cadets active, with the focus on Physical Training (sports and games) and camping and other outdoor activities
COMMUNITY & CITIZENSHIP (Yellow badge)
This is the community service aspect of the Sea Cadet programme, which is extremely important to us. Participating in and assisting with community events, including charity fundraisers, parades and other community activities is a very important part of what we do, and this section helps the cadets to understand the value of the concept of “giving back”.
The Junior Cadet schedule is intentionally more relaxed than for the Cadets, with half of each parade night focused on some sort of classroom-based training, and the other half spent on more active, fun activities. By the time the Junior Cadets turn 12, and join the ranks of the Cadets, they are already familiar with how the Unit operates, and understand how challenging – and how much fun! – the training can be.
This is where the real skill development begins. Cadets wear the full uniform, with a work rig (No.4), summer dress uniform (No.3) and the full winter dress uniform (No.1). They begin to focus on specific qualifications, and work toward promotion up through the rank structure. Participation and commitment remain the most important qualities, but the Cadets are now also actively encouraged to develop skills and proficiencies, and above all, leadership. The curriculum is very broad in scope, so there will be something for everyone.
Specific skills taught include (but are not limited to):
Drill (including standard marching drill and more advanced armed drill)
Seamanship (including water safety, ropework, navigation, signals and radio communication)
Cook/steward (eg. cooking and preparing meals for groups)
Overseas training is an exciting opportunity that becomes open to the older cadets. Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps is a founding member of the International Sea Cadet Association, and regularly offers overseas training trips to Canada, the UK and the US, and occasional opportunities in other countries. These trips are extremely valuable, not just for the training opportunities that they provide the participating cadets, but also for the international awareness it helps them to develop, and the self-reliance and maturity that comes from being responsible for your own actions, separate from the care of parents!