PO2 Rob Stevens and Cadet Valraea Pederson from Nelson on percussion during a rare and unique joint practice session on August 1 in the Naden Band Room at CFB Esquimalt. The 30 air cadets were able to practice – albeit briefly – be mentored by the seasons and professional musician with the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Nelson air cadet gains valuable experience on coast

Nelson’s Valraea Pederson has had a summer to remember.

Nelson’s Valraea Pederson has had a summer to remember.

The 15-year is an air cadet with 561 Squadron in Nelson with over two years of experience playing percussion tucked away under her belt. Over the past few weeks, Pederson has gained valuable experience in Victoria.

“Every summer is different, there are new people and new experiences,” said Pederson of her summers away with the provincial cadet program. “I learn music and grow as a person.”

Pederson and another 200 air cadets graduated this past weekend 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 with calisthenics, music, and drill routines that they had choreographed themselves.

“No matter which direction you decide to travel, you will all be better equipped for the future as a result of the experiences here at Albert Head Cadet Camp,” said Guichon during her address to the assembled cadets on parade. “I see that all those of you who go through the cadet experience learn so much about self-discipline, team work, sportsmanship, citizenship and of course, it appears to me, that there is a great deal of fun to be had along the way.”

There are almost 30 air cadets with 561 Squadron in Nelson. Ten of its cadets have completed a variety of courses at Albert Head, a provincial air cadet summer camp.

The newest of BC’s four cadet summer training centres, Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Centre was established in 1995. Each year, approximately 930 cadets will attend the Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Centre between July and August, while a staff of approximately 150 will provide supervision and instruction.

As a provincial training facility, air cadets selected for the courses and as staff come from the 58 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons located throughout BC.

The Cadet Program is the largest federally-sponsored youth program in Canada and includes the Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets. It is a national program for young Canadians aged 12 to 18 who are interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities while learning about the sea, army and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

For more information, visit cadets.ca, “Like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/AHACSTC and follow them on Twitter @BC_Cadets.