New Cadet excited about opportunities

·2 min read

Cadets in Medicine Hat were able to meet in person again starting in April of this year, which allowed them to take in new first-year cadets, one of which was 13-year-old Lily Riendeau.

“Lots of my family on my mom’s side has been in the air force and air cadets, and my friend Gavin Grupert also introduced me to it,” said Lily when asked what inspired her to join.

The local cadet program runs from September until June, so there wasn’t much time until the end of the year for Lily and other first-year cadets to do much.

“There was lots of practice for ACR,” said Lily.

ACR is the Annual Cadet Review, “an annual ceremony, almost like a graduation parade for the end of the year,” explained Cpt. Novak, who joined the interview from Winnipeg via telephone.

In the summer months though, there are activities cadets can take part in, and Lily did just that. She, along with about 30 other cadets, were in Calgary from July 4-8 for the Cadet Activities Program. There she made her first attempt at marksmanship.

“That was fun. We did the air rifles with the targets, I did pretty good for my first time, apparently,” said Lily.

Another activity was walking in the Calgary Stampede Parade, where she was somewhat surprised.

“It was very long but there was lots of water, they had golf carts going up and down the route. Lots of people lining the street. I really thought it was going to be slightly bigger than ours (Medicine Hat parade).”

The cadets also volunteered with Calgary Grow, creating some vegetable beds. They are a charity that grows food and gives it to people in need, along with keeping animals, such as sheep, pigs and horses.

She is sporting a new haircut, partially motivated by joining cadets, where the sides are shaved, and it is longer on the top. “Normally, I wear it to the side, but tie it back for cadets. I like my hair enough to keep some of it,” said Lily.

Cpt. Novak added that females don’t have to cut all their hair off to join and there are upcoming changes in the cadet dress instructions in September.

Since joining cadets, Lily’s had lots of fun experiencing new things and feels she’s done some growing up. You must be 12 years old to join cadets and are able to remain in the program until 18 years of age.

In Medicine Hat, for Air Cadets call 403-866-3293, or email 15air@cadets.gc.ca; for Sea Cadets call 403-580-0335, or email 145sea@cadets.gc.ca; for Army Cadets call 403-594-9212, or email 2313army@cadets.gc.ca.

Training restarts locally in September.

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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