What Lt.-Col. Luis Carvallo called "an extended family" became a bit larger this week, as the community of Teslin, Yukon, welcomed two new sections of Canadian Rangers.
Twelve new recruits were sworn-in on Wednesday. They will be joined by eight rangers who live in Teslin but had been serving in other communities, driving to either Carcross or Atlin, B.C. for patrols.
Carvallo, who is commanding officer for the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, says the Canadian Forces decided to add the unit due in part to local demand.
He welcomed new recruits at a ceremony in the town's recreation centre.
The 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group has 1,800 members across the three northern territories, and in Atlin. The group covers 65 communities in all.
"No matter where you go in the North, you will find an extended family that is there to support you," Carvallo told recruits.
5 married couples in the Teslin ranks
The new Teslin ranger section includes a few married couples, which Carvallo says is not unusual for Canadian Ranger units in communities.
James and Minnie Clark are one such couple who live outside Teslin.
"I'm a trapper and recently retired and figured I spend a lot of time out on the land, and I just wanted to learn more, do some patrols, and be one of the Rangers," Minnie Clark said.
James Clark said the two signed up as "we both spend a lot of time out on the land. It's an opportunity to spend that time with others, get trained and have new experiences."
The youngest new recruit was Amber Marsten, 23, who lives outside Teslin.
"My husband and I have a property off-grid. We live in the woods and are pretty bush-savvy. We're pretty excited to learn some new skills and help out our community," she said.