Cadets of the Expedition Team Leader Course practice biking endurance prior to going to the trails at Blackdown Cadet Training Centre, July 24, 2022. (Photo: Cadet Warrant Officer Hunter Williams)
It’s hard to believe, but for the first time since 2019 cadets from across Canada have arrived at Blackdown Cadet Training Centre at CFB Borden. This is a special moment for cadets and staff, because for the past two summers, in-person summer training was put on hold, and held online, as the cadet program navigated COVID-19 restrictions.
In July cadets began arriving to participate either as an expedition team member, expedition team leader, survival instructor, or staff cadet. In total about 215 course cadets will be attending Blackdown Cadet Training Centre this summer. They are supported by 34 staff cadets employed in various positions and 60 Canadian Armed Forces and civilian staff. Prior to COVID-19, up to 3,300 youths attended the training centre over a six-week period, but the return to full capacity will be gradual.
The courses offered this summer appeal to the cadets that like the outdoors. During the expedition courses they will hike, bike, and canoe various sites in Ontario. During the Survival Instructor Course cadets will learn to live off the land. The Expedition Team Leader Course and Survival Instructor Course also have a focus on instruction so that cadets can bring the knowledge back to their various units across Canada and share it with other cadets.
The cadet program provides Canadian youth with fun, challenging, safe, and unique experiences that assist in their development to adulthood and provide them with skills and assets to set them up for success in life. Summer training allows cadets to enhance the knowledge they gain at their local corps or unit.