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Final graduation

More than 100 cadets from Nunavut finished summer camp

Elisabeth Mills
Special to Northern News Services

Whitehorse (Aug 26/02) - It was a busy summer for cadets at the Whitehorse Cadet Summer Training Centre. The 170-odd cadets from across Canada and the United Kingdom returned home last week, but they left with some good memories, new skills and lasting friendships.

"I don't want to go home yet. The summer went really fast," said Noreen Pettypiece from 3045 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Arctic Bay, as she waited to return the combat clothing she had used over the summer.

"I enjoyed everything," she said. "Especially the patrol, because you get to see the teamwork and see the Yukon." Pettypiece's hard work also earned her the position of warrant officer for her group during the final graduation parade on Aug. 15.

Approximately 100 cadets from Nunavut attended the training centre for courses that were between two and six weeks long. The basic-to-advanced courses covered canoeing, abseiling (a climbing technique), patrolling and bush skills. The activities not only teach cadets teamwork and leadership, but are intended to enhance training that cadets receive at their home corps or squadron.

"It's a lot different than the North. There are trees and many more bugs than we have," said Jamie Ootoovak from 3058 Corps in Pond Inlet.

Ootoovak said he most enjoyed abseiling but, like many cadets, said it was the people at camp who left the most lasting impressions.

"They're all good people and I made some good friends," said Ootoovak. "When you're here, you meet new friends and old friends."

Master Corp. Clarissa Koblogina of 3004 Corps in Cambridge Bay agreed. She worked at the camp helping ensuring cadets were fed and properly equipped.

"I enjoy getting to spend time with the platoons and getting to know the cadets," Koblogina said.

Koblogina has also been at camp as a cadet and said the chance of seeing old friends and making new ones is what keeps her coming back. She intends to return as staff again next year during her last year as a cadet.

Cadet Rebecca May of Arctic Bay isn't ready to head home either. "We're going to leave our friends, but I'll keep in touch," she said.

"I'm going to try and come back next year," she added, noting that her favourite activity was a three-day patrol. "We got to get some exercise. It was kind of challenging," she said. "I really liked the view of the mountains."

Andrew Pokiak from 3004 Corps in Cambridge Bay said that, aside from learning new skills that he will be able to use with his home corps, he enjoyed canoeing for a different reason.

"It's fun," said Pokiak. "You get to watch people fall in the water."