Learning experiences of a lifetime

Justin Dickie
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PARRSBORO Thirteen cadets from the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron here recently returned from various summer camps having made new friends, gaining life experience, and getting to do things the average person doesnt get to.

Sgt. Joni Milligan, for example, returned home on August 18 after a seven-week stint in Debert at the glider scholarship camp where she got to fly a glider solo for the first time.

Its was amazing. With the friends that you make and the new experiences that you get, its really something, said the 16-year-old, fourth-year cadet. Its learning experience. Its not something that normal people get to do. So if youve got a chance to do it, then why not?

Her camp consisted of ground school where she learned about things like meteorology, navigation, and airmanship and field lessons where she learned the different aspects of an airplane, controls and various parts of flying.

Shes been to many cadet camps, but she said this one was the best yet.

This one was a lot longer so I got to understand the people more and make better friendships. Theres more time to learn things in-depth, its not just briefly introducing you to it, she said.

When you go to a camp thats so specific, you get to meet people with similar interests and so you make better friendships.

Cpl. Caleb Goguen, a 14-year-old going into his third year in cadets, attended a rifle coaching course in Connaught, Ont. for three weeks where he learned how to coach on a rifle range, rifle safety, how to clean a rifle, how to shoot, and more.

He said the best part of his camp was weekend trips, which included visits at Parliament Hill, the National War Museum in Ottawa and a water park in Gatineau.

I think I could really help out on the range (here) with all the knowledge I have now, Goguen said. It was really fun and I had a great time.

Sixteen-year-old Cpl. Bo Lattie, also in his fourth year, went to Kingston, Ontario on July 1 for a six-week athletics-training course, which hed been waiting years to attend.

It was pretty tiring at times, but it was a good course. It really helped out my cadet experience, Lattie said. Now I can take those experiences and share them with the cadets at my home squadron. I learned a lot there.

In his course he learned how to instruct sports and physical training.

Besides sharing his new knowledge with his peers in Parrsboro, hes looking forward to going back to Kingston next year to teach new cadets in the course.

Lattie left his impression on his peers before he left, finishing second in a 12.8-kilometre long distance run out of 167 participants. He finished three seconds behind the winner.

Lt. Keith Odlin, the Parrsboro squadrons commanding officer, said summer camps give those who attend them a leg up on the rest of the cadets.

It broadens their horizon outside their own little parental unit. It gives them a much broader introduction into what cadet camps provide. Most of the lessons we do in class, these summer camps actually expound and advance them in areas that we deal briefly with in class, Odlin said.

I feel, by going to these camps, it gives them just a little bit more than those that choose not to, he added. It teaches them a little more independence, a little more self-reliance, and hopefully a little more leadership.


Organizations: Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron, National War Museum

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Debert, Kingston Connaught Ottawa Gatineau Ontario

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