TISDALE — Three members of the Tisdale air cadets will be going to training camps across the country – with one receiving a scholarship to help get her private pilot’s licence.
“It is quite the process, to have three selected out of Tisdale – very rare. Those are highly coveted courses,” said second lieutenant Mike Benjamin, a training officer with the Tisdale #624 Royal Air Cadet Squadron.
Cadet Sgt. Cole Roszell will head to Quebec for the six week Advanced Aerospace National Camp, Sgt. Keenan Roszell will go to Canadore College in Ontario for the six week Advanced Aviation Airport Operations National Camp and Sgt. Rachael Benjamin was selected for the Power Pilot Scholarship.
Rachael, who is Mike’s daughter, will spend seven weeks at a flight school, working to get a private pilot’s licence.
The squadron decided to surprise the cadets with the news.
“At the end of the night we do closing parade and the CO (commanding officer) of the squadron said he had one more summer camp to announce,” Mike said. “You could see the three cadets that were waiting for national camp piped up. It got their attention.”
Only the cadets’ hopes were let down when they were told it was just for a regional camp.
“You could actually see a little bit of disappointment in their eyes. Then just as they were about to dismiss them I stepped in and said ‘oh, oh, just wait. There’s one more.’”
Benjamin pulled a camp application from his pocket and announced one of the two Roszells got the scholarship.
“He got excited and he came up and he accepted his contract and marched back. Then as we were about to close parade for the night I said, ‘oh wait, we got another one’ and so forth.”
Rachael said she was excited to learn she received the scholarship.
“I worked for two years to get to that point and nervous because that meant I was getting my pilot’s licence, working towards getting it in a couple of months,” she said.
Mike said he feels proud of his three cadets.
“They worked really hard to get onto these camps. To have three cadets from Tisdale selected is an honour,” he said. “It’s great for our little town and our little squadron.”
As a dad he said he feels “super proud” of his daughter.
“She’s following my footsteps as a pilot.”
Rachael said she wants to get her licence both because her dad has it and she enjoys being in a plane.
“I was either thinking of joining the Canadian Armed Forces as a pilot or going on to become a veterinarian and going and doing something in northern communities where I go and fly out to do veterinary stuff out in the wilderness.”
For the Advanced Aerospace National Camp and the Advanced Aviation Airport Operations National Camp the applicant had to fill out the required paperwork, submit their school reports including their transcripts, write a narrative on why they should be selected for the program, the commanding officer had to write a narrative on why they support the cadet for the program and then the cadet had to go for an interview in Saskatoon.
For the Power Pilot Scholarship the requirements were slightly different and involved an exam, as well as an interview with a three person panel.
Mike said there were about 26 applicants for the program just out of Saskatchewan.
“This is the first time in a long time we’re sending anybody on the Power Pilot Scholarship.”