by Retired Navy Captain Peter Milsom,
President, Kemptville Navy League
Many of you have walked or driven to Riverside Park, perhaps in the summer to enjoy the public pool, ball diamonds, or playing fields; or in winter to visit the curling rink. Many people use the parking lots during the workday, and school kids pass in droves, coming and going from school. How many have stopped to read this big sign on the Williamson Memorial Armoury and wonder what it is all about.
Over the coming weeks, you will be introduced through articles in the Times to the Navy League of Canada, Kemptville Branch, program for boys and girls aged 9 years to 18 years. This remarkable program is a life-changer, a hallmarking experience for thousands of young people in Canada.
The Navy League of Canada is a civilian, volunteer-led, non-profit organization, founded in 1895, that aims to help young Canadians learn life skills, including citizenship, teamwork, and self-discipline. It supports the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets program, open for youth between the ages of 12 and 18, with nearly 8,000 Sea Cadets active in 230 communities across Canada. The Navy League Cadets welcomes boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 12 for fun, naval-themed activities, with more than 3,000 Navy League Cadets active in over 100 communities across Canada.
The Navy League is a strong supporter of the local community. These articles will describe what activities, sports, and competitions the cadets enjoy, what new useful and interesting skills they learn, how they gain confidence and learn to lead, and how to become good future citizens within the community and Canada. More importantly, you will meet individual cadets and learn from their own words what the experience means to them. Parents, families, relatives, and friends will see the young person in a whole new dimension, a proud contributor to the success of their cadet corps and a proud wearer of its uniform.
The articles will also introduce you to the officers and leaders that volunteer to deliver fun, safe, healthy and challenging activities to help the young person grow in body, mind, and confidence. These committed volunteers, along with parents and citizens and retired and active military persons working together as sponsors, as members on the Board of Directors, and as fund-raisers, make this outstanding program possible – and at no financial cost to parents!
In coming weeks, the Navy League web site will provide information and program details on how the Navy League program is keeping young people safe under virtual training during the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Next week will feature a bright young lady who has just graduated from Navy League Cadets to the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.
She is well worth reading about.