The air cadet program in West Kelowna is recruiting, and local youth interested in building life-long skills are welcome to join.
“Anyone 12 and up, just show up at the beginning of the night,” said James Mowry, a captain of the local air cadet squadron. “We will have some of our cadets out and our officers out and about.”
Part of a nationwide program aimed at educating youth, the 909 Peregrine Squadron in West Kelowna offers a variety of activities, including a wide range of training.
“It’s one of the best youth programs in Canada, and I really think it will develop a lot of skills for you, like self-confidence,” said squadron commander Justin Hall.
One skill that the squadron’s master warrant officer took a liking to over the last six years was survival training.
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“We do a lot of survival training and that was the biggest thing that kept me going,” said Isabella Rousseau.
“I always loved the outdoors, the independence and self-sufficiency that survival situations can give you.”
Rousseau admitted that, at the beginning, she was hesitant to join.
“Originally, I didn’t want to be an air cadet,” Rousseau told Global News, adding her dad told her to give it a year.
“I was so hesitant, (but) I fell in love with the program. It’s been a wonderful, amazing journey.”
The program is open to youth ages 12 to 18, and its newest recruit, 12-year-old Pierce Sutherland, already has high hopes
“I’m trying to become an EMT and this will help me get there,” said Sutherland. “That’s one reason behind this.”
His brother is the other reason.
“I want to beat his rank that he got,” said Sutherland. “He got sergeant so now I want to get flight sergeant to beat him.”
The program runs every Thursday night, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at 1441 Green Bay Road in West Kelowna.
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