TISDALE — Mike Benjamin, commanding officer of the #624 Tisdale Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, said they are hopeful for a September in-person cadet season, but whatever it is, it will not look the same.
“It will be different, I’m sure it will be different than what we’re used to but until we find a cure or a vaccine or something it’s going to have to be like that,” Benjamin said.
“We’re hoping September, but it will depend on the situation and what’s determined safe and what’s not. We’re like the rest of the world, adapting to what’s happening.”
Benjamin said that in March the cadets were required to transition into the virtual world.
“The bulk of our parade nights were done online, and we had a good response to that. We had some really good training sessions, all of our summer training was cancelled unfortunately, so all the good training overseas exchanges and that kind of stuff were cancelled.”
For the online training sessions, the cadets connected online through social media. Once every cadet checked it, classes started.
“We do one or two classes per session, and it does involve some interaction between the cadets, a little bit of education and a little bit of just staying in touch with the cadets to keep a formal function going.”
While Benjamin found this presented some unique challenge, as a lot of their training is done in person, it worked so far.
In the place of summer training camps, a virtual training camp was made, which Benjamin said several local cadets are a part of.
Benjamin said another thing they lost out on is their annual ceremonial review, which typically ends each cadet season. Dignitaries that were planned to be there this year to speak to the cadets included
“We had some high dignitaries coming to speak to the cadets, but they’ve all confirmed they will come again next year if we can do it. Everything has kind of just been put on hold until once we know what’s happening and how we can plan around it.”