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Sea Cadets or Army cadets?

(22 Posts)
CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Tue 28-Jan-14 09:43:23

DD is looking at joining a cadet unit. SO far she is undecided about which one.

I think she will enjoy bits of both and would be happy for her to join either so we're just looking for some advice and experiences please.

She's 13 btw and active.

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Tue 28-Jan-14 15:26:50

Bump smile

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 28-Jan-14 18:30:16

DS2 is in the Air Cadets. I (and he) would definitely recommend this. There are females in his unit. They all fit in very well. He has been flying and gliding with his unit; he has also been away for a few camps with them and done shooting. They do learn all about flight and other (to me, anyway) uninteresting! things like that.

His cousin (my DN) joined the Army Cadets last year and got lots more free kit than DS, but she didn't last very long as the friend she joined with, left so she did, too. DS joined ATC on his own and is now a corporal. He is doing his DofE with the Cadets and also some very long march thing that he's having to train for by going on a weekend camp every month until June/July. It really has given him so much. I know that in our town the Sea Cadets cost more per month than ATC (I know this as I was looking for DD). I don't know how much subs is for Army Cadets. The ones that are very near ATC do seem to go on more camps than ATC.

I hope that's enough information for you atm. I know you didn't ask about ATC, but I thought I'd put it in the mix for you grin.

diabolo Tue 28-Jan-14 18:59:23

Mine is in Air Cadets via CCF at school. He is 14 and just been invited to learn to fly next week, passed drill and weapons tests etc, done several weekends away, shooting targets like they do in FBI training school and doing patrols at 2am etc.

He loves it, there are boys and girls, a good mix.

I pay £75 for the year and that includes most activities, including the flying, which I think is amazing value for money.

He chose this over Army Cadets - wanted to do something a bit different (about 65% go for the Army section at his school).

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Tue 28-Jan-14 19:24:50

Bloody hell.

Air cadets? Don't throw another thing into the mix.

I'm off to google!

Frozenatchristmas Tue 28-Jan-14 19:28:26

I am a CI with the air cadets. Was an air cadet in my younger years also. Loads to do from flying, gliding, marching, shootings, duke of Edinburgh, camp (on RAF bases), model aircraft flying. The list goes on. Good uniform, good people and lots of things to experience.

Same would probably be said of both army and sea cadets though. All so much better and so much more experience to be gained than the Guides. Then again, earning a baking badge was never my thing.

AnyFucker Tue 28-Jan-14 19:33:02

Mine does air cadets.

meditrina Tue 28-Jan-14 19:33:35

I would urge Air Cadets or Army Cadets. DBro was a Sea cadet and would probably kill me for passing over his preference. But I do think the other two have a wider range of activities.

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 28-Jan-14 19:36:14

Frozen I just wanted to say, thank you for being a CI. I know that ATC wouldn't function without you. thanks

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Tue 28-Jan-14 19:38:47

Gah - making me wish I was a teen again - sigh

A nothing cadet here, didn't even get to go to Brownies. sad

DH is involved with army cadets, from what he describes it sounds absolutely the making of kids under the guise of fun! <jealous again>

Whatever she chooses I wish her a brilliant time!

AmberLeaf Tue 28-Jan-14 19:38:56

Id recommend army cadets.

rhiwpix Tue 28-Jan-14 19:41:08

I was an air cadet. I was sponsored to go tall ship sailing by the ATC and I also got to do D of E, flying and gliding. I think of the three cadet corps it offers the widest spectrum of opportunities.

MothershipG Tue 28-Jan-14 19:41:23

I think how much they get to do partly depends on the unit, how big and how well organised, so if possible talk to some of the older cadets. My DS has just passed out and is an Army cadet, but I'm not sure he's going to make through the rest of the winter! grin

SoonToBeSix Tue 28-Jan-14 19:43:27

Neither air cadets is much better

I was a Sea Cadet, and later an instructor. All of the following I learned as a cadet:


I did my DofE right up to Gold, spent most weekends away camping or on boats, and learned all sorts of useful skills like camp craft, knots, communications and most of all self discipline and respect.

I also played netball and football, and swam, ran and shot at District level.

I also attended carnivals, carol concerts and Remembrance days, went on the tall ships race and boarded several serving navy ships.

And won cadet of the year <polishes badge>

SCC rocked!smile

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Tue 28-Jan-14 19:46:15

We looked at air cadets and I think she's most keen on this one now. We're going to go and have a look around the next intake night but she's happily rambling about gliding and all the other things they list on the local site!

Thanks for all your input guys smile

She did brownies for a bit but it didn't really hold her interest after about 8 months as she felt it was all quite similar one week to the next.

sunshineday Tue 28-Jan-14 19:46:48

My ds3 was in the army cadets but all they seamed to do was drill. He was there for about a year then changed to the marine cadets and loves it. Ds4 is in the sea cadets and loves that but can't wait to join the marines when he turns 13. The sea cadets and the marine cadets are both run from the same unit. The are lots of girls in their unit.

MadameJosephine Tue 28-Jan-14 19:47:34

Another vote for the air cadets. My DS has been going for 3 years and it's been the making of him, he loves it and he has become so much more confident since going.

Jeeves93 Tue 28-Jan-14 22:19:13

There is no point "voting" for one cadet force over another - it is a decision that must be taken by the potential cadet. They all offer the same basic thing but with a "speciality". Boats for sea cadets, fieldcraft for army cadets and flying for air cadets.

What you mustn't do is get sucked in by the "we do everything they do but we also do xxx" pitch, as it is simply not true. There are only so many hours in the day so they cannot do it all.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Tue 28-Jan-14 22:37:13

She did brownies for a bit but it didn't really hold her interest after about 8 months as she felt it was all quite similar one week to the next.

Thanks Charlie - that makes me feel a lot better that I didn't miss out on too much wink grin

Frozenatchristmas Wed 29-Jan-14 07:23:38

Thanks ilovejudy. I do love it though.

dobby2001 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:19:51

Tried three times to post on this last night but stupid tablet wouldn't let me angry .
Vote for Sea Cadets here. My 12yo DD joined last spring, after a flyer for an open day of the local unit came through our door. Prior to this she was keen to join Air Cadets, but they start at 13 and Sea cadets have a junior section from 10-12, and then you join full cadets from 12-17. From her first session she was off powerboating and rowing, the was a weeks camp in Devon which she could have attended for £30 but we were away that week. In winter they don't do boating but they get involved with things like the remembrance parades and sponsor events - DD went to a very posh do in London for the Builders guild as they support her unit grin . Its not all been plain sailing (s'cuse the pun) . She went through a period of not wanting to get her arse in gear once the nights got colder and darker, but now she is really committed to it - I think because they treat them in a more grown up fashion and gradually develop the personal responsibility that comes with having more autonomy, which I like.
The Air Cadets are next door to the sea cadets and we sometimes have shared events. Due to this they cadets do compare notes on what they get up to and it is broadly similar,(First aid and other courses, plenty of drill and kit checks , outdoorsy trips away and Duke of Edinburgh) although it seems the air cadets do things at a later date. One of DDs school friends is in the ATC and has not done much of what DD has done. This has meant DD is no longer wanting to swap over when she reaches 13.
Cost wise it works out to £1 a session (2x week) and uniform (2, 1 everyday and 1 ceremonial) is free with a small deposit.

Hope this helps. They have a good website and facebook page with info.

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