A start in life

From having fun to gaining confidence and new skills, NSO Juniors Lt Cdr (SCC) Victoria Marson RNR explains the Sea Cadets Experience for juniors

The Junior Sea Cadets Experience is designed to create a strong nautical experience. It offers our younger cadets a fun, hands-on learning experience where they can gain new skills to build upon during their time with Sea Cadets.

The Junior Sea Cadets programme is bespoke and modular based, delivered locally through unit activities. There are more than 300 modules to choose from, with more being developed on a monthly basis. Juniors can also benefit from units coming together within their district, to build on social skills and team work. 

The Junior Sea Cadets journey 

The Junior Sea Cadets Training Programme is grouped into four coloured sections, each linked by modules with a choice of activities.

Diagram of the four coloured badges for juniors

Unit section (Red)

Juniors learn about first aid, communication and information systems, unit naval customs and traditions as well as how to stay safe in their unit.

Waterborne section (Blue)

Develops knowledge, skills and an understanding of how to stay safe and be responsible while on the water. Juniors learn about water safety, practise their swimming skills and participate in boating taster sessions, all to help them gain confidence on the water.

Outdoor & Recreation section (Green)

This section develops knowledge, skills and basic understanding of the outdoors and how to take part and have fun in recreational activities. Cadets learn about the benefits of being active, gain an understanding of healthy eating habits, use their creative skills, and find out how to be an active promoter of respecting the environment.

Community & Citizenship section (Yellow)

Develops knowledge, skills and an understanding that cadets need to play a full part in their community as active and responsible citizens, by researching and taking part in community projects.
Juniors find out about politics, parliament, different cultures, faiths, their local community and naval history. 

Qualifications for juniors

Junior proficiencies badges

In addition to the coloured sections, juniors can also gain up to four proficiency qualifications: three boat work badges (British Canoeing Certificate, SCC Rowing Competent Crew, YSS Sailing Certificate) and one STEM badge. Activities around science, technology, engineering and maths help cadets build their creativity, problem-solving and life skills, and use their ingenuity, resourcefulness and curiosity. 

Other opportunities for juniors

The Commodore’s Broad Pennant Award 

Commodores pennant shows a white flag with a red cross and a red circle in the top left corner
Commodore’s Broad Pennant Award

The highest achievement badge for a junior sea cadet. To be awarded this badge, cadets must first have been awarded with all four coloured sections. Junior sea cadets need to complete an extra eight modules from each of the coloured sections.

The Young Leaders Award 

A great introduction to leadership, giving young learners knowledge of how to organise and lead small games and activities. This award develops skills such as organisation, communication and teamwork, as well as building confidence and self-esteem. 

Junior cadets with their certificates for the Earthshot Challenge
Juniors with their certificates from taking part in the Earthshot Challenge

The Earthshot Challenge 

This challenge for juniors was inspired by the Earthshot Prize, launched by Sir David Attenborough and the Duke of Cambridge to encourage everyone to think about ways to reverse the climate emergency. Our specially designed Earthshot modules for juniors will challenge their imaginations to think of their own ways to save our world.

Junior Summer camp

Our national summer camp is a unique experience for juniors, offering a fun activity-packed programme, with at least 300 places each summer. Activities include abseiling, archery, bushcraft, climbing, mini Olympics, nature walks, orienteering, zip wire and much more. Due to the pandemic, summer camp went virtual in 2021, with a week of engaging online activities do to at home. 

A young girl punches the air in triumph while her friend celebrates beside her

Summer camp 2022 takes place in Doncaster, 7–12 August. Spaces are limited so speak to your CO about taking part.  

“All the people are really nice and the officers are really supportive. It is a lot of fun because I have done kayaking, boating and camouflage face painting (which I really liked). My favourite thing is boating. In the future I want to be the captain of a ship.”

Junior sea cadet Feli, Guildford Unit 
Junior sea cadets parade through London

“The variety of activities is extensive, highly relevant and educational, very well planned and engaging. My son has enjoyed making new friends locally and at other units. He has really enjoyed his time on the water. He took part in his first-ever competitions and competed in swimming galas. This has all been great for his confidence and self-esteem.”

Liz Clark, parent

Check out the next issue for our feature on the Royal Marines Cadets Experience!

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