Ashcroft may lose Sea Cadets

Low enrolment and government cutbacks could signal the end of the cadet corps in Ashcroft.

347 Avenger Sea Cadets. Front: Noah Dafoe

For over 10 years, Ashcroft and Cache Creek have enjoyed a corps of sea cadets, butorps organizers have been told by the Department of National Defence, which sponsors the cadet program, that they need to get their numbers up by the end of the year or lose the program altogether.

Gerry Sask has been with the cadets since the started in Ashcroft in 2002. He said the numbers requirement has been there for a while, but numbers have been dropping. DND wants 30, but they’re willing to give Ashcroft a pass if they have 15 members. Earlier this year they were down to seven. Now they’re back up to 10.

Sask says he’s been talking to people, pounding on schools and spending hours on the phone talking to parents. It’s earned him three new cadets and he’s hoping for more.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about cadets, says Major Rob Truscott. Truscott grew up in Ashcroft and has been in the military for the last 20 years. He was never a cadet, but he did join the local scouts program while still a teen.

A lot of people equate cadets with the military, he said, and they think military is exclusively about war.

“We don’t push cadets into joining the military,” said Sask. Education comes first, he says. Students in grades 10-12 can earn extra credits towards their diploma through cadets. Most parents aren’t aware of this, he says.

Truscott says another thing that might scare parents away is the though of paying for cadet activities. Everything is paid for, he said. There are zero costs.

“The cadet program offers a lot of (free) opportunities,” said Sask. “Sailing weekends, summer camps, training for safe use of rifles, competitions…”

He said there’s a perception that cadets was all about marching and being yelled at. We don’t do that, he said – it’s considered bullying.

Truscott suggested that anyone wanting to know more about cadets come out for a training night and see what it’s all about.

More kids means a more diversified program, he said. Although kids can start at age 12, they can also start at anytime during the program.

“Small town parents need something to put their kids into,” he said.

If you’re interesting in hearing more about cadets, phone Gerry at 457-5309.

Just Posted

3 dead after semi-truck collides with car on B.C. Interior highway

Police said the intersection between Highway 97 and Highway 99 would remain closed for some time

Cache Creek Elementary School wins $100,000 in playground improvements

The school was one of three winners in the BCAA Play Here initiative.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

New community paramedic is no stranger to the area

Philip Schuberg is looking forward to his new role helping residents with their health care needs.

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Almost 2,400 young athletes set to compete at BC Summer Games

Full list of participants was released Friday for the Cowichan Valley event

Family raises money for B.C. man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

Canucks ink Markus Granlund to one-year extension

Finnish forward’s contract is worth US$1.475 million

Warning issued as swimmer dies, boater missing this week in B.C. waters

Coroner says statistics show a spike in drownings beginning in May and rising through August

Around 40,000 lightning strikes and over 200 new fires in B.C. in the past two days

‘We’re expecting that the worst of the lightning is now over’

PHOTO: Shark spotted near Vancouver beach

Woman snaps photo of a seal, heron and what’s believed to be a Pacific spiny dogfish

Possibly lightning-caused fire burns within metres of homes in Kamloops

Grass fire remains under control by BC Wildfire Service

A year after fire, B.C. senior and his dog thankful to be together

Terry Theroux was separated from Scruffy for 3 months after evictions, fire displaced Highland residents

Most Read