On Feb. 23, 10 Air Cadets from the Kootenays participated in local Air Cadet Regional Effective Speaking competition, sponsored by the Air Cadet League of Canada. Each cadet gave a five minute prepared speech, on a topic of their choosing, and then a two minute impromptu speech on the same pre-selected topic.
Community members assisted with the judging and scoring of this event: Sierra Blackwell, a former air cadet; Colleen Shaw, Joyce Bull and Cynthia Stewart, members of the Royal Canadian Legion; and Joyce Turner, Golden Life. The master of ceremonies was Cameron Hewison, who aged out of the cadet program in August 2018.
First Place went to Sgt. Reegan Stesko-Kallin, 581 Castlegar; Second – Sergeant Tehya O’Sullivan, 279 Elk Valley; Third – Air Cadet James Wright, 279 Elk Valley. Also participating were –Leading Air Cadet Eric Talbot and Sergeant Dhruv Jethwa, 552 Key City Cranbrook; Sgt. Jackson Fance and Flight Sgt. Kelton Kinch, 531 Trail; Flight Cpl. Kai Thomson, 561 Nelson; Sgt. Daniel Buskas and Flight Sgt. Corbin Johnson, 581 Castlegar.
Sergeant Stesko-Kallin will be competing for the Provincial Championship in Richmond in April. The winners from each provincial competition will move on to compete in the Nationals, held in Newfoundland. In the event he is unable to attend, Sgt. O’Sullivan will step in.
Effective speaking, ground school, marksmanship, air crew survival, orienteering, gliding and power flying, fitness, first aid, are just a few of the activities and skills that cadets learn.
Cadets meet one evening per week from September to June, and a few weekends for training activities. During the summer, selected cadets are participating in two-, three-, and six-week training courses taking place throughout Canada.
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets, in partnership with the Air Cadet League of Canada and the Department of National Defence has been training youth in Canada for over 70 years. Youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who have a desire to learn more about the aviation, wish to develop leadership skills, positive citizenship and promote physical fitness are encouraged to talk to visit the squadron nearest them. Cadets can earn education and volunteer credits, awards, and medals. While the program is military based, there is no obligation to join the Canadian Forces.