Cadets on the go
Working to revive Rankin cadets

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (Oct 20/99) - Registration began this past week in Rankin Inlet to revive a cadet program left rudderless since the death of its leader this past May.

Jim Cameron is one of the organizers behind the revival.

He says Rankin traditionally had about 30 active cadets when the program was running.

"Cadets had been active in Rankin for a quite a few years, but the program fell apart with Ed's (Burton) death," says Cameron.

"We're a group of people who don't want to see cadets fall by the wayside. We're trying to take up where Ed left off."

Cameron says it's important for Rankin to have a cadets program because it teaches discipline and responsibility to young adults.

"Cadets helps develop good character. It's a good alternative to hanging around the streets for our youth."

Officers in charge of the cadet system for Nunavut and the NWT are stationed with the Canadian Forces Northern Area in Yellowknife.

Earlier this month, training officer Capt. Bud Ryndress and area cadet instructor, warrant officer Wayne Jure, came to Rankin to train organizers on how to set up and maintain a cadet corps.

"Basically, the training was on military paperwork," said Cameron.

"There is paperwork on enroling cadets, issuing uniforms, looking after activities and even, God forbid, drumming them out of the service."

Wildlife officer David Qirqqut is also involved with the cadet program.

He says the three-day training session will be helpful in rejuvenating the corps.

"I started with Ed last April and I'm hoping the corps will go full-bore again, once the kids realize cadets are back in Rankin."

Qirqqut agrees that the cadets offer many positive opportunities to local youth.

"Most of all, cadets helps to build their confidence and self-esteem and encourages them to do things for themselves.

"The program offers shooting, drill and musical competitions and there's a summer camp in Whitehorse we'd like to see some of our cadets attend."

Cameron says with some of the organizational challenges behind them, they can focus on mandatory training and delivering weekly Thursday night sessions.

"We pretty much had to start up again and confirm who's interested in being a cadet, what they have for uniform articles, what they need to have exchanged, the whole nine yards.

"It's worth the effort to have cadets running again."