Guildford Sea Cadets aims to help young people aged between 10 and 18 years, both male and female, to gain the best possible start in life through taking part in challenging and exciting recreational and instructional activities based on a nautical theme. The ethos and traditions of the Royal Navy are at the heart of all we do and we seek to develop in our young people:
Respect - to appreciate and to be considerate to others.
Loyalty - to be faithful to those who invest in them
Self discipline - to do what they must
Commitment - to do what they say they will
Honesty and integrity - to tell the truth and be good people
To do all this we maintain premises directly adjacent to the River Wey in Guildford where from which volunteer instructional staff are able to provide the activities, challenges and training opportunities through which our young people can develop.
We are a uniformed organisation with over 50 cadets and 15 instructors. We operate under the general umbrella of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC). But like all Sea Cadet units, Guildford is entirely responsible for providing the resources - volunteer instructors, boats, premises, vehicles and funding - which are necessary to give our young people the right development experiences.
On two evenings per week our instructors provide a structured programme of training, activities and challenges for our cadets. Typically this starts with a short parade after which our cadets will go on the river to practice their boating skills. We have motor and rowing boats and are particularly strong on paddle sports activity in kayaks and canoes.
Alternatively, when the weather permits, cadets may be taken into the countryside around Guildford to practice skills such as map-reading and navigation. In bad weather we have use of our own indoor sports hall for team games and other exercise. Cadets will also take part in a structured instruction programme which leads to qualifications and promotion for those who wish it. Qualification as a Cadet gives eligibility for the award of a BTEC Level One Certificate in Teamwork, Personal Skills and Citizenship
We have two cadet streams. A cadet in either stream will do an element of both water-borne and land based activities. However, Sea Cadets will concentrate on boating and other nautical activities while Royal Marines Cadets will do more out in the field.
At weekends our cadets often engage in competitions with cadets from other units or participate with them in undertaking some form of adventurous training. Many cadets partake in the Easter and Summer camps which are run by the MSSC. There are opportunities for offshore voyages in the sail and motor training ships of the Sea Cadet Corps.
All these training activities are programmed, facilitated and overseen by volunteer instructors, uniformed and civilian. Behind them, and responsible for the management of the unit, is the Unit Management Committee (UMC). They are responsible for ensuring that the unit has sufficient volunteer staff, funds, premises and equipment to function effectively. Guildford Sea Cadets is a stand-alone charity and the UMC members are its trustees.