New season starts for Trail sea cadets
September 15 brings the start of the Sea Cadet Training Year for the 131 Kootenay Royal Canadian Sea Cadet (RCSCC) Corps in Trail. The cadets and their staff would like to invite the public to participate in their “Open Ship” night, to be held at the Trail Armoury – 1990 7th Ave., Trail – from 5 to 8 p.m.
There will be refreshments served to those in attendance, and the cadets along with their officers and staff will have several tables set up with displays to highlight the activities the cadets participate in throughout the season. There will also be an information session held from 6:30 – 7p.m., for any parents or guardians of cadet-aged children interested in the program.
The Canadian Cadet Movement is open to all youth aged 12 through 19 years of age, and is a super low-cost program, heavily funded by the federal government.
“It truly is the best-kept secret in the world. Our cadets get to participate in so many different activities and even have the opportunity to travel the world, should they so choose,” said Lieutenant Navy (LtN) Llora McTeer, Commanding Officer of 131 Kootenay RCSCC. McTeer began with cadets at the age of 13, when she joined an Air Cadet Squadron in Alberta.
“I joined because I was told I could earn my lifeguarding certificate through the program.” She laughs, “Unfortunately the year before I qualified was the final year they offered the course – but by then, I was hooked!”
She adds that she’s now been an officer in the Canadian Forces Reserves branch called COATS – Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service – for over 13 years and really enjoys watching the cadets grow from self-conscious, shy 12-year-olds through to confident, contributing members of society.
Sea Cadets specialize in seamanship, rope work, power boat operation, nautical navigation and sailing. Through the Sea Cadet program, youth have the opportunity to rise all the way through the CanSail program – a civilian sailing program offered through many yachting clubs and sailing schools around the country.
“These young sailors can advance through the CanSail program and earn their instructor certification, which they can put into practice at any yachting club in the country,” says McTeer. “They have the chance to earn certifications for free that would cost you and me thousands of dollars.”
Other activities the cadets have the chance to try out include orienteering, biathlon, marksmanship and music. Later on in their cadet “career”, they can earn fully-paid exchanges to other countries, postings on various Tall Ships, as well as advanced training positions where they are able to work as Staff Cadets at one of the various Summer Training Centers across the country.
Through participation in the Cadet program, youth learn teamwork, leadership skills, good citizenship, discipline, responsibility and good work ethic. The cadets can often be seen at different events throughout the community from Christmas Tree Sales, Poppy Sales, and community clean up events, picking up shrapnel after various fireworks displays and participating in community parades. Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) David Cherrington, who is the Unit Training Officer, commented that “these guys really enjoy getting out and helping the community.”
If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more information regarding the local Sea Cadet program, or would like information on how to volunteer, please contact the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Navy Llora McTeer at 250-921-5366 or vial email: Llora.McTeer@cadets.gc.ca