July 10, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.

International Sea Cadets visit Bermuda

International Sea Cadets visit Bermuda
International Sea Cadets visit Bermuda

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The Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps is once again hosting its annual International Exchange programme, welcoming a group of senior cadets and their escort officers from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.  There are a total of 13 Sea Cadets, age 16-18 visiting this year, with a full itinerary of events lined up for them during their 10 day visit.

The Cadets are accommodated at TS Admiral Somers, the St. George’s Unit of the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps, and spend their time exploring the island and being kept very busy with boating, historical tours and some great Bermuda hospitality.  They started out with a tour of St. George’s and Fort St. Catherine, and spent an evening kayaking and sailing with the Bermuda Cadets on the first day, followed by archery lessons at Southside and an amazing afternoon snorkelling out at North Rock compliments of the Bermuda Zoological Society.  They also had a beautiful day of sailing off the east end, and explored the caves around Walsingham and Blue Hole.

Lt.(SCC) Michael Frith, Commanding Officer of TS Admiral Somers, and the Exchange Liaison Officer for this year’s exchange, pointed out that, “the goal is to introduce them to our Cadets, teach them as much about Bermuda’s history and environment as possible, and to get them out on the water as much as we can.  We want them to leave here full of memories!”

The Cadets also made official visits to both Government House and the Cabinet Office in their dress uniforms, and were honoured to meet with both the Governor and the Premier.  Ensign Rory Sturm, the US escort officer remarked to the Governor that “I do a lot of sailing, and it has always been my goal to sail to Bermuda as a destination. I realise now that it is so much more than just a destination – it is an amazing place, and it’s a joy to be here.”

During their official visit with Premier Michael Dunkley, Marine Cadet Kelly Cawley, from St. Alban’s, UK, spoke about how she was amazed with the friendliness of the island “Everyone here is just so warm and friendly – it’s great!”, while Chief Petty Officer Tanner Glantz, from California, couldn’t help but remark on how beautiful the water is, saying “I can’t believe you get to see this all the time!”

Lt. Frith is very enthusiastic about the opportunities that the Exchange provides all of the participants, both those from overseas and the local Sea Cadet.  “Our Cadets derive enormous benefit from learning that their little Unit here in St. George’s is a part of something much bigger.  They get to know cadets from each of the visiting countries, and realise quickly that despite all of the national differences, they have a great deal in common.  They love the challenge of young leadership, the boating and the camaraderie, and the Exchange helps them to understand that commitment has its rewards.  Each of these visiting cadets represents the best of their respective Corps, and their commitment and hard work resulted in them being selected for this Exchange.  It’s an amazing opportunity for all of them, and they deserve it.”

Lt. Frith also notes that the International Exchange programme presents his own Sea Cadets with opportunities to travel overseas for training.  “While we are hosting the Cadets here in Bermuda, we have three Cadets that just headed off to Canada for several weeks of seamanship training, and another who will be traveling to the UK later in July.  The training facilities in both countries are fantastic, and they will get a chance to develop skills and take advantage of opportunities that just are not available to them here in Bermuda, all while getting to know other Sea Cadets from around the world.  The result is that they come back to the island with a renewed enthusiasm and commitment to what we do here; it makes them better young leaders.”

The visiting Sea Cadets have more activities lined up for them for the rest of their stay, with tours of the Pilot Boat, Bermuda Radio and Dockyard, and of course more boating.  Lt. Frith, veteran of several Exchanges, notes that “By the time they leave they will have made new friends and happy memories and will go back to their respective countries with a greater sense of their place in the Sea Cadet world.  The Sea Cadet programme has so much to offer young people, and these Exchanges represent the best of it.”


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