Approximately 40 Army Cadets from Blind River and the Sault, spent the weekend outside at the Algoma Rod and Gun Club this past weekend.
The purpose of this excursion was to introduce the Cadets, aged 12-18, to how to survive and live in the field, and how to cook their meals, otherwise known as MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).
It also serves as a prerequisite (along with canoe training, which they completed mid-September) for their long expedition at the end of May, where the Cadets will go canoeing near Aubrey Falls.
“We bring them out here and away from the television and the social media aspects and teach them some soft skills and hard skills, things that they’ll have a harder time developing sitting at home on the couch, and just make them better people, better citizens,” Army Cadet Corps 2310 Capt. Marc Cyr told SaultOnline, talking about why they do this.
For Lance Corporal Hailey Evoy, the upcoming expedition will be her second, but this survival weekend is a first for her.
Evoy said she enjoyed getting to meet new people and the getting the learning experience.
“(This) preps kids and young adults to be out in the wild,” she said, talking about why this is important. “In the event that you do get lost somewhere, than you do have the knowledge and the ability to survive.”
Evan Bowman, a Cadet who was supervising and helping out during this training, has been involved in this exercise for four years. He told SaultOnline that his favourite part of these is helping the new Cadets.
“I like seeing them having fun and just enjoying the outdoors, because not many kids enjoy that as much as they used to,” he said.
“A lot of people are glued to their TV screens now, so it’s good to get outside now and then to at least experience how to do certain activities, which could be useful later on.”
One of the new Cadets this year was Aiden Moran, who told SaultOnline he really liked the experience so far, especially the pork sausage MRE.
His advice for anyone on the fence about joining Cadets? Go for it.
“It’s really fun.”
For more information on the 2310 Royal Army Cadets, visit their Facebook page here.