Two youth groups have about five weeks to find a new home.
On June 23, Rocky Mountain Rangers Army Cadets and 222 Shuswap Squadron Air Cadets were given notice that South Canoe school, their meeting place for the past eight years, would no longer be available.
“At that time, cadet programs had wrapped up for the year and commanding officers for the army and air cadets headed off to camp to work for the summer,” says Shelley Geier, chairperson of the 222 Shuswap Air Cadet Sponsoring Committee. “Also, anyone who is in a position at the school board office to extend our lease, or members of the community who have appropriate rental properties are on holidays.”
Prior to September 2007, both cadet groups had met at the Drill Hall at 441 Third St. SW (now the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter) until the Department of National Defence considered it surplus and sold it.
The cadet program is run by a partnership between the Department of National Defence and the civilian Air, Army and Sea Cadet Leagues of Canada.
“Although the Department of National Defence provides funding to complete mandatory training related to the cadet program, our Sponsoring Committees, a group of dedicated parents and volunteers run under the direction of the Air and Army Cadet Leagues, must fundraise for the costs of renting a training facility, extracurricular activities, equipment, and for air cadets supporting the provincial gliding and power flying programs,” Geier says.
Cadets are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces, nor are they expected to join the military. While cadets are introduced to sea, army and/or air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces and certain traditions, they are also introduced to many other career choices that are available to them.
The cadet program is one of the largest and longest federally-sponsored youth programs in Canada.
There have been Army cadet corps dating back to the late 1800s with 55,000 youth currently involved in the national program open to all young Canadians aged 12 to 18 who are interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities.
The purpose of the program is to develop in youth the attributes of leadership, engaged and active citizenship, and physical fitness, all within an environment that stimulates an interest in the sea, army and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.
In Salmon Arm, the local army cadets held their 75th annual ceremonial review this June. The local Air Cadet program was established in 1993. Both groups have been part of the local fabric of the community for decades.
“At this point we are interested in talking to people in the community who have space to rent,” says Geier. “A warehouse-type facility would also work for our needs.
If you have suitable space, contact Shelley Geier at 250-832-2807, or email email@example.com.