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Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scouts

There are around 350 Sea Scout groups and units in the UK and 103 of these are officially recognised by the Royal Navy. The scheme provides assurance of the standards of Scout programme, water activities, administration and ceremonial, and provides unique benefits to members.

Scout Association

Royal Navy Recognition Scheme


RN Sea Scouts wear the RN Recognition badge on their uniforms, fly their RN Recognition pennant with pride and wear a defaced red ensign. The pride of achieving RN recognition is their key motivator.

They can use MOD cadet facilities, principally HMS Bristol and the Royal Navy Sailing Centre in Portsmouth. The Combined Cadet Force and Sea Cadet Corps often give spare capacity on their own courses to the RN Sea Scouts.

Grants are available from the Admiralty Fund administered by the Scout Association.


The ‘Big Four+’ annual events offer top class activities on a par with major international camps:

  • Swimming gala at HMS Raleigh early in the year.
  • Sea scouts summer camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth (summer half term).
  • Soccer sixes tournament at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth (late September or early October.)
  • Explorer camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth (autumn half-term.)
  • + Leader training weekends in March and November.
  • + Other cadet activities days.


The Royal Navy provides a full time lieutenant commander in the role of Staff Officer Sea Scouts to assure standards at formal inspections and to represent the RN at regattas and other events.

In the spirit of Scouting, the events are run by a dedicated team of Scout volunteers from the Admiral Lord Nelson Scout Active Support Unit and leaders from the member groups and units.


Sea Scouting in the UK began in 1909, and quickly spread throughout the country.  During World War 1 Sea Scouts performed duties as coastal lookouts and messengers and, in recognition of this, were formally recognised by the Admiralty Board in 1919. 

Sea Scouts again helped the RN in World War 2 and received access to stores and grants in return for training young men in basic seamanship for military service.

RN Recognised Sea Scout groups are now found from Inverness to Guernsey, Falmouth to Oulton Broad and in the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.

More information

Staff Officer Sea Scouts: Lieutenant Commander David Gray


Telephone: 023 9272 7712




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