By Darren Lum
Published Feb. 12 2019
Winning the Lord Strathcona Trophy confirms great things are happening with The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment 1129 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps – Haliburton.
Named after Lord Strathcona a Scottish-born Canadian philanthropist the award honours the best small corps of 2018 for being “the most efficient in its class and perpetuates the solicitude of the donor for patriotism fitness and discipline in young Canadians.”
Commanding officer Dan Collings was proud of the Haliburton cadet corps and said this recognition reaffirms the program is fulfilling its ideals.
“This is particularly important to us lately as it reflects the amount of effort and programming occurring at the Haliburton Army Cadets. The award is determined by the amount of activities both in Haliburton and away that the cadets attend and on our regular attendance. We have been trying quite hard the last two years and we are now providing pipes and drums training biathlon marksmanship skills mountain biking and orienteering programs right here in Haliburton” he said in a prepared statement.
The cadet program is a national program for Canadian boys and girls aged 12 to 18.
It includes the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Cadets are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces and have no obligation to join.
“Cadets are encouraged to become active responsible members of their communities. They make valuable contributions to Canadian society on a daily basis in terms of environmental citizenship and community activities” the cadets website reads.
The local club has 15 cadets from 12 to 16 who come from all around the Highlands.
They are provided a diverse range of opportunities including the expected marching marksmanship and adventure experiences playing instruments mountain biking trail running snowshoeing and biathlon (Nordic skiing and range shooting).
The Legion in Haliburton where the cadets meet is close to venues for biking and Nordic skiing.
Besides the obvious physical benefits these activities provide opportunities to develop focus test personal levels of mental fortitude and improve self-esteem.
Collings was proud to see representatives from sponsors and supporters from the Minden and District Lions Club and the Legions of Minden Haliburton Wilberforce and Cardiff during the trophy presentation.
The award is also a credit to the zone training officer captain France Lachapelle who provides support and understands the challenges that face cadet corps in rural areas the partnerships with the Haliburton Highlands Nordic Ski Club the Haliburton Mountain Bike Club and volunteers who are part of the Army Cadet League.
The cadets’ program in Haliburton County continues to grow as canoeing and rock climbing are expected to be added in the future.
Collings said the corps’ score was very strong relative to the others and was in the “90 percentile.”
“We are extremely pleased to be recognized for the hard work and dedication of the cadets and staff in Haliburton” he said.