Even though the Sea Cadets in Kitimat has only just recently restarted, the organizing group behind the youth program will give Army Cadets a try to the end of this year.
Cadets were re-enlisted after a long hiatus in Kitimat, but the arrival of Captain R.J. Buller to town got the wheels moving again to see it back.
But despite the initial height of 13 cadets, the corps saw just nine at their year end parade last June.
Over the spring, Buller set out to find out what people wanted out of a cadet program, and the overwhelming response turns out that kids want an army program.
Buller said they’ll give the Army Cadets a run until December and see what the response is and will decide then if they want to make the permanent switch.
“All the leadership and the citizen [aspects], that’s all the same. The only difference is going to basically be the stuff that is sailing oriented going to be replaced with an outdoor adventure [component], survival training, mountain biking stuff.”
Buller thinks it’s geography that made 30 youth interested in the Army Cadets program. He notes that most training and equipment for Sea Cadet programs are located in Victoria and the cadets go there once a year for sailing.
“To go practice survival skills we can take a short walk in almost any direction,” he said.
The Regional Cadet Support Unit in Victoria has granted permission to Kitimat’s unit to immediately begin in Army programming.
The local group has 20 cadets signed on for the Army program, and the Navy League of Kitimat will continue to fundraise for the cadets.
If the switch becomes permanent, they’ll transition into an Army Cadet League.
To join the cadets, the youth must be between 12 and 18 years old. The meetings continue to be held at the cadet building at 160 Konigus Street, Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
The local cadets’ website is www.kitimatcadets.com.