by Peter Milsom, President, Kemptville Branch, Navy League of Canada
On the cusp of a new COVID variant, questions abound in the minds of parents and our supportive friends in Kemptville, Spencerville, Winchester, and other local communities, about the Kemptville Navy League of Canada Cadet Programs: are they still safe for their children, will they continue, what will happen to them? This article is to answer these questions.
It is true we have lost some cadets through the need to conduct the program online and from the loss of their valued in-person, uniformed relationships. We have lost key Board members as well, and, of even greater concern, we have been denied the active fundraising on which the Program depends. This is entirely attributable to COVID.
On a more positive note, we in Kemptville, thankfully a community hugely supportive of its only cadet organization, are living in one of the highest inoculation centres in Canada. Inoculations for five-to-12-year-old children have begun. Many new cadets and families are joining our Program. Our Corps Officers have been working to restore back to in-person training for fully inoculated cadets and personnel under comprehensive and carefully monitored community, National Defence, and Navy League of Canada guidelines and directives. The officers and volunteers of the two corps are absolutely outstanding – we could not have better! It remains to hope the Health Region continues to show reducing COVID levels, so that our programs can continue to steadily recover.
The Naval Cadet Program in Canada flourishes primarily because the executive and members of the local Board believe in the importance of gifting the energy and enthusiasm to translate this care for the cadets into tangible results! For a Navy League Branch, these gifts of talents, knowledge, capabilities, and experience could well be in membership liaison, event planning, public relations, accounting, seamanship, navigation, drill, administration, logistics, fundraising, or, more generally, an interest in helping young people learn the important life attributes of good citizenship, leadership, and the value of team effort. And it is all really about caring!
Our Annual General Meeting and elections are coming up in January and, while we have a new experienced and knowledgeable Treasurer just appointed to the Executive, the Board Secretary, Vice President, and President, and some Director positions are at end of term. We are looking for new Directors interested in any of the portfolios mentioned above. And, by the way, participating is not arduous, its FUN!