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Air cadet awarded for hard work this summer
Air cadet Zachary Gordon of 747 Squadron in Terrace received a Most Improved Award during the fifth and final graduation parade for Albert Head Cadet Training Centre (CSTC).
As part of the award, he received an engraved plaque as well as a Leatherman multi-purpose tool.
A Most Improved Cadet Award was selected from each flight (i.e. class of about 25 cadets), and takes into account overall improvement in the areas of performance, participation, attitude, conduct, and teamwork skills.
Gordan completed the three-week Basic Survival Course (BSC), where the air cadets learned how to react when an emergency situation arises and they do not have access to the normal comforts of home.
More than teaching teens how to camp, the Basic Survival Course provided hand-on exposure to primitive outdoor living skills, how to aid in a rescue as well as how to be rescued.
The teens learned how to problem-solve under adverse conditions, including hunger and isolation, under stress and with a lack of sleep.
The cadets learned how to push their personal boundaries, a transferrable life skill that can be applied to any situation, regardless of the life path they choose after they leave the cadet program.
The course’s 52 cadets learned from municipal and federal experts in urban and ground search and rescue, and during the final exercise, endured four days in the woods, building their own shelters, preparing their own food and collecting their own water in teams of two, all the while being isolated from the world and without any electronic devices.
During their three-week course, the teens – the majority between 13 and 15 years of age – lived separately from the rest of the 350 cadets on course at Albert Head, sleeping in large tents in a wooded area.
Gordan received his awards during a unique parade where more than 200 cadets graduated from a variety of three- and six-week courses in areas such as aviation technology and aerospace, sports and fitness, and survival.
With The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia as Reviewing Officer, the graduates treated guests and spectators to calisthenics, music, and drill routines that they had choreographed themselves.
There are approximately 30 air cadets with the Terrace squadron, 12 of which completed courses at the Metchosin-based provincial training facility.
During the 2013 summer training period (July 8 to Aug. 16), more than 900 cadets completed courses at Albert Head CSTC, while a staff of 170 provided supervision and instruction.