By DJ Shuman
The local Cadets program has given me some wonderful takeaways, like the skills I have learned, the experiences I have had, and the friends I have made. The series of exchange and expedition programs have been especially important in enriching my Cadet experience. Whether travelling across the region, country, or world, the people you meet and the adventures you go on will last you a lifetime.
This past August, I travelled with a dozen or so others from across Atlantic Canada to go on the Coastal Explorer expedition in Tangier, NS. Our group spent about a week kayaking, hopping from island to island each day. Along the way we learned skills that ranged from how to lead a group on the open water, to how properly prepare for an outing like this, even how to save yourself or your friends if you should submerge in a kayak. After a long day of paddling, we would set up our camp sites, light a fire, share food and stories, and learn news things from and about one another.
Though we did not travel far away for this trip, this expedition was one of my favourite trips so far in my Cadet career. The beautiful coastline of our province and the coastal communities provided an amazing place to have the expedition, and the rough ocean provided a lot of fun and challenge for everyone involved. The people I met during this trip, and from other trips over these last few years, are some of the best friends I have. Without what I have learned from them, I wouldn't be who I am today.
Throughout the Cadet program, there are dozens of exciting opportunities. Teens from our community have travelled to Labrador, the Rocky Mountains, and Chile for challenging activities. Nicole Tucker has been selected out of a handful of Cadets across Canada, and will be travelling to Wales this summer as a part of the Maple Leaf Exchange.
“I’m super excited to go to Wales this summer,” Tucker said in a statement. “It will be an experience of a lifetime, that’s for sure! I’m excited to go to a new place I’ve never been, and to try out new things. Cadets has taught me a lot about pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone.”
Whether you are looking to travel the world, or to try something new in your own community, the Cadet program has something for you. Youth ages 12-18 can join at no cost, and can start at any time. 2741 Musquodoboit Army Cadets parade on Wednesdays from 6:30-9:00 at Gaetz Brook Junior High. (For more information, see the webpage at http://2741cadets.org.)
DJ Shuman is a junior at Eastern Shore District High School.