Survival challenge 2

Canadian & Northern Irish Cadets attend the first ever…

Cadets and CFAV’s from *Northern Ireland and Canada came together for a packed Winter VTX, of fun, chatter and learning, over the weekend of 27 and 28 February, 2021.

Canadian & Northern Irish Cadets attend the first ever International Virtual Training Weekend, Winter VTX.

1 March 2021

  • National
  • 1st Northern Ireland Battalion ACF

Both days began with Canadians conducting “Land Acknowledgements” for Northern Ontario and the Yukon, solemnly observing the custom of commemorating the indigenous peoples’ principal kinship to the land, followed by the Canadian National Anthem “Oh Canada”.

Irish Cadets and CFAV’s got to see how their counterparts build and maintain shelters and equipment in extreme cold temperatures, whilst the Cadets from Northern Ireland shared their tactical know-how.

On the Saturday evening the participants were joined by Brigadier Stuart Williams, OBE, Deputy Commander, Army Cadets, who spoke about how wonderful it was to see the Cadets come together and share their skills, “Seeing the inspirational cadets this weekend from both Canada and Northern Ireland – it just reinforces that we provide incredible opportunities and do set people up for lifelong success."

They were also treated to a virtual visit from Army Cadets Ambassador Sally Orange, who, no stranger to extreme temperatures, spoke about her experiences of cold climate expeditions. Having previously visited the Whitehorse Cadets while she was in Canada to participate in the Yukon Arctic Ultra – the worlds coldest and toughest ultra marathon.

Col Clinton Riley, Col Cadets Army Cadet, also joined the event adding, “What a fantastic evening with some brilliant lessons on shelter construction. It was great to see cadets from 1 NI Battalion ACF with Canadian cadets from Ontario and Whitehorse enjoying a great training session. I hope that exchanges will be made in the future. Well done to everyone.”

One Cadet taking part was Staff Sergeant Ciara McKay from Antrim detachment. She had previously travelled to New Brunswick to take part in the Argonaut Canadian cadet exchange programme before the lockdown. When asked about the Winter VTX Ciara said, “It’s obvious just from attending the first day alone how much effort has been put in behind the scenes – it’s so amazing and I’m so impressed by the Canadian Cadets and how keen they are to speak up and get involved – they are such an inspiration."

As well as presentations from both sides of the Atlantic, Cadets and CFAV’s enjoyed a Kahoot quiz and then broke off into themed chat rooms, where they could get to know each other based on their interests.

*Cadets and CFAV’s from 2912 Sudbury Irish RCACC, 1st (NI) BN ACF and 2915 Capreol Irish RCACC, were joined by 2685 Whitehorse RCACC.