by Retired Navy Captain Peter Milsom, President, Kemptville Navy League
Just your average, every-day, twelve-year-old girl. She likes music, having fun, and hanging out with her friends. It just so happens that many of these things also involve cadets. That’s right; this young lady recently graduated from Kemptville’s Navy League Cadet Corps Assiniboine as a Petty Officer Second Class and is eager to begin the next phase of her cadet career with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Defiant.
She had heard a great deal about cadets from her father, who himself was a member of both Navy League and Sea Cadets in his youth, and decided on her own to “give it a try”. She quickly found herself swept up in the esprit-de-corps that came with being a young cadet. When asked what she enjoyed most, she laughed and said it was the things she got to learn, and how they learned them. By using a variety of games, she said the lessons came alive and made it all the more interesting. Her favorite was semaphore – a way to communicate over long distances using flags – but she also enjoyed learning about boating, knot tying, and drill.
The fact the cadets played an active leadership role in the corps motivated her to always do her best and rise in the ranks of the corps. She shared that one of her favourite memories was when the corps spent an evening helping stock shelves at the local food bank, as she felt that their efforts had a real impact on the community; and her proudest moment came when she was awarded both the Semaphore proficiency badge as well as the Navy league Cadet Merit badge.
Now that she is twelve, she has made the decision to apply her skills as a Sea Cadet, broadening her maritime and nautical knowledge. She knows that the coming year will involve a great many new challenges, as her new corps learns to embrace virtual learning while we grapple with COVID-19, but she looks forward to it all the same. Having done her own research online about the Sea Cadet program, she keeps a weather-eye on the horizon, looking forward to a time when she may get to go to a two-, three-, or six-week summer camp, learning skills like sailing, or possibly scuba diving.
Times may be uncertain, but the self-confidence and determination she has gained as a Navy League cadet have prepared her to face things head-on; and as a new Sea Cadet, she remains Ready, Aye, Ready.