Training Ship NIMROD

About us

Based in our historic boat shed at Back Beach in Port Chalmers, Training Ship Nimrod is a youth group with a difference. We are named after Ernest Shackleton’s famous Antarctic expedition, and take his motto as our own.

In the context of providing adventurous opportunities to young people in our community, we teach valuable life skills such as resilience and leadership. Not only does this help to set our cadets apart when it’s time to build their careers, but these skills also help to build a robust and responsive community.

Does being a cadet get in the way of academic achievement or sports and other activities? Not at all! In fact, the time management and self confidence gained at cadets can help to improve performance at school or give young people another context to learn in if school isn’t going so well.

Who can join

Any young person between the ages of 13 and 15 can join, or a tad younger if about to start high school (year 9).

Adults can join as well. The minimum age to join with the view to becoming an officer is 20. Even adults (over 18) who do not wish to go into uniform can help in many different ways.

Supplementary staff

Sup staff are people who regularly help out with running the unit, whether in an admin role or helping to supervise activities. This requires a security clearance from NZCF but does not involve having to complete training courses. People who would like to become officers also often start with a supplementary staff role. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more.

Unit support committee

Training Ship Nimrod relies on the Unit Support Committee (USC) to be able to function. Uniformed officers run the training and associated administration, and the USC does all the stuff behind the scenes to keep things going. This includes finances, working with the Unit Commander to resource activities, coordinating fundraising and other administration. With a healthy USC, we can run a smooth operation and provide lots of fun activities for cadets. The minimum time commitment is a one-hour meeting once a month. If you think you might have some skills to bring to the table, why not get in touch and arrange and time to come and visit.

Parent and Caregiver Obligations

As the parent of a cadet, we don’t ask very much of you. But there are still some things that you will need to do in order for your young person to get the most our of being a cadet.

Encouragement is the most important thing! Joining cadets can be a bit of a culture shock at first, and some young people aren’t too accustomed to being a bit outside of their comfort zone. That’s the optimal place to be to learn new things, so we rely on parents and caregivers providing encouragement to stay committed and turn up even after a long day at school. Commitment is one of our core values, but we can’t teach young people who aren’t showing up.

The second most important thing that we need from family members is help with raising money. We keep the fees as low as possible because we know how expensive life with young people can be. But in order to provide the level of activities and facilities that make us the best youth group in town, we need your help with the occasional fund raising event. If everyone is willing to do their bit, we probably only need you once a year.

If you’re able or willing to help a bit more, joining the Unit Support Committee is the best way to do that.

Unit structure

We are a Navy Cadet unit who are part of a national organisation called New Zealand Cadet Forces. Cadet units are a partnership between the Cadet Forces (under the umbrella of NZDF) and the community. The Navy Cadets are officially called the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC).

The Cadet Forces side is made up of NZCF trained, uniformed personnel. Each unit has a Cadet Unit Commander in charge, who leads a team of Officers and Supplementary Staff. Older cadets become Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who help to run the unit and train the younger cadets. NCOs can continue in uniform until they are 19 years old, at which point they can stay on and train as an Officer if they want to.

The other, more civilian side of the unit is made up of the Unit Support Committee (USC), who represent the community. For Navy Cadets, each USC is a branch of the national organisation, the Sea Cadet Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) who are a registered charity. SCANZ is also registered for GST, which means that Navy Cadet units do not have to pay capitation fees to belong. The USC works with the Unit Commander to run the unit, and is iften made up of parents, caregivers, ex-cadets and other interested community members.