Pond Inlet cadets in perfect step
Drill team wins territorial competition
The members of Pond Inlet’s 3058 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps were in perfect step two weeks ago at the 2001 northern region cadet drill in Fort Simpson, NWT.
The Pond Inlet team beat out troops from Whitehorse and Yellowknife in the territorial finals to take home the drill cane and win the competition.
“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I think my cheeks are going to be tired from all this smiling,” said Cadet-Sgt. Naomi Erkloo, the drill team’s leader, as she clutched the drill cane presented to the top cadet unit.
The team, made up of seven cadets, practiced three or four times a week to prepare. While many cadets were nervous and excited before the competition, Erkloo said she was more than ready. “I just tell my team to act like it’s any other practice and like there are no people around. Just do what you have to do,” she said.
“It’s not like hockey or football or soccer,” said Lt. Pat McDermott, Commanding Officer of the cadet corps. “You don’t physically engage another team. But it is a challenge — structured and uncomplicated.”
The five teams competing in the final round were chosen from a group of 14 cadet units that participated in the territorial competitions in mid-November. They included 551 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron Whitehorse, 825 RCACS Yellowknife, 2837 RCACC Yellowknife, 3055 RCACC Repulse Bay, and Pond Inlet.
Teams were judged on appearance, the ability of their drill team leader and the manner in which they carried out compulsory and precision drill movements.
Col. Jon Ambler of Ottawa, the director of cadets and reviewing officer for the
competition, said the drill highlights all the elements of the cadet program, from leadership and self-discipline to teamwork, citizenship and physical fitness.
McDermott said the competition was a valuable experience for all the cadets. “No matter what turns out in the end, they’re all winners.”
Elisabeth Mills is the unit information officer with the Regional Cadet Support Unit in Yellowknife.