Cadet program faces grim future

New leaders need to step forward in next few months

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The High Prairie Air Cadet program has churned out some of the finest youth in the region in the last 67 years.

They might be lucky to make it to 68.

The program is in serious danger of folding if new leaders don’t step forward to assume the roles of those leaving.

The local cadets need a commanding officer and training officer. Dan Gillmor has moved up professionally in his teaching career and Verna Ogg is stepping aside after many years of service.

Earl Phillips, zone training officer, Canadian Cadets Organization, states the obvious when he says the program is worth saving.

Phillips says interested male or female adults – the local cadets have had both female and male leaders over the years – can join the Cadet Instruction Cadre, a special branch of the Canadian Armed Forces that deal with cadets. Some military terms may frighten people a bit but Phillips adds all they need is some adults with passion to help youth.

“They provide leadership and training,” he says.

“We need a dependable individual, the basic course takes eight days in Gimli, Man. and it is all paid.”

The only requirement is a Grade 12 education and criminal check.

“We require a passionate person who wants to help teenagers,” he says. “They just need passion, they need the will.

“No military experience is needed,” he adds. “The reward of impacting youth in a positive way is immeasurable.”

The current program has a very healthy 22-23 cadets who are dedicated to the program. The numbers are strong compared to many other communities which have seen their programs die.

“Numbers are not our concern,” says Phillips.

A special night is planned to invite potential leaders Jan. 22 at the High Prairie Legion Hall at 7 p.m.

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