Army cadets from Canada got a close up look at the Cayman Islands lifestyle this month – 40 feet below the ocean surface.
As part of the Army Cadet Exchange Program, nine cadets aged 16 years and over traded places with cadets from the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps for a week of educational and character building activities.
The Lobster Pot Dive Center jumped onboard the program to allow cadets to complete their Open Water Dive Certification.
Manager Dawn Clerkson said the center was extremely pleased with the success of the training.
“It gives them a real feel for the Cayman Islands,” Ms. Clerkson said. “We’re a major diving destination, we’re one of the top destinations in the Caribbean.
“We’re hoping they’re going to use the qualification when they go home.”
Cayman cadets spent time at the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site in Alberta where they learned about Canada’s native history, and also went white water rafting.
The Army Exchange Program has been running for more than seven years.
Cayman Islands Cadet Corps Lieutenant Colonel Bobeth O’Garro said the initiative helped to create international understanding, goodwill and friendship among young people who had an interest in defense and army matters.
She said the program helped to build bridges between countries and networks between youth.
“More so for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps, we believe it is an excellent opportunity for our young people to be ambassadors of the Cayman Islands and to network from an early age, “ Lt. Col. O’Garro said.
“We also see the exchange as an opportunity to showcase the wonderful hospitality of the Cayman Islands as many exchange cadets have returned to our islands to visit with their families.”
Lt. Col. O’Garro said the Army Cadet Exchange program could only host a small amount of cadets each year due to limited funding.
“Private sector organizations over the years have assisted us to host our visitors and the government has also been supportive,” she said. “We welcome any organization would like to partner with us in the future,” she said.