585 Rideau Squadron welcomes you to learn about our Squadron and the Canadian Cadet Movement, Canada’s premier youth organization. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Starting the new Training Year. Edited August 18, 2020
First some information for young people who want to join cadets. National Command has created a website cadets/parents/guardians can use to start the process. The main page, with information about the program is canada.ca/join-cadets, the information entry page is at https://app.cadets.gc.ca/cadet-registration/get-started.html. The information collected will be sent the corps/squadron selected and you will be contacted to arrange for completion of the process.
As Commanding Officer, I felt it was time to post something about what we know about the beginning of the new training year. I will try to make this relevant to all youth interested in cadets and their parents/guardians so those interested in joining, and cadets returning can find the information in one place.
Edit: Commander National Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group has determined that limited in-person training will now take place no sooner than October 1st, 2020. This delay will be used to: allow corps/squadron staff time to prepare as directed by orders issued today (Aug 18, 2020). This preparation will include:
- Staff familiarizing with the requirements of the latest direction.
- Preparing plans to parade, and train in a way consistent with Public Health Measures and the latest orders.
- Obtain the required cleaning and other supplies.
- Prepare the cadet command team and cadet instructors to operate under these measures and orders.
We will continue our virtual programs and will add events as required to distribute information and answer questions. All cadets, parents, guardians and volunteers are welcome to attend my regular Wednesday meetings. These will start at 6 PM and I will keep the meeting open until 7:30 PM to allow for those who aren’t able to attend at the beginning. You may also contact me through my email, Facebook, Instagram or by the contact forms.
The time since mid-March has been tumultuous. Current members of the Squadron have not seen each other in person since then. A lot has happened with school, summer cadet training, virtual engagement and more. Disruptions to what was your normal life, and that of your family were significant. Cadet units all over Canada scrambled to provide virtual activities as an alternative to the cadet experience you were missing. National and Regional Command scrambled to pivot summer training to a virtual environment also to provide an alternative to summer training which could not safely proceed.
As the summer progressed we started to see a drop off in attendance at our virtual activities. There are probably a number of excellent reasons for this. Many cadets took advantage of the Virtual Cadet Training Centre opportunities that were offered. Some of you may have been getting tired of virtual activities, especially as Spring turned to Summer and our area entered Stage 3 of the opening protocol. Given the choice between virtual activities and getting out side, visiting family, enjoying the summer I would much rather that you left virtual life behind, at least for a while.
Now we are getting ready for starting the new training year and I want to let you know what I know. The Squadron Sponsor, Sponsor Committee, the staff and I have been working with the league, the chain of command and community resources to ensure we can provide as close to a normal experience for you as we can. In comparison to some other cadet units we are lucky that we will have access to the RCAF Association Wing for our training. We still have to have a final inspection by the Area Headquarters staff, but I am confident the Wing will be approved. Units that parade in schools and armouries do not necessarily know where they are going to parade, at least for the start of the year. The Squadron Sponsor Committee (SSC) has been in touch with the two local school boards to secure our access. Unfortunately because of measures required to deal with the pandemic the boards do not know if they will be able to provide access to outside groups as they normally would. This will require some modification to our plans, at least for the fall, and maybe longer.
Masks and physical distancing measures will be an important new factor as we begin training, and also as you return to school. The Wing building is not as large as a school so we will have to adapt our mask and distancing requirements to fit the building. Where possible we will establish one-way flow using the main entrance to enter the building, and one of the emergency exits to leave. Areas where one-way flow or distancing are not possible will be mandatory mask areas. Cadets and staff will be issued non-medical masks. These will become part of the uniform and will be required to be on your person at all times during cadet activities and worn when required.
There are other safety measures that we are required to put into place until further notice:
- No over-night activities, the main impact for this will be our Fall FTX.
- All activities
must take place within 1 hour travelling time of our Headquarters.
- All transportation to and from these activities must be provided by parents.
- We must provide a weekly status report to Area Headquarters which will determine our ability to hold in-person training for the following week.
- Cadets will not be involved with in-person fund raising (no tag days).
We will be issued a new Field Training Uniform (FTU) this year. This uniform will be used for field training and other non ceremonial occasions where a uniform is required. This will be a much easier uniform to maintain. For returning cadets, this uniform will be provided by a special order which must be submitted by September 1st. If you have not already done so please see my posting on submitting your measurements and get this done very soon. If you do not do this, your FTU may be delayed. For new recruits we will order both your ceremonial uniform and FTU at the same time, a few weeks after you join.
Unfortunately there is some uncertainty in our schedule due to all the preparations, planning, and approvals yet to be completed at all levels. We are planning to start interesting activities early on so that we can make up for the disruption of the COVID protocols (details to follow):
- Open Marksmanship training on Saturdays.
- Air Studies (preparation for gliding and power scholarships).
- Band Practice.
- Activity nights on Fridays.
The Smiths Falls Flying Club has asked for our assistance with their fly-in breakfast September 12th.
- General Exercise October 17th.
- Field Training Exercise (FTX) October 24th and 25th.
- Sports Day November 29th.
Finally for returning cadets, remember BGen Cochrane has challenged all cadets to bring a friend when they return this year. Unfortunately it won’t be as easy as that, but if you have a friend who wants to join send them to the canada.ca/join-cadets website to get the process started.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Stay safe.
Captain HR Buckley CD Commanding Officer 585 Rideau Squadron