September 1, 2015

Summer 2015 was unforgettable for Cadet Corporal Ross Clarke who enjoyed the adventure of a lifetime in Canada.

Ross, of 1st Battalion The Highlanders, was taking part in the Canadian Cadet Exchange, training alongside his counterparts from the Royal Canadian Army Cadets for six weeks at the Whitehorse Cadet Training Centre in the Yukon.

The 15-year-old, of Elgin Detachment, shared his experiences with HRFCA.

He wrote: “During my six weeks in the Yukon, not only did I have the experience of a lifetime, but I also came back with lots of leadership skills, fitter and a more rounded person. To some, almost two months of Cadets does sound quite strenuous, but you get used to the daily routine very quickly as you are always busy. As with everything in life there were highs and lows. The Alaska trip and the 18-day canoe expedition were huge highlights, however, I did pick up a couple of injures. Although nothing serious, they were my low points!

“For the majority of the camp we were out in the field, and actually only spent 19 days at Whitehorse. Over the six weeks we took part in various lessons and activities such as sports, first aid, expedition training, leadership and teaching.

“The main part of camp was the 18-day expedition. Having to eat rations for that length of time seemed quite daunting, but very quickly it became routine and normally you’re so hungry you don’t really care what you’re eating. I very much liked the Canadian MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), however not everyone did!

 “These were only a couple of things we had to face during the expeditions; the food, the unpredictable weather and the physical and mental strain. As I said before there was lots of ups and downs but I still had the best six weeks of my life. I made lots of new friends, Canadian and British, and hope to stay in contact with as many as possible. The last day of the exchange ended with the prize giving which saw me selected as the Top UK Exchange Cadet which I am extremely honoured to have received and I was even asked to go back next year. 

“This is just another reason to join the Army Cadet Force as it offers so many great opportunities.”

Ross left for Canada on July 4 and returned to Scotland on August 16 just in time for school restarting on the 18th. He is pictured (above) being presented with the Top UK Cadet Award by Major Kazmarski.

Ross (5th Right) with the UK Cadets in Alaska

Ross (5th from right) with the UK Cadets in Alaska.

Ross (left) having fun during the 18-day expedition.

Ross (left) having fun during the 18-day expedition.