3rdCB is one of only 103 Sea Scout Groups in the country to have Royal Navy recognition, and these groups are generally regarded as the best in the country.
Sea Scouting in the U.K. began in 1908, one year after the establishment of scouting itself. During World War I Sea Scouts performed duties as coastal lookouts and messengers and, in recognition of these deeds, were formally recognised by the Admiralty Board in 1919, this allowed them access to Naval equipment and facilities whilst still remaining independent of any Naval control.
During World War II the scheme was converted so that Sea Scout groups who show themselves able to reach certain levels of proficiency could apply for stores and grants to help train young men in basic seamanship before entering military service. The scheme has been running since then, overseen by the Second Sea Lord / Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and regulated by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Scout Association.
Although there are some 425-450 Sea Scout groups throughout the UK, the MoD recognises a maximum of 101. In order to remain in the scheme groups must maintain high standards. Any Sea Scout group can apply for recognition subject to certain criteria laid down in the MOA.
Unlike the Sea Cadet Corps, Sea Scouts are not financially supported by the MoD, apart from an annual capitation grant to the Scout Association. The driving force behind groups applying for and remaining in the Royal Naval recognition scheme is the kudos and associated pride. Only 101 of the 450 Sea Scout Groups are recognised at any one time.
Every 18 months we are inspected by the Royal Navy Staff Officer Sea Scouts (a Lieutenant Commander) to check that our standards are high enough. To show that we are an admiralty group, we wear the blue admiralty badge on our uniform and are entitled to fly a Red Ensign defaced with the Scout badge and Admiralty Crown, and the Admiralty Pennant.
As an RN group, we adopt a navy warship. Our current adopted warship is HMS Atherstone, a Hunt Class Minehunter. Previous ships include:
- HMS Foudroyant – A Leda Class sailing frigate
- HMS Fife – A County Class destroyer
- HMS London – A Type 22 Broadsword Class frigate
- HMS Orwell – A River Class fleet mine sweeper
- HMS Grafton – A Type 23 Duke Class frigate
- HMS Atherstone – A Hunt Class mine sweeper
Solebay Scout Troop are named after the Sea Ranger Crew’s original adopted ship, HMS Solebay.