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Bonnyville Sea Cadets host fellow corps at Moose Lake

Photo submitted by Stephanie Atkinson.

The Bonnyville Sea Cadets hosted the Moose Knotical May 25-26 on Moose Lake.

It was essentially the wrap-up weekend for the year for the Sea Cadets who invited fellow corps from Edmonton, Wainwright, Tofield, and Fort Sask to participate.

“We had about 200 cadets officers come down to the Moose Lake Pentecostal campground and we did what we call our second on the water with the cadet program,” said Sub-lieutenant Colin Atkinson, training officer for the Sea Cadets.

“It was a totally fun weekend designed to get the kids in power boats and driving because they are able to achieve their PCOC (park craft operations card) with cadets,” said Atkinson.

Cadets spent the weekend canoeing, water obstacles at the beach, man overboard and liferaft drills, powerboating skills, teambuilding, sea survival, GPS use and geocaching, fire fighting, damage control, and even making a hammock with duct tape.

They also made their own boats from common materials like plastic and duct tape and “whatever they could find to make their boat unique and, most importantly, float.

“They had to use that and a little bit of cardboard to design some various boats to be able to go to about 20 yards from shore and go around markings,” said Atkinson.

The cadets aged 12-18 try to hold big weekends since their participation levels rival the land and air cadets.

The Bonnyville Sea Cadets have around 20 members.

“Because we’re the sea element and we’re not quite as many as the air cadets and army cadets we try and get together and do big weekends so we can kind of pool our resources, not only with the officers, but even just funding. If we get a lot of us, we can do a lot more for one weekend,” said Atkinson.

With the year all but wrapped up, many cadets will head to summer camps for two, three, or six weeks.

“We teach them leadership, dress, drill and deportment…but give them a little bit insight and what it means to be Canadian Forces member.”

“Kids get to experience how to lead their peers and, and get a little taste of responsibility and in a very safe environment,” said Atkinson.