The Navy League Cadet Corps ADVENTURE is a free youth group based in Milton. It is staffed by volunteer-officers of the Navy League of Canada. Its cadet program is designed for youth ages 9-12 years of age and it was launched on January 17, 2020. The Navy League Cadet Corps ADVENTURE was the results of collaboration between Mr. Don D’Souza and Lieutenant(N) Paul Simas.
Mr. Don D’Souza is the long serving President of the Milton Branch of the Navy League of Canada, which is a civilian non-profit national organization which works in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces to support the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program, which is aimed at youth ages 12-19, however the Navy League of Canada independently sponsors and operates the younger cadet group in many cities across Canada.
Lieutenant(N) Paul Simas is a Canadian Armed Forces reserve officer serving with the Cadet Instructors Cadre, and in April 2019 upon finishing commanding a Sea Cadet Corps in Scarborough ON, Lt(N) Simas transferred to Milton and tasked to work with the local Sea Cadet unit, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) CHAUDIERE, located in the Milton Fairgrounds.
Shortly after his transfer to Milton, Lt(N) Simas participated at the Halton Region Police day and observed a large number of young families with younger kid. The future was obvious to him: “We must start a Navy League Cadet Corps in Milton!”
By tradition, when naming Sea Cadet or Navy League Cadet Corps, the Navy League of Canada prefers to pay homage to ships of the Royal Canadian Navy or of the Royal Navy, however the task is more complex than it appears. Although together Canada and Britain had several ships and many different names, one must choose a name carefully. It must not be repeated with an existing Cadet Corps in Canada. It must represent its community and it must be inspiring. Some of the other names considered were PATHFINDER, MILLTOWN, and NORTH STAR. It was by chance that while reading about Captain James Cook’s second expedition into the Pacific, that Lt(N) Simas ran into the perfect name: “ADVENTURE”. HMS ADVENTURE was a barque that was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1771. She sailed with HMS RESOLUTION to the Pacific and was the first ship to circumnavigate the world from west to east!
Mr. D’Souza, and Lt(N) Simas created a social media presence, a website, and secured a location and date for the new Cadet Corps to train. It was to be on Friday evenings, from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at building 3 at the Milton fairgrounds, and the launch date was secured on January 17 and they started to recruit cadets. Days before our opening, the Navy League of Canada presented Mr. Don D’Souza and Lt(N) Simas with their Corps Warrant, which is the approval document required to operate a Navy League Cadet Corps on behalf of the Navy League of Canada, and they also presented a brand new, beautifully redesigned Ship’s badge! All in record time!
On launch date, Mr. D’Souza and Lt(N) Simas were apprehensive. They had no idea if anyone would show up to the launch, and to their surprise, over 100 people showed up! Parents with their children, Grandparents, friends and more showed up to see their presentation and register! Over 40 cadets registered on that day! The training nights proceeded as planned. Their first event was a Valentines day celebration and movie night! The cadets got to do crafts and spread glitter everywhere! They also watched a movie!
In March 2020, the pandemic hit just 8 training nights after opening. The officers had to quickly adapt a program that is designed to be a highly interactive, hands on youth program, to be delivered entirely on-line. The learning curve was steed, and the technology was shaky, but a year later, 35 cadets and 7 officer-volunteers still meet ever Friday evening, from 7pm to 8pm and they have a great time teaching cadets anything from Navigation, Compass reading, secret codes like Morse Code, Nautical Flags, Space, Submarines, Cool Ships of the world and more!
To learn more about NLCC ADVENTURE and information on how you can join, please check out www.nlccadventure.ca!