Cadets develop leadership skills

NANAIMO - Army cadet Jeremy Wilson one of 16 chosen to participate in Regional Cadet Expedition.

Nanaimo army cadet Jeremy Wilson, 18, honed his leadership skill during an adventure on the West Coast this summer.

Wilson was one of 16 cadets chosen to participate in the British Columbia Regional Cadet Expedition. It was nine days of biking and kayaking on Vancouver Island and around the Gulf Islands. Cadets also further developed their skills in route planning, map reading, bike maintenance, low-impact camping and environmental stewardship. The trip included an opportunity to learn about ocean marine life.

“If I could say one thing to younger cadets, I would say stick with this program. The opportunities and experiences are something you can’t get anywhere else,” said Wilson in a press release.

Brandon McAuley, training officer for expedition regional cadet support unit Pacific, said each cadet on the expedition gets to lead one of the activities with the support of an adult supervisor. Each evening the teens share their experiences and discuss the challenges and rewards of taking on a leadership role.

“It’s a really incredible thing to hear what they have to say at the end of the day,” said McAuley. “When they are pushing themselves physically they are remembering and using the skills they learned thus far and are building on them – taking them to the next level.”

Wilson hopes to qualify for the international expedition in Chile in the spring. McAuley is leading the expedition and said two spots are available for B.C. Cadets.

Expeditions help develop youths’ skills. Development is the primary goal of the cadets according to Capt. Cheryl Major, public affairs officer, regional support unit Pacific.

“We create better citizens,” she said, adding that the youths learn leadership skills and gain confidence.

For more information, please go to www.cadets.ca.

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