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.

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