Members of the brand-new Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets corps march away after standing at attention through the Remembrance Day ceremony in Queen Charlotte on Sunday. Instructor Terry Gillespie says the free youth program focuses on leadership and good citizenship, while also teaching sailing and seamanship skills. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets set sail

Some young salts joined the Remembrance Day parade in Queen Charlotte last Sunday — the Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets.

Open to islands youth ages 12 to 18, the free program started in late September and already the new cadets have toured a Coast Guard ship.

Later this school year they will all go off-island for a pair of weekend sailing courses, and this summer a few cadets may go down to the HMCS Quadra training centre in Comox for a basic sailing summer camp — one that could eventually lead to more advanced training, a summer on a tall ship, even an international exchange.

Terry Gillespie, a local RCMP sergeant who grew up going to Air Cadets, is the lead corps instructor.

“It’s a really, really good program,” Gillespie said, noting that while sea cadets specialize in sailing and seamanship skills, their main goal is to learn how to be leaders and good citizens.

“As the cadets advance through the program, they become responsible for leading the corps, and teaching younger cadets,” he said.

From age 12 on, Gillespie went to the Comox training centre every summer — it’s where he got his pilot’s licence, and a jump start on flying commercially before he joined the RCMP.

Cadets is also where Gillespie took up the bagpipes, which he played during the wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Gillespie said there is a wide range of summer camp courses cadets can take, and senior cadets can work as instructors and travel to training centres all across the country.

Cadets learn about Canada’s military, and all their travel and regular programs are paid for by the Department of National Defence. But cadets are not part of the military, nor is it the only type of career they’re encouraged to try.

With some fundraising, Gillespie hopes to offer some extra skill-building activities for the Haida Gwaii cadets, such as a scuba diving.

Sixteen youth and two corps instructors have joined so far, including some cadets from Tlell and Port Clements. They now meet Thursday nights at GidGalang Kuuyas Naay.

“I’m really passionate about it, so I’m hoping I can make it stick and get some more people on board,” Gillespie said.

For more information, check out the Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets on Facebook or email seacadets@haidagwaii.ca.



andrew.hudson@haidagwaiiobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

(Lori Wiedeman/Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets)

(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Just Posted

This summer Masset RCMP will give positive tickets to youths

More than a dozen community partners are involved in encouraging good behaviour once school is out

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read