2nd Cowes (St. Mary's) Sea Scout Group

[Page updated 8th December]


    Recent Activities Updated 8th December

     HQ Facilities

    Royal Navy Recognition Scheme Updated 18th May

2nd Cowes (St. Mary's) Sea Scout Group, which was founded in 1928, is now based in Smithards Lane, Cowes.  Its Headquarters is built on the site of a former crossing keeper's house and coal siding of the Cowes to Newport Railway, which ceased operation in 1966.  It was opened by Earl Mounbatten, Governor of the Isle of Wight and Commodore of Sea Scouts in February 1977.  Since then, the building has had several updates, the latest being in 2012 when the asbestos roof was replaced and the hall completely rewired.  In addition, one of the original post-WWII prefabs in Seaview Road was acquired, dismantled and rebuilt by Group members at the rear of the site.  It was originally used for recycling newspapers, but  is now used as a boat store for part of the Group's fleet of boats.  This building was also rebuilt in 2012 when the asbestos cladding was removed in parallel with the refurbishment of the main hall.  For more information regarding the HQ building and its availability for overnight use, view our page under Visit Us 

2nd Cowes provides Scouting for young people (boys and girls) between 6 to 18 years old.  It is split in to 4 Sections - Beaver Colony, Cub Pack, Scout Troop and Explorer Unit, all following a balanced programme suitable for the relevant ages.    Some of the Explorers are also Young Leaders and assist with the 3 younger sections as part of their development.  A lot of activities for members of the Group, especially camping, hiking and outings take place at weekends.  Members of 2nd Cowes wear a royal blue scarf with the Group Badge on the back.  This badge is based upon the Cowes Town Crest, with the approval of the Town Council. 

Beaver Scouts are the youngest section of the Scouting family and are boys and girls aged between 6 and 8 yrs old. Their activities are based around making things, outdoor activities, singing, playing games, going out on visits, investigating nature, listening to stories, learning how to be safe and most importantly, making new friends and having fun!

Cub Scouts are in the second section of the Group, aged between 8 and 10½  years old.  There are loads of fun things that Cub Scouts can do. They get the chance to try lots of different activities like swimming, music, exploring, computing and collecting, which for many, they can get a badge which they wear on their uniform.

Cub Scouts also get to go on trips and days out. They also have the opportunity to go camping with their Pack. This will mean them sleeping in tents and taking part in loads of outdoor activities.

The Scout Troop is for boys and girls aged between 10½ and 14 years who want to make friends and develop their widening interests in ways that are both educational and fun.

The balanced programme of activities encourages Scouts to find out about the world in which they live, know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit and developing their creative talents. There are also opportunities to explore their beliefs and attitudes.  Being outdoors is really important and Scouts love to learn new skills.  2nd Cowes has a nautical bias and boating is the main activity on summer meeting nights, tide and weather permitting!

Although attached to 2nd Cowes, the Explorer Unit, known as Cowes Buccaneers, is technically District based, as are all Explorer Units.  Explorer Scouts are between 14 and 18 years of age and, although smaller in numbers carry out a balanced programme and a variety of activities more suited to their age, even working towards the Queen's Scout Badge, the top youth award.  Some of the Unit are also Young Leaders and assist with the younger Sections.  At 18 the young person can join the Island based Network for 18 to 25 years old or even take out a Leader's Warrant!


Although a Sea Scout Group, the young people follow the usual Scout programme, but then add a nautical flavour in the Troop.  2nd Cowes owns a variety of craft giving Scouts a chance to master rowing (both individually and as part of a boat's crew), power and sailing.  The Group does not own kayaks, but occasionally use those at Corf Scout Camp.










Royal Navy Recognition

2nd Cowes (St Mary's) Sea Scouts are one of a hundred Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scout Groups in the UK (+1 in Gibraltar) that reach certain standards regarding seamanship, programme, badge work and drill.   Their first annual RN inspection was in 1942 and 2nd Cowes have retained recognition continuously ever since, of which they are justifiably proud.   RN Groups are now inspected on an 18 month rota, normally a land based winter inspection, alternating with a summer one afloat.

RN Recognition allows members to wear a special badge on their uniform and also to fly a unique, defaced Red Ensign.   Members are also entitled to wear a special baseball cap depicting an anchor and 'RN 09', the Group's recognition number.  White sailor's caps are still used for formal occasions.

The Group regularly sends Scouts to the annual RN Sea Scout Camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth for water based activities, as well as other events during the year organised for RN Groups.   At present, 2nd Cowes is the only RN Recognised Group on the Island.    



         RN Recognition Badge                         RN Groups Defaced Red Ensign                               Admiralty Pennant


Royal Naval Inspection 2012

The most recent RN Inspection of 2nd Cowes took place on 16th March 2012. This was the first inspection of the Group by Staff Officer Scouts, Lieutenant Commander Karen Cahill RN since her appointment. Upon her arrival at the Smithards Lane Headquarters, Lt. Cdr. Cahill was 'piped aboard' and witnessed the colours ceremony, the Beavers and Cubs being formed up in full uniform. The Scouts and Explorers were preparing to go afloat at this time. The Inspecting Officer then spoke to every young person before witnessing the Beavers making rafts from sponge rolls, breadsticks and strawberry laces. She then went afloat to witness a variety of boating, with the pulling craft in the vicinity of the UKSA and the Picos sailing a mile further up the River Medina, clear of the moorings.

Upon returning to the HQ, Lt. Cdr. Cahill viewed the Cubs cooking outside whilst the Scouts returned with the boats and changed into uniforms. It was then the turn of the Scouts and Explorer Scouts to be formally inspected. After the colours were lowered, the young people were fallen out and the Inspecting Officer spoke to them. She praised their standards in uniform, drill and boating and especially the size of the Group (there were over 90 young people on Parade!). Lt. Cdr. Cahill had a good rapport with everyone and the Scouts had no inhibitions in answering her questions. She also praised the Adult support of which there were 22 present. There was no hesitation in 2nd Cowes continuing with their Royal Naval Recognition.

During the evening, Lt. Cdr. Cahill presented Gold Scout Awards to SPL's Bethany King and Olivia Gordon.  Earlier in the evening Mandy Holloway, West Wight District Commissioner, presented Wood Badges to Group Scout Leader Simon Merritt and Cub Scout Leader David Robinson for completing their formal Adult training.  The IW County Commissioner, Anthony Roberts and Chris Doll, South East Deputy Regional Commissioner, were also present at the beginning of the evening before they had to leave to attend the County Scout AGM.  The Group's President, Canon Richard Emblin and the new Mayor of Cowes, David Walters were also in attendance.  A former Instructor with the Group who now lives on the mainland, Robert Bailey, crossed the Solent especially for the evening together with his wife and spent some time afloat with the Scouts.

For a copy of Lt. Cdr. Cahill's Inspection Report, click here.












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            H.Q. No. 2900                           R.N. Recognised Group No. 9                         Reg. Charity No. 302131