About Us

TS Nimrod is the best youth group in Port Chalmers, because we belong to the best youth organisation in the country – Cadet Forces.

Sea Cadets gives young people the life skills they need to become the leaders of their generation.

 

 

 

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New Recruit Intake Coming Up!

If you know someone who might be interested in joining and they are starting high school this year (or they are already 13) then it’s time to act. Our recruiting intake in November 2017 are graduating to Ordinary Cadet rank and we are starting another intake on 22 February.

What you need to do: you might like to visit the unit first to see if it’s your kind of thing. Just flick us a text or email, or give us a call, and arrange to come down to the boat shed on a Thursday. We start as soon as the school term starts.

If you are then interested in joining, just show up at 6.45pm on 22 February with a parent or guardian to do the paperwork (they won’t have to stay the whole time). We will finish just after 9pm.

Want more information? Have a look around www.cadetforces.org.nz to see what’s involved and what opportunities we have to offer.

November

This term a new intake of cadets has arrived. The New Entrant training programme is now underway, and recruits have started to learn drill, parade night routine, marks of respect (calling people by their rank and surname) and have completed a swim test. Next they will earn about knots and basic first aid before the NE camp. After that they can apply to be promoted to Ordinary Cadet and learn about uniform care and begin their boating qualifications.

We have two New Entrant intakes per year: one in November and one in February. Recruits must be 13, or 12 if they are starting high school in term 1. The recommended process for joining is to first attend an opening night and then to visit once or twice before the date of the intake. Opening nights happen twice a year – once in term 3 and once in term 1.

We recommend that parents or caregivers also attend the opening night and come along on a visit or two. Sea Cadets is not like a sport at school, and is certainly not a babysitting service! We rely on family members to help out in a variety of ways: at the very least we need cadets to be encouraged at home to be properly committed and turn up every week with the proper equipment. We can’t teach commitment if the cadets don’t show up! We also rely on having helpers on the Unit Support Committee, otherwise the unit can’t run properly.

If you are interested in finding out more, please visit nimrod.org.nz or look us up on Facebook.

August

This past month has seen the leaders of TS Nimrod travelling all over the place to connect in various ways with our national organisations.

At the end of July I spent a weekend at RNZAF Base Ohakea near Palmerston North at the Unit Commanders Conference. There we discussed the future of the Sea Cadet training syllabus and the importance of seamanship skills and Naval tradition as our points of difference from sailing clubs and scouts. We also undertook a fitness test, which was designed to ensure all serving officers are physically fit to act appropriately in an emergency situation.

Two weeks later the Chair of our Unit Support Committee and I attended the Sea Cadet Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) conference at HMNZS Philomel, Devonport Navy Base. According to the Cadet Forces Charter of Support, all units are run as a partnership between the Defence Forces and the civilian community, and SCANZ is the national organisation for the civilian representation in the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC).

At the Navy base we discussed the way the SCC is funded, welcomed new committee members from around the country and had a question and answer session with the SCANZ executive and the NZCF Commandant. We also had the opportunity to talk to many high-ranking Naval personnel, including the Warrant Officer of the Navy himself. He gave us a tour of the new Seamanship Centre and showed us around the docks where many of our Navy’s ships happened to be alongside for various reasons.

June

We are back at the Watersiders’ Hall for the winter terms and have been sorting through our uniform stores. Uniform used to be provided as Navy surplus but we now have to purchase items new, so we have a large collection of older uniform to keep track of in order to keep costs down. The cadets sorted items into type and size groups, and put aside anything that can’t be worn any more.

We have had one cadet already pass the Junior Non-commissioned Officer course and two more are due to go up to Burnham this upcoming school holidays. This course is the beginning of their formal leadership training, and can result in promotion to Leading Cadet. This means taking on some instructing and administrative roles as well as beginning to help set the tone for the unit in terms of self-discipline, drill, dress and bearing.

A big thanks is due to the Lions, who have been really helpful with stuff in the background such as helping to maintain our assets and ideas and help with fundraising. We really appreciate this kind of help, as it can be difficult to drum up support from the community at times.

Our AGM did not result in any new committee members, but we are still short of helpers. If you or anyone you know might be able to lend us a hand, especially with a bit of planning and organising, please contact us at ts.nimrod@cadetforces.org.nz and let us know.

June

The New Zealand Cadet Forces have recently undergone a small change in structure. I’ll take the opportunity this month to describe how Sea Cadets works.

Sea Cadets is one of three branches of Cadet Forces in NZ which align with our Regular Forces: we have a Navy theme, the NZ Cadet Corp (Army Cadets) align with the Army and the Air Training Corps (ATC) with the Air Force. All three of these branches exist under a Charter of Support, which is essentially a partnership between the NZ Defence Force and, in our case, the Sea Cadet Association of NZ (SCANZ) – a civilian body with charitable status.

This means that TS Nimrod is run under two organisational structures. The community, who elect to maintain an NZCF unit in Port Chalmers, provide the members of the local branch of SCANZ. This makes up our Unit Support Committee, which consists of a chairperson, secretary and treasurer, plus voting members. They run everything behind the scenes, including the unit’s finances.

The other structure is the NZCF side, which is where some small changes have been made recently. At unit level, the officer staff fill the roles of Unit Commander and Executive Officer. They in turn are guided by the Dunedin Area Support Officer (ASO), a new role brought in to provide a local link between units and to bring NZCF support physically closer to communities. The ASO liaises with NZCF Southern HQ in Burnham, which is staffed by Regular Force personnel. This structure is in charge of training and day-to-day operations.

So basically, TS Nimrod is run jointly by local members of both SCANZ and NZCF.

May

This month I want to focus on the benefits of being a Sea Cadet. Many local people have passed through TS Nimrod over the years, and each one will have stories to tell of what they got out of it, no matter how long they were here for.

I’ve written plenty about the skills and knowledge a Sea Cadet will gain, from boating to leadership and everything in between, so I won’t dwell too much on that aspect this time. Sea Cadets offers opportunities and opens doors for people in many other ways, including travel, friendships and career opportunities.

Sea Cadets offers many opportunities for young people to travel locally, nationally and internationally. Cadets will attend courses and competitions, totally free of charge, throughout the South Island and often further afield. Opportunities often arise for cadets to travel aboard Navy vessels as well. New Zealand Cadet Forces also offers international exchanges to places like Singapore and the USA, and units will help and support fundraising for such trips.

Sea Cadets will form friendships with other cadets all over the country, from Northland to Southland. National events like the recent Cadet150 exercise bring young people of all ages together on common terms. Cadets will form friendships with older teenagers at local unit level as well, providing them with mentors and role models.

It’s a common misconception that cadets prepares people mostly for careers in the services. Mentioning membership of our volunteer organisation on a CV shows any potential employer that an applicant has commitment, leadership and teamwork skills, self-motivation and many other qualities of a good employee. Being or having been a Sea Cadet could mean a point of difference which will get you an interview over hundreds of other applicants.

This column isn’t long enough to list all the hidden benefits of being a Sea Cadet, but will hopefully give readers an idea of what makes us different.

Port Chalmers, Dunedin