Have you ever wondered what the Air Cadets are all about? Here is some information on this wonderful program aimed at youth ages 12 to 18.
Benefits Of Air Cadets
The Air Cadets Program is a great way for young people to learn valuable life skills such as physical fitness, discipline, leadership and communication. The program offers opportunities for cadets to travel, learn about aircraft and aviation, and participate in a variety of activities such as outdoor education, marksmanship, drill competitions, and aerospace education. There are also opportunities to earn scholarships and awards, and to go on international exchanges.
Beyond the skills and experiences, the Air Cadets Program also creates a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among the members. This can be especially beneficial for young people who may not have as much support within their home or school environment. The Air Cadets Program also allows cadets to develop life-long friendships and develop skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors.
The 875 Antigonish Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadets squadron is based in Antigonish and named after its sponsor the Antigonish Lions Club.
The organization promotes leadership, fitness and teamwork. Considering there are 8660 air cadets in Atlantic Canada, let’s see what it entails.
What To Expect When You Join The Canadian Air Cadets?
Upon joining the Canadian Air Cadets, you can expect to be part of a team of peers who are all dedicated to learning and growing together, as well as building lasting friendships. You will be able to learn important skills that will help you in the future, such as leadership, communication, organization, and physical fitness. You will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, ranging from physical fitness and drill, to music, to field trips, to community events. You will also have the chance to travel within Canada and abroad. By joining the Canadian Air Cadets, you will be able to gain invaluable skills and knowledge while having fun and making lifelong friendships.
In a nutshell, the program provides mandatory cadet training sessions once a week (from 6:00pm to 8:30pm on Mondays, September to June), and optional training sessions for biathlons, marksmanship, band, drill team marching and ground school for flying lessons.
One of the best parts of the program is the summer camps. Albeit optional, these camps offer cadets specific training and at different levels. There are 24 camp opportunities offered including sports, fitness, first aid, survival, music, navigation, aerospace, communications, airport operations. Here’s a glimpse of just a few:
The General Training camp provides cadets with an introduction to camp life and a variety of fields of interest, e.g. airport operations.
The Flight Scholarship Course provides cadets the opportunity to learn how to fly, with the potential of receiving a scholarship for private pilot training.
The Glider Pilot Scholarship Course enables cadets to fly a glider plane as part of an air cadet program.
The Power Pilot Scholarship Course provides cadets the opportunity to learn how to fly a powered aircraft.
The Adventure Training Course provides cadets with exciting and challenging outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, rappelling, white-water rafting, and mountain biking.
The National Survival Instructor Course provides cadets with the skills and knowledge to become certified national survival instructors.
Finally, the International Exchange Program allows cadets to travel abroad to places like Europe, the UK, and Australia, allowing them to gain invaluable cultural experiences.
Joining the Canadian Air Cadets is an exciting and rewarding experience. It offers cadets an incredible opportunity to challenge themselves and develop important skills that will serve them well in the future.
The Sports & Fitness camp prepares cadets to become as an assistant sports instructor and develop personal habits to maintain a good fitness and healthy living.
Band camp develops the cadets’ competence in music and prepares them to support their local cadet band.
Survival camp develops the cadets to become a specialist with the skills and subject matter knowledge required to be an instructor and team leader for aircrew survival activities within the Air Cadet Program.
Glider Pilot Camp includes a series of theoretical and practical lessons to train student pilots without previous experience in flight to obtain their glider pilot license.
Do Canadian Air Cadets Have To Join The Air Force Or Military Afterwards?
No, Canadian Air Cadets are not required to join the Air Force or Military after their experience in the Air Cadets program. Air Cadets is a youth program focused on the development of leadership, citizenship, and physical fitness. It is not a preparatory program for the Air Force or Military and many cadets choose to pursue other paths after their experience in the program.
In addition to providing an opportunity for youth to learn about aviation and the military, the program also offers a wide range of activities that focus on physical fitness, citizenship, and leadership. Cadets can participate in outdoor activities such as camping, orienteering, and search and rescue. They can also take part in music and drill competitions, as well as sports and marksmanship training. These activities provide invaluable experience to the cadets, regardless of their future career path.
The Air Cadet program provides young Canadians with a unique opportunity to develop valuable skills and gain a sense of self-confidence. Even after graduating from the program, former cadets often stay active in their local communities and carry the lessons they learned with them throughout their lives.
No. The Air Cadets are not, and never have to become, members of the Canadian Armed Forces. They simply learn about the different opportunities available and are exposed to various hand-on activities that promote an interest in the Royal Canadian Air Force such as the activities mentioned above. But they do not have to join the service once they are done with the program.
More Than Just The Training At Canadian Air Cadets
Aside from their regular training, the cadets participate in many other fun activities. Some of the activities done in the past include movie night, Halloween party, winter ball dance, laser tag, March break trip, Get Air NS, mini-putt, and swimming.
The cadets also have the opportunity to take part in many competitions. These competitions include drill, biathlon, marksmanship, and sports. Through these competitions, the cadets are able to showcase their skills and gain valuable leadership experience in a competitive yet friendly environment. In addition, they can also take part in the International Air Cadet Exchange program, which allows them to travel abroad and experience different cultures. This is an invaluable experience for the cadets as they are able to learn about the world and build relationships with other cadets from around the world.
Cadets And Our Community
Air cadets are actively involved in the community; from volunteering with the Canada Day celebrations, Highland Games and Mayfest, to taking part in RK MacDonald Nursing Home Bingo nights, to street clean-ups and much more. They also participate in the annual Remembrance Day events, Christmas parades, and flag parties to name a few.
There are numerous benefits of being an air cadet:
♦ Important life skills and experiences that will help them thrive as young adults
♦ Air cadets can apply to earn an elective credit counting towards their high school graduation
♦ Countless career opportunities
What does all this cost?
Absolutely nothing! Yup, the program is completely FREE!
What about the uniform? Free as well! With an added bonus of your child learning to iron his/her own shirt & pants and shine his/her shoes!
What about the summer camps? Free!! And get this… not only are they free, but the cadets get paid a stipend for attending!
I personally cannot say enough good things about this all-inclusive program. It teaches youth responsibility, respect, camaraderie, team work and more importantly self-confidence (during the odd pre-teen-teenage years) which is paramount for shaping them into self-assured young adults.
Here Are Some Testimonials From Local Cadets
“It’s a great place to make friends and socialize!”
“We learn a lot of skills and new things.”
“I feel comfortable being myself.”
“It’s just the right amount of discipline for my age.”
“I like doing drill and being on parade.”
…and from their parents
“My child’s confidence level has definitely increased since he started the program.”
“It fits him, and he fits in.”
“My child has expanded his commitment to the community through volunteer opportunities.”
“I feel proud seeing my daughter confidently on parade amongst her peers.”
“My child continues to make friends with similar core values.”