NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Rangers get taste of military
Youth Academy program provides RCMP and Armed Forces-based skills

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Junior Canadian Rangers from Fort Providence were given a glimpse of the career opportunities available to them in the military and the RCMP.

NNSL photo/graphic

Junior Canadian Rangers Mercedes Rabesca from Whati, second from left, and Erin Nadli from Fort Providence receive their completion certificates from Chief Supt. Wade Blake, left, and Capt. Benoit Garneau during the closing ceremony of the Youth Academy on May 17. - photo courtesy of Capt. Steve Watton

Erin Nadli and Dwight McLeod were among 15 participants from across the territory in the Youth Academy. The academy, which ran from May 12 to 17 in Yellowknife, was a joint initiative between the RCMP G division and Joint Task Force North.

Its goal was to expose students to the RCMP and military cultures and to promote career opportunities in both organizations as well as those that come from staying in school, said Cpl. Tammy McKenzie, the proactive recruiter for RCMP G division.

The RCMP has run similar academies across Canada but this was the first time one has been offered in the territory, McKenzie said.

The 15 participants earned one high school credit during the six activity-packed days.

The RCMP component of the academy included demonstrations on police defensive tactics and the police dog service section. The Junior Rangers learned how to use the RCMP radios and the phonetic alphabet. They also participated in a community checkstop, which included asking drivers for their documents.

Physical fitness was a large component of the academy. The Junior Rangers completed the physical ability requirement evaluation that RCMP recruits take and also a timed 1.5-mile (2.5-km) run.

On the military side, the Junior Rangers learned wilderness first aid, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety and search and rescue techniques. All of the activities promoted problem solving, leadership and teamwork skills, said McKenzie. The activities were also geared towards giving the participants skills they can use in their home communities and while on the land.

"They did great," she said.

For Erin Nadli, 16, drill was one of the best parts of the academy. Nadli said she liked marching in formation and that the drill instructor was cool.

Nadli also enjoyed participating in the search and rescue scenario that was conducted on the second last day of the academy at Camp Connections on the Ingraham Trail. The Junior Rangers had to use the skills they'd learned over the proceeding days, including how to use a compass and GPS, to find a missing person. The search took approximately an hour.

"I found it really fun but hard as well," said Nadli.

Nadli said she could definitely use the search and rescue training in Fort Providence and also the lessons about basic survival on the land. Despite enjoying the academy, Nadli said she doesn't think a career in either the RCMP or the military is for her.

Based on the success of the academy, McKenzie said the participating groups want to offer the program again and hopefully open it up to youth from more NWT communities.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.