Welcome to Spotlight, a showcase of our local branches.


What is Navy League?

April 26th 2019

“Our Goal is to make better Canadian citizens,” those are the first words out of Mark Doram when he was asked about being Commanding Officer of the Navy League of Canada - Alberta Division.
When people realize Navy League achieves this goal through leadership training, rope skills, sailing, first aid, camping and even public speaking, all for a fraction of the cost of many other activities for 9 – 12 year old youth, it’s no wonder that thousands of parents are getting excited about this organization. Despite being almost 125 years old, many are only hearing about the Navy League for the first time.
“Most people have seen Cadets, but often only at a Remembrance Day ceremony or on TV. Many people don’t realize that these young people are getting amazing experiences every week of the year – like sailing off the west coast with the Canadian navy; this training and that training.”
Many people have initial preconceptions of Cadets. They wonder if it’s for children of military families, or a type of recruitment, or only for certain kids. It’s none of those things. Really, it’s one of the most proven, long standing and character-building activity programs for young people from all walks of life.
“We are a bit of a secret too well-kept because for some many years, we’ve filled our spaces through word of mouth, friends and families. I’ve seen thousands of young people come through the Navy League program and go on to amazing, lives, careers and leadership positions. My passion now is to help more people appreciate that this is an opportunity available to everybody.”
And this means everybody. Many of the programs are free. These leaders of tomorrow get uniforms, activities, a weekly parade night, sailing training, opportunity to play an instrument in a band.
To give a sense of the activities, Mark describes how each week within their corps, cadets gather with their commanding officers on a ‘parade night’. This is the only required attendance of each cadet however, programs, classes and other opportunities are often available every other night of the week as well.
Parade night also consists of classes the cadets can choose to be involved in. Some may choose to train in the band and learn an instrument provided by the Navy League. Some may choose to train for a biathlon which at their cadet level consists of long distance running and practicing with flag carrying until they are able to move up to Sea Cadets and compete in marksmanship as well.

“It’s the life-changing experience that drew me in at 10 years old. Now more than 30 years later, I’m so proud be part of changing others’ lives.”

Commander (NL) Mark Doram
Navy League of Canada – Alberta Division

Click to close