Ten air cadets from the Kootenay region participated in an effective speaking competition, with a member from Castlegar taking the top honours to move on to provincials in Richmond.
Sergeant Reegan Stesko-Kallin, representing the 581 Castlegar squadron, took first place, while second and third honours were awarded to Sergeant Tehya O’Sullivan and Air Cadet James Wright, respectively, both of the 279 Elk Valley Squadron.
If Statsko-Kallin is successful at provincials, he will advance to nationals, which will be held in Newofundland.
Also participating were Leading Air Cadet Eric Talbot and Sergeant Dhruv Jethwa, 552 Key City Cranbrook; Sergeant Jackson Fance and Flight Sergeant Kelton Kinch, 531 Trail; Flight Corporal Kai Thomson, 561 Nelson; Sergeant Daniel Buskas and Flight Sergeant Corbin Johnson, 581 Castlegar.
Each cadet gave a five minute prepared speech on a topic of their choosing, and then a two-minute impromptu speech on the same pre-selected topic.
Community members assisted with the judging and scoring of this event, which included Sierra Blackwell, a former air cadet; Colleen Shaw, Joyce Bull and Cynthia Stewart, members of the Royal Canadian Legion; and Joyce Turner, with Golden Life Management.
Cameron Hewison, who who aged out of the cadet program in August 2018, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Effective Speaking, Ground School, Marksmanship, Air Crew Survival, Orienteering, Gliding and power flying, fitness, first aid, are just a few of the activities and skills that cadets learn.
Cadets meet one evening per week from September to June, and a few weekends for training activities. During the summer, selected cadets are participating in 2, 3, and 6 week training courses taking place throughout Canada.
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets, in partnership with the Air Cadet League of Canada and the Department of National Defence has been training youth in Canada for over 70 years.
Youth between the ages of 12 – 18, who have a desire to learn more about the aviation, wish to develop leadership skills, positive citizenship and promote physical fitness are encouraged to talk to visit the squadron nearest them.
Cadets can earn education and volunteer credits, awards, and medals. While the program is military based, there is no obligation to join the Canadian Forces.