Cadet Corps leads the way

Few teenagers can claim to have spent their holidays resolving hostage situations, shooting at targets in combat situations and camping under the stars in the wild.

But that’s just a few of the activities members of the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps have been up to over the past few weeks as part of the corps’ annual two-week camp.

Almost 110 cadets are taking part in the camp, based at the Agricultural Grounds, Lower Valley, including a handful of cadets from the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.

Speaking just after his regiment emerged from an overnight survival exercise in the bush in East End, Regiment Sergeant Derek Larner said the aim of the camp – and the cadet programme generally – is to prepare today’s teenagers to be tomorrow’s leaders.

‘The aim is to try and make improvements in the kids as they develop through their youth,’ he said.

In addition to military exercises, the cadets are involved in activities as varied as public speaking, orienteering, scuba diving and catering.

‘We try to steer them into things like public speaking to build up their confidence. We are trying to build them up for when they begin their adult lives,’ Sgt. Larner said.

So enthusiastic about the corps is the former UK military sergeant that he is taking his annual leave from his daily parking management job to be at the camp.

Geanna Bodden, 13, hopes the discipline and skills she has learned in the Cadet Corps will eventually help her get into college and be successful.

‘It’s very good for everyone’s self confidence. I think it will help me in later life.’

Derek Rankine, 16, concurs. He thinks cadet training will give him an edge when applying for colleges and, after that, jobs. ‘You learn good discipline; you really learn different stuff that can help you get good jobs.’

The camp continues until Saturday.

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