The Royal Canadian Army Cadets, Canada’s oldest youth organization, with over 20,000 cadets in some 300 communities from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, has been serving Canadian Youth since 1862, five years before confederation.

The Army Cadet Movement is supervised jointly by the Army Cadet League of Canada and the Department of National Defence, and is sponsored locally by a variety of community organizations such as Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Army,Navy and Airforce Veterans in Canada and service clubs.

In British Columbia, the Army Cadet League of Canada, British Columbia Branch, a civilian volunteer organization, works in partnership with Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific), formerly Pacific Region Cadets, to administer to the 50 Army cadet corps throughout the province.

During the school year, cadets usually meet once a week at a local community centre or armoury to learn first aid, marching, map and compass using, camp craft, field-cooking skills, leadership, public speaking and other aspects of good citizenship. Competitive and recreational activities include team sports, target shooting, orienteering and biathlon. Those who wish can participate in the band program and receive instruction, particularly at summer camp.

Young men and women who meet the basic entrance requirements and are relatively fit, have reached their 12th birthday up to 18 years old but have not yet reached their 19th birthday, are eligible to join. There is no charge for army cadets training and their uniforms are supplied. Army Cadets are not part of the Canadian Armed Forces and there is no obligation to join.

We highly encourage parents to join the sponsoring committee for their local cadet unit for many reasons;

  1. To help build a strong cadet corps it takes parent involvment.
  2. To be the eyes and ears of the cadet corps to help us ensure the cadets get the best possible experience for all cadets.
  3. Help your corps meet the rquirements of the Army Cadet League of Canada (British Columbia) Branch.

Each year many army cadets are selected to attend summer camps where they can attend courses of two, three and six week duration. This gives you the parents a safe, monitored and valuable time to see them grow and mature in a camp anywhere in Canada and the best part is they are cared for, fed, clothed and paid to be there. This is the best kept secret of Canada

Many of the cadets in BC attend the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre, Whitehorse Cadet Summer Training Centre or Rocky Mountain National Cadet Training Centre in Banff. More qualified and older cadets have the opportunity to learn mountaineering in Banff by attending this Summer Training Centre. More qualified cadets can also take the parachuting course at Connaught National Cadet Summer Training Centre in Ontario. Other summer opportunities include the Army Cadet Bisley Team (shooting competition in England) and a number of exchange programs with other countries that includes Maple Leaf Exchange in England, Scotland Exchange, Outward Bound in Wales, France Exchange and Federal Republic of Germany Exchange.

A major benefit from the Army Cadet experience is that the life skills are valuable in adult life, the training in the art of leadership, physical fitness and citizenship is second to none. Those who learn these arts are well prepared for positions of responsibility in their future careers.