The cadets of 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets ended their 2019-20 training year with a virtual awards presentation. Since mid-March, the cadet program has been shut down for in-person meetings due to COVID-19.
The squadron has continued to meet virtually for optional activities since the shutdown started. The cadets have met members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are in the pilot training program and did a virtual tour of a Calgary-based aviation maintenance facility. Cadets also have been involved in several national virtual activities, including a memorial for the Vimy Ridge battle.
The virtual awards ceremony replaced the annual ceremonial review that the squadron usually holds at the end of May.
During the awards ceremony, cadets were recognized for completing their year of training.
Cadets who completed Level 1: Svasti Nedelec, Aron Sutton, Hope Ward, and Felix Willems.
Cadets who completed Level 2: Josephine Evans, Willow Kikosewin-Holden, Ashley Sonnichsen, Brooke Sonnichsen, and Peyton Wilkinson.
Cadets who completed Level 3: Brandon Brook, Liam Egan, Nattanon McIntosh, Ryan Penner, Nicole Sonnichsen, Justice Ward, and William Wiltzen.
The cadets who completed Level 3 also received certificates that allow them to receive four high school credits.
Several awards were presented to deserving cadets:
Best Attendance – Svasti Nedelec
Best Drill – Brandon Brook
Lt. W. Sinclair Award for Most Promising Cadet (Top Rookie) – Liam Egan
Major Stan Jenkinson Award for Community Commitment – Nicole Sonnichsen
Nelson Kinsmen Most Improved Male – Nattanon McIntosh
Nelson Rotary Club Top Shot – Ashley Sonnichsen
Nelson Police Association Best Dress and Deportment – Brooke Sonnichsen
Salmo Legion Most Improved Female Cadet – Willow Kikoswen-Holden
Top Female Cadet, Columbia Basin Trust – Nicole Sonnichsen
Top Level 1 Cadet – Hope Ward
RDCK Top Male Cadet – Brandon Brook
Volunteer Commitment – Peyton Wilkinson
Cadets also received promotions:
To Corporal: Svasti Nedelec, Aron Sutton, Hope Ward
To Flight Corporal: Josephine Evans, Willow Kikosewin-Holden, Ashely Sonnichsen, Brook Sonnichsen, Justice Ward, Liam Egan, William Wiltzen
To Sergeant: Brandon Brook, Nattanon McIntosh, Ryan Penner, Nicole Sonnichsen
The squadron is planning to start back up on Friday, Sept. 4. Nelson Air Cadets meet at 6:15 p.m. every Friday in the Nelson Eagles Hall at 641 Baker Street.
The squadron always welcomes new cadets between the ages of 12 and 18.
Adults who would like to volunteer with the squadron are also welcome.