Squad Atten-tion, Stand At Ease, Stand Easy.
The all too familiar commands I've gotten accustomed to with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. My journey with the Air Cadets started just a little over a year ago, and yet the friends I have made and lessons I have been taught will certainly last a lifetime. I can’t begin to explain how impressed I am with not only the level of knowledge and discipline they have taught my peers and me, but also the wide array of diversity that I experience day after day with this fantastic program. Many assume that the air cadets is a boot camp or military academy, but really it’s an organization, that helps shape you and tailors your future. Before I joined the cadets organization I wasn't too sure about the structure of the program, despite having 4 cousins graduating as some of the highest ranking positions offered to cadets. It was only when I turned 12, I decided to attend the information night and learn more. Equipped with that newfound knowledge, I decided to enroll. And once I did, there was no turning back.The Tuesday night meetings are epic, nights filled with friends, aviation, drill and for those who want more, there is the in-house band and even the public speaking and debating team. There are so many platforms to do absolutely anything you want, I got the freedom to choose and pursue my passion.
Opportunities regularly present themselves to cadets and with them we learn how to excel. My squadron gave me the opportunity to put my speaking skills to the test and I went on to win 3rd place at the regional competition. I also got the chance to be on my squadrons debate team. Both were amazing experiences that really helped develop my skills and gave me the chance to interact with cadets from all over. The program also offers cadet camps that you can take over the summer allowing you to meet like-minded people who are passionate about cadets. As a first year cadet, I went to General Training, the 2-week course is designed to show you a little bit of everything through practical and more importantly fun activities that engage you and your friends. On the day of graduation, I left with the award for Top Cadet in Golf Squadron and some of the memories of the best 2 weeks of my life. It gave me invaluable insights about the kinds of camps people took. Some of my cousins that successfully went through the program were also high achievers – for instance, one learned to fly gliders before he learned how to drive a car, another went on an exchange program to Australia while another received medals for her passion for effective speaking. Yes… I do have many cousins!!! To me, that’s where it all began. It was those stories that motivated me to soar. This journey that began last year, will continue to be an adventure full of surprises waiting at every turn. I’m so glad I decided to Walk in the Forest.