Vic­to­ria cadets sees the world

Faith Clarke learned plenty on trip to Ot­tawa, Europe

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Faith Clarke had a spe­cial sum­mer. A mem­ber of 2615 Vic­to­ria Army Cadets, she was part of a spe­cial pro­gram that took her on a tour of Western Europe.

She trained with Bri­tish army cadets, saw his­toric war sites and learned a lot about the coun­try she’s from. Not bad for a sum­mer’s work.

Faith Clarke, re­cruit­ing sergeant-ma­jor with 2615 Vic­to­ria Army Cadets, took ad­van­tage of a unique op­por­tu­nity of­fered through the army cadet pro­gram, al­low­ing her to be one of three youth from New­found­land and Labrador to travel over­seas for an ex­tended tour of the con­ti­nent. She left New­found­land in July and came home six weeks later.

“I felt in­spired,” Clarke said of the trip.

An ac­tive cadet for the last five years, the 17-year-old ap­plied for the travel op­por­tu­nity in Jan­uary and was ac­cepted a few months later.

“I didn’t think I was go­ing to get in, and I did,” the Grade 12 stu­dent from Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate told The Com­pass.

The jour­ney started with a few days spent in Ot­tawa, where Clarke saw some sites and re­ceived some in­struc­tion on how to be a good am­bas­sador for Canada when trav­el­ling out­side the coun­try.

Once over­seas, Clarke and her co­horts were quite busy. They spent time in Scot­land, Wales, Eng­land, France and Bel­gium.

“We learned about how Canada was in­volved dur­ing WWI and WWII, and we did a lot of cer­e­monies where we rep­re­sented Canada.”

Clarke read a speech at the Beau­mont Hamel New­found­land Memo­rial in France. She also laid wreaths at sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant sites to help re­mem­ber those who were in­volved in armed con­flicts.

Among the many things she did over­seas, the ex­pe­ri­ence train­ing with Bri­tish army cadets was one Clarke found par­tic­u­larly re­ward­ing.

“That re­ally stood out, be­cause I learned so much and I did so much that I wouldn’t be able to do in Canada,” she said.

While train­ing with those cadets, Clarke got to do some sim­u­la­tions in the field and weaponry ac­tiv­i­ties — she fired a GP (gen­eral pur­pose) ri­fle.

When all was said and done, Clarke wasn’t en­tirely ready to go home.

“It was def­i­nitely an ex­pe­ri­ence where you can’t do it all in just six weeks. You need way more time.”

She’s also grate­ful for get­ting to have such an ex­pe­ri­ence in the first place through her in­volve­ment with cadets. Pre­vi­ous to this, Clarke wit­nessed the Cana­dian Rock­ies and cy­cled 400 km around Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

“I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a lot, and it’s a re­ally good pro­gram to be in,” she said.

Faith Clarke did some rock climb­ing along a rock shore­line in Wales.

Among her train­ing ex­pe­ri­ences while over­seas, Faith Clarke of Vic­to­ria got a chance to fire a GP ri­fle.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Faith Clarke stands near a cas­tle at Tower Hill in Lon­don, Eng­land.

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