Air cadet Timothy Ro of 746 Squadron in Langley received the Top Cadet Award last summer during the fifth and final graduation parade for Albert Head Cadet Training Centre (CSTC).
As part of the award, he received an engraved plaque as well as a Leatherman multi-purpose tool.
One Top Cadet is selected from each flight, and this award takes into account all the qualities that make up a model air cadet.
The Top Cadet recipients have demonstrated exemplary performance in their drill, dress, and deportment, and are considered to be team players in their Flights. Each Flight was comprised of approximately 25 cadets.
Cadets within each Flight are eligible to receive one of the two individual awards: Top Cadet or Most Improved Cadet.
Timothy received his award during a parade in which more than 200 cadets graduated 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 B.C. as Reviewing Officer, the graduates treated guests and spectators with calisthenics, music, and drill routines that they had choreographed themselves.
â€œNo 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,â€ said Guichon during her address to the assembled cadets on parade. â€œI 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.â€
Timothy completed the three-week Basic Survival Course (BSC), where the air cadets learned how to react when an emergency situation arises and they do not have access to the normal comforts of home. More than teaching teens how to camp, the Basic Survival Course provided hand-on exposure to primitive outdoor living skills, how to aid in a rescue as well as how to be rescued.
The teens learned how to problem-solve under adverse conditions, including hunger and isolation, under stress and with a lack of sleep.
The cadets learned how to push their personal boundaries, a transferable life skill that can be applied to any situation, regardless of the life path they choose after they leave the cadet program.
The BSCâ€™s 52 cadets learned from municipal and federal experts in urban and ground search and rescue, and during the final exercise, endured four days in the woods, building their own shelters, preparing their own food, collecting their own water â€“ isolated from the rest of the world, without electronics â€“ in teams of two.
During their three-week course, the teens â€“ the majority between 13 and 15 years of age â€“ lived separately from the rest of the 350 cadets on course at Albert Head, sleeping in large tents in a wooded area.
Over the 2013 summer training period (July 8 to Aug. 16), just over 900 cadets completed courses at Albert Head CSTC, while a staff of 170 provided supervision and instruction.
Nearly 120 air cadets are with the Langley squadron, of which 27 completed courses at the Metchosin-based provincial training facility.