A stag’s head forms part of the cap badge of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, and walking in the woods is what stags do. So, with learning how to navigate successfully in the woods being a key goal for the 72nd Seaforth Army Cadets, it seemed appropriate that the first Field Training Exercise (“FTX”) of the year should be called “FTX Stag’s Walk”.
The exercise took place at Camp Coyote, located on the north side of Campbell Valley Regional Park near Langley, BC, between Friday Oct 26 and Sunday Oct 28. Despite heavy rain on Saturday night, everyone stayed warm and dry and enjoyed a full weekend of activity including lessons on how to set-up (and tear down) a group tent, how to construct a hoochie shelter, construct components of a bivouac site, learning map and compass skills and how to set and follow a multi leg route using a GPS receiver, performing various knots and lashings, conducting meal preparations, identifying emergency shelters, safe use of camp tools, fire making skills, and leadership development.
The “night ops” activity provided a fun opportunity for stealthy competition, but none were as well camouflaged as the local owls and coyotes who were heard at night but never seen. An eight kilometer hike through sections of Campbell Valley Regional Park rounded off the exercise and guaranteed that all participants headed home fully appreciative of the skills learned, and ready for a good sleep in the comfort of home.