The Sea Cadets learning how to drill during the Barbados Cadet Corps’ Sea Cadet Programme. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Young Barbadians who undergo training in the Barbados Cadet Corps’ (BCC) Sea Cadet Programme are taught critical life skills and values.

This assertion has come from Officer in Charge of the Sea Cadets Enlistment Programme, Lieutenant Commander Robert Morris, who said the programme has been helping young people develop skills for the future.

Lt. Commander Morris continued: “Parents have reported that there has been an improvement in their children’s self-confidence, motivation and commitment.  In addition, they have reported that they have seen changes in how their children interact in teams.  Sea cadets have also said that they have been engaging in team work.

“Cadets, officers and parents all agree that the Sea Cadet Programme is having an impact on young people’s values, respect, self-discipline, honesty, integrity, commitment, citizenship and an understanding of duty.”

He emphasized the importance of the programme, saying it aims to help young people improve their wellbeing, school attendance and engagement, have better post age 16 outcomes, reduce problem behaviours and increase community participation.

“Improving behaviour is of high priority for parents and this is likely because risky or anti-social behaviour is perceived as a major problem for most young people. Involvement in sea cadets can help young people not get into trouble, and improve their attitude to authority figures.  I believe that this is due to the ethos and discipline of the sea cadets, as they become more mature and improve in their respect for others.

“Participating in the Sea Cadet Programme may assist in reducing anti-social behaviour and crime in primarily two ways.  Firstly, there is the diversionary nature of sea cadets – if young people are participating in other activities, they are less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour and crime.  The second is that the mentoring by volunteers and the self-discipline taught as part of the programme may also help young people desist from engaging in crime and anti-social behaviour,” Lt. Commander Morris stated.

Photo: Barbados Defence Force

The Sea Cadet Subunit of the Barbados Cadet Corps was formed in 1994 for children ages 11 to 18, to help them develop an appreciation for the importance of the sea to the environment, human existence, sustainable development, international commerce and security. 

The programme is also designed to help children develop high personal standards and leadership skills, as well as expose them to teamwork.

Since its inception, it is believed that over 2,500 persons have been trained. During this past summer, nearly 50 persons were trained, and about 70 young people are currently undergoing training, which will end this month.

They are exposed to marine engineering, navigation, seamanship, first aid, drill, kayaking and sailing, swimming and lifesaving skills, target shooting, diving as well as oaring and power boating.

Lt. Commander Morris said the sea cadet training could prepare the children to undertake careers in the blue economy.  He highlighted some as marine engineering, marine biotechnology, seabed mining, marine tourism, commercial fishing, shipbuilding, offshore oil and gas, marine transport and charter vessel operations.

The Barbados Cadet Corps, he pointed out, was working with several stakeholder groups to design and implement qualifications such as CVQs and other technical courses in sailing and seamanship, which would allow sea cadets to work in the blue economy.

Those persons interested in signing up for the Sea Cadet Programme should call 536-2000 or 536-2004, email robert.morris0427@gmail.com, or visit the Barbados Cadet Corps’ headquarters at Cherry Tree Cottage, The Garrison, St. Michael.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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