The Sea Rangers were a branch of Guiding for teens that ran until 1964, when it merged with the Air Rangers and became simply “Rangers,” who would learn about the air or sea environment by participating in a variety of activities on and off the water, thus making the Port of Oshawa the perfect location for Oshawa’s Sea Rangers to practice drills on the water.
The Oshawa Sea Rangers, known as the Crusaders, would meet at the Oshawa Navy League, Cadet Hall, to practice precision drills. The cadet hall, located at 44 Oshawa Boulevard North, is still in the same location today.
The Oshawa Harbour was the location where Oshawa’s Sea Rangers, practiced drills on the lake and their cutters were stored in the boat house that was located on the east side of the beach. The sea cadets and sea rangers both used the boathouse at the lake to store their cutters. The cutters were rowed by a team of ten with a coxswain who steered the cutter and set the pace. Practices took place once a week at the harbour, sometimes more as the regatta got closer, practices would increase to twice a week. When practicing, the cutter would be rowed out of the inner harbour, along the jetty and out into the open lake.
– Sandra Gaskell, 2022
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Sea Cadet (Navy Club) boat house was located at the lakefront west of the Yacht Club. The Sea Cadets took the cutters out in the spring, where it would be tied up, usually on the west wall or the south wall, but to the west. In the fall the cutter would be placed back in the boat house. During this time, it was possible to drive right over to the inner harbour near where the cutter would be tied up.
There is a group of friends who talk about our Sea Ranger days every time we get together. The last time at Judy & Mario’s 50th BBQ. Judy, Cheryl, Sharon Backwell, Joanne Stuart (Zak) and Linda Luhtala (Owens). All these Sea Rangers married Sea cadets except Cheryl and I. The boat house at the lake was where we kept the cutters that both the sea cadets and rangers used. Several boathouse paintings of the boathouse hang in at least 4 homes. Marg & Pat won the cutter races in the 50’s. Cathy and I crewed wins in the 60’s. We have photos to prove it. Not to mention the blisters on our hands and backsides. All the sea rangers kept log books and photos. Mine are long gone but Judy and Linda L. have theirs.
– Mary Ellen Cole, 2022
Sea Rangers provided young women with the opportunity to develop their confidence and responsibility through the mentoring of other women. The Sea Rangers provided their members with a sense of pride of working with others and created many long-lasting friendships.