Sea Cadets makes exploring the world, and who you want to be, feel safe and exciting at the same time.
You learn life skills. I was 12, very quiet and shy. Cadets makes you find the confidence. You feel part of something special. Serafina, 15
Life feels different
Sea Cadets is different from school. There's a lot of learning. But it's done through activities – on the water, on land and in the unit – and our volunteers leading by example.
It's also different from home, a break from screens and being cooped up inside.
Teenagers meet other cadets at events around the UK, and on trips abroad. They become comfortable with people from different places and backgrounds, which can make going out into the world so much easier later on.
The support feels different, too
Our friendly, committed volunteers – some from a naval background, many not – look after our cadets, and help to draw out anyone who's shy.
If you think Sea Cadets sounds like having orders barked at you, think again. Many cadets do want to learn to be a bit more self-disciplined, and our volunteers will help with that and make it fun. But they also help young people to try things they've never done before, safely, and to support them until they achieve it.
A second family
Friendships are born out of working together and playing together. Everyone looks after each other at Sea Cadets. There's a lot of respect in the air. And many teenagers and volunteers say it's like belonging to a second family.
We take this responsibility extremely seriously and have robust, active safeguarding practices in place to ensure all young people feel secure and protected in Sea Cadets today.
10- to 18-year-olds get together in their local units every week
local units give cadets a great time with a serious side every week
volunteers give their time to help teenagers develop the skills and approach to life that will launch them into independence