Royal Navy Inspection

Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

All sections are represented on the evening from Beavers right through to Explorers and we need to find space to accommodate everybody. It is a great time to get the entire Unit together and allows all sections to see what the other sections do and for leaders and assistants to meet each other.

RN Staff Officer (Sea Scouts), a Lieutenant Commander who works for Flag Officer Sea Training, carries out the inspection. Lt Cdr Karen Cahill has recently taken over this role and this was our first inspection by Lt Cdr Cahill. Tuesday 13th December was the designated date for our inspection.

On Tuesday 13th December 1830 hrs our headquarters, at Crosshouse, was buzzing with activity. Young people arriving, uniforms pressed and shoes polished. Some parents stayed for the evening. County Commissioner Adam Jollens arrived to represent County, District Commissioner Colin Floyd arrived to represent Southampton City District and various other guests arrived. Activities were being set up and getting under way. Lt Cdr Cahill arrived at 1900 hrs and was greeted by Clive Aylet our GSL. The inspection was under way.

Explorers set up in the garage, got a fire under way in the fire pit and demonstrated their cooking skills. Whilst in the hall Beavers, Cubs and Scouts carried out a range of activities demonstrating their skills. Members of the Executive were busy in the kitchen supplying drinks and biscuits. Explorers then moved into the hall with four Explorers and an Assistant Leader demonstrating their musical talents and playing a couple of carols with the rest of Explorers singing.

There then followed a presentation of a Chief Scouts Gold to James Mintoff and investing of Richard Chapman as an Assistant Scout Leader. ESL Dave McKeeman presented a flag to the Enterprise Explorer unit to mark his five years with the section and taking over as ESL in 2011. Enterprise now has its own flag. James Mintoff was invested into Enterprise Explorer unit. Explorers like to invest on the water and this called for a bit of improvisation – James stood in a bowl of water whilst being invested.

Following these presentations, a formal inspection of Scouts and Explorers was carried out by Lt Cdr Cahill. Lt Cdr Cahill then spoke with the unit on completion of her inspection and confirmed that we had retained our RN recognition. The 25th Southampton has been a RN recognised unit for fifty five years. We carry on with the programme and look forward to meeting Lt Cdr Cahill at a time when we can get out on the water and show off our nautical skills.

You might ask “What is a RN recognised Sea Scout unit?” RN recognised Sea Scouts are much more than Scouts with a nautical twist. Of the three hundred and fifty Sea Scout groups in the UK only one hundred and one are officially recognised. In return for maintaining high standards of Scouting programme, water activities, discipline and smartness, they enjoy access to RN facilities and equipment. This entails achieving and maintaining the high standards of the Scout programme, water activities, discipline and smartness, with these being checked at formal inspections held every 18-24 months. Recognised groups work hard to ensure their Scouts continue to meet the criteria laid down by the Senior Service, which opens the door to use of facilities at locations including HMS Bristol in Portsmouth, HMS Raleigh at Torpoint and RN sailing centres. In addition they can access grants from the Admiralty Fund administered by the Scout Association. Their Scouts and Explorers are also eligible to enter the ‘Big Four’ events – the swimming gala at HMS Raleigh early in the year, the week-long summer camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth, the Soccer Sixes tournament in late September/early October and the Explorer Camp during the autumn half-term. We now look forward to our next inspection and maintaining our RN recognition.

Dave McKeeman ESL Enterprise
25th Southampton (Northam) Sea Scouts