Rocky Mountains CTC and West Coast Challenge
Dimalanta, Johnathan Peter
Being an Army cadet for almost five years, I’ve always dreamed of going to Rocky. I remember hearing about this course when I was just a green star, and it’s hard to believe that it actually happened this past summer. The Rocky Mountain Cadet Training Centre is home to the six-week Leadership and Challenge, and the National Army Cadet Pipes and Drums. These are two of the most prestigious considered programs for army cadets in the country. Cadets attend Rocky from all across Canada and the United Kingdom. The course consists of six cycles: rock climbing, glacier trekking, mountain biking, hiking, white water kayaking/canoeing, horseback riding, and wilderness first aid. Leadership and challenge taught me a lot about the wilderness and outdoors. From climbing a glacier, hitting waves bigger than us in white water kayaking, and waking up at 3 am to cross a ridge in the morning, we were faced with demanding physical standards. The views were spectacular, just standing there and observing my surroundings made us appreciate the truly amazing scenery. Hence, writing about Rocky in a couple paragraphs is strenuous because it was very action-packed.
One thing that will always be held dearly to me is the people I met. I’ve made great friends all over Canada and across to the UK. I learned a lot about myself from this course. I’ve extended my capabilities that I never thought I could achieve. I am very fortunate to participate in that course and also qualifying to go on the West Coast Challenge.
The West Coast Challenge was a one week Expedition trip to Salt spring Island. Biking from Albert Head Training Centre to Salt Spring was amazing. It was a long 65km ride to the ferry terminal, and then a challenging 10km of hills to Ruckle Park. After biking, we sea kayaked to Prevost Island, and kayaked around the area. Salt Spring vegetables were the best and not eating MRE’s was probably my favorite part. The guides were very knowledgeable and shared their expertise with us. Furthermore, sea kayaking was very calming and just opens our eyes to the world around us. Just to stop and look around our natural surroundings was very spectacular. One of my favorite moments for the week was when I saw two seals kiss right in front of me. I am very privileged to be in the Army Cadet program and it truly does give back. Ultimately, this was truly the best summer I’ve ever had.
When I look back on what I did, I find the cadet program incredible. I would have never thought that I could be given the opportunity to climb a glacier, or self-rescue from a kayak. Rocky and the West Coast Challenge taught me so much in a matter of seven weeks. For younger cadets, I’d advise to always ask the officers about summer camps and the Expedition Program. It is one of the best life-changing experiences that the Army Cadets have to offer. For more information, don’t hesitate to ask senior cadets, officers, or even me! The Pacific Region Army Cadet Expeditions has abundant information and cool trips cadets can apply for. Ultimately, this was truly the best summer I’ve ever had.
Pacific Region Army Cadet Expeditions – https://www.facebook.com/Pacific.Expeditions?fref=ts
Rocky Mountain Cadets – http://rockymountaincadets.smugmug.com/