On Wednesday 7th October, 16 cadets and 6 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers from across the Battalion travelled across the pond to take part in the two week Canadian Exchange.
The programme started in 1996 and is run in partnership with The Seaforth Highlanders Army Cadet Force of Canada. The Canadian Exchange was the brainchild of Major (ret’d) Craig Bryce formerly of our Battalion and Captain George Simpson, formerly of The Seaforth Highlanders cadets of Canada.
During their two weeks in Canada our cadets had the opportunity to get immersed in the Canadian culture and lifestyle as well as witnessing first-hand the differences between the cadets in the UK and in Canada through a series of well planned visits and activities.
Some of the activities our cadets were involved in included a visit to Grouse Mountain and being inspired by the local native traditions and exploring a long house. There was a trip across the Capilano suspension bridge. Built in 1889 the bridge is 450ft across and 230ft above the Capilano River, certainly not for the feint hearted nor those scared of heights.
The cadets also took part in a number of activities with the local Canadian cadet corps taking part in lessons and also delivering some of their own. During the two weeks the cadets also took part in a Canadian FTX where they taught the Canadian cadets a number of fieldcraft skills. This culminated in an overnight stay in the woods alongside 160 Canadian cadets.
Other activities included a flight over Canada on a large screen simulator which the cadets really enjoyed. There was a tour of the Rogers arena, home of the Canucks ice hockey team and a visit to a Giants ice hockey match where the cadets got the opportunity to ride on the ice on a Zamboni in front of 4000 spectators.
Other activities included tours of local places of interest, shopping and most importantly making new friendships that will last a lifetime.
The visit was made all the more special by the first class hospitality and kindness shown by our Canadian hosts who welcomed us as part of their family and the last day was a hard one. There were lots of hugs and some tears as everyone said their goodbyes.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their time in Canada and will have great memories for years to come.
The hard work now begins to prepare to welcome our Canadian friends who will visit our Battalion for two weeks in March 2016 to continue the exchange tradition.
The Battalion will again visit Canada in October 2017. Full details will be published in the new year.
Lots more pictures here.