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CELEBRATING ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SEA CADETS: Maria Grartados, Communications Coordinator, The Navy League of Canada.

THE YEAR 2018 marked significant events for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. In February, Canada's top athletes took the stage during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchan, in May the Royal Wedding excited many Canadians, and November marked one hundred years since the armistice of the First World War. But 2018 was also an extraordinary year for Canada's youth, who were celebrating the centenary of Sea Cadets in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program started in 1918 as a small organization developed to help boys prepare for a life at sea to fit the needs of the times. As the world changed, the program changed with it. Girls were integrated in the program, and the program's focus changed to develop in youth attributes of good citizenship, leadership, and physical fitness, no matter which career they were interested in pursuing. One hundred years later, this program remains true to its roots, offering youth opportunities to explore avenues in the Canadian Armed Forces, while simultaneously preparing young Canadians to be active members of their community.

The incredible support received from our partners has allowed for the program to continue all these years, inspiring many generations of Canadians from all backgrounds to learn and appreciate the value of Canada's rich maritime history. It's thanks to organizations like the Canadian Cadet Organization, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the International Sea Cadet Association that each year nearly 250 Sea Cadets from across the country are able to travel and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as the Seamanship Deployment off of Canada's west coast, the Tall Ship Deployment in the United Kingdom, and multiple International Exchanges.

Sea Cadet Isobel Tyler from Sackville Nova Scotia, one of 32 cadets chosen for Seamanship Deployment 2018 on Canada's west coast, says, "I love all the friends I've made from all over Canada through Cadets and the amazing opportunities it's given me. When I joined Cadets I was quiet and shy and the program taught me how to find my confidence and how to be a leader." The Seamanship Deployment provides Sea Cadets the experience of a lifetime learning seamanship skills aboard an Orca Class vessel as part of the crew.

Master Seaman Braeden Forbes is one of nearly 100 Sea Cadets that participated in the unique Great Lakes Deployment on HMCS Oriole, the Royal Canadian Navy's oldest ship, as part of the Sea Cade Centennial celebrations. He said, "The crew was really supportive. They taught us to do things we didn't know how to do and they felt like a pretty big family. It was a very cool experience!"

It's no wonder that the program was celebrated across the country, with many Corps receiving the prestigious Freedom of the City award. Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, Robert-Falcon Ouellette noted in the House of Commons that the Sea Cadet program is, "one of the greatest youth programs in Canada." A former Sea Cadet of Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Undaunted, Mr. Ouellette attended five summer training courses at HMCS Quadra in Comox, British Columbia.

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program is indeed among the top youth programs in Canada and was recently the subject of a study conducted by France, which will soon create its own Sea Cadet program modeled after Canada's.

Cadet Zach Wesley from Prince Rupert, Alberta participated in a Tall Ship Deployment on Canada's west coast. Wesley said the experience only deepened his love of sailing. "I'd like to keep working with cadets, eventually become an officer and share this amazing sport with the next generation of cadets." The Tall Ship Deployment aims to provide cadets with firsthand knowledge of sailing on a Tall Ship, integrating Sea Cadets with the ship's crew to learn to navigate high seas.

One hundred years later, and the future looks bright for Canada's youth. The program remains strong with nearly 8,000 Sea Cadets in 226 Sea Cadet Corps across the country. With the continued support from partnering organizations the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program looks like it will continue to inspire generations of Canadian youth for one hundred years to come.

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadets is a maritime-themed youth program foryoung Canadians aged 12-18. Sea Cadets have been present in Canada for 100 years and celebrated their centenary throughout 2018.

For more information on Sea Cadets in your area, visit our website at www.navyleague.ca or call the national office at 1-800-375-6289.

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

Caption: ABOVE: HMCS Oriole: Staff Cadet Breanna Weiss (right) helps Cadet William Schmidt (left) straighten mooring lines during HMCS ORIOLE's departure from Port Dalhousie, Ontario during the ship's 2018 Great Lakes Deployment on 09 July, 2018. (MCPL NEIL CLARKSON, FORMATION IMAGING SERVICES)

Caption: ABOVE RIGHT: CCG Deployment: Sea Cadet PO2 Jack Wong, from 47 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Captain Vancouver, takes direction from Coast Guard member Trent Tabor on the intricacies of twin motor operation during a deployment with the Canadian Coast Guard. (regional cadet support unit pacific)

Caption: ABOVE: Cadets from HMCS Quadra participate in the Ceremony of the Flags in Victoria, BC. (REGIONAL SUPPORT UNIT PACIFIC)

Caption: ABOVE RIGHT: Cadets from RCSCC 198 Yukon in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta receive the Freedom of the City from Mayor Tammy Burke. (THE NAVY LEAGUE OF CANADA)
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Title Annotation:CADET CORNER
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2019
Words:884
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