With operations in the Nicola Valley for over a century, the Royal Canadian Cadet Corps 950 is a longstanding tradition in Merritt.
However, membership has dropped in recent years, though it has been slowly climbing back up post-COVID pandemic.
“We’ve got about nine parading now, but in past years, we’ve had as many as 20, maybe 25,” said Nick Tolerton, the local Legion branch’s liaison officer to the cadet core. “It’s dwindled over the years, but we’re hoping to gain some back.”
The cadet corps is a partially-funded program for any Canadian aged 12-18, which focuses on adventure training, including trekking, canoeing, survival training, marksmanship, among other skills.
“They learn a number of things, everything from navigating in the bush, to shooting…marching and learning to parade are important too,” said Tolerton, who added that there are cadet corps throughout many communities in Canada.
The cadets play an important role in these different communities each year on Remembrance Day. Each cenotaph, including the one at the Merritt Civic Centre, is guarded by four cadets, one at each corner. Cadets also march with the Legion in its colour party to and from the Legion headquarters.
The cadet corps, though partially funded, relies on community support as well. At the local corps meeting and parade on Nov. 6, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96 of Merritt presented the corps with a cheque for $1,500.
Elks Lodge #441 of Merritt also presented the corps with a cheque for $1,000.
For more information on the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 950, call the cadet hall at 250-378-9485, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.