The Ashcroft area is faced with losing another service because of low numbers of users. This time it’s our Cadet corps.
This week the adult members of the cadets gave me the bad news, and it’s every bit as bad as losing a doctor or one of our other major services.
Our communities already have little in the way or organized youth activities to offer, leading to the constant complaint that “there’s nothing for kids to do.”
Actually, there’s plenty. But you have to use it! It’s not going to come knocking on your door, inviting you to join.
Well, maybe in this case, it might.
Cadet staff are desperately looking for more members before the government pulls the funding plug. And parents, I have to tell you that the cadets offer you a sweet deal: unlike most of the other youth groups around town, you don’t pay a cent. Everything is provided – including training in skills and trades that you’d have to pay for outside of cadets. In a small town that has limited activities, free training is an opportunity that shouldn’t be brushed off.
Not only does the government provide everything for free, it pays the cadets for attending summer camp – where they learn more skills.
We’re not talking skills to make your kids the ultimate soldier. Being in the cadets does not train one to be a soldier. Nor does it lead to a career in the military.
What is can do is give your kids discipline, leadership skills, self-esteem, opportunities to compete with other cadets across the country, and learn skills like engineering that wouldn’t be offered to kids from a small town.
It’s such a good deal that I often wonder why more parents don’t take advantage of it.
My two older brothers were in air cadets when I was young. I envied them their cool uniforms and their summers at camp. The stories and the excitement they came back with!
Like every other service in our small towns, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. The cadets want YOU. They really do! Give them a call.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal