Tristan’s Canadian adventure

November 7, 2018

A lucky Army cadet from Sutherland spent his entire summer in Canada as part of an International Cadet Exchange Programme.  

Cadet Sergeant Tristan Jack (16), from Farr Detachment of 1st Battalion the Highlanders, took part in the six week exchange at Whitehorse Cadet Training Centre in the Yukon, situated in the northwest of the country.

The annual exchange is organised by Army Regional Command in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. It sees up to 40 cadets from across the UK representing the Army Cadet and Combined Cadet Forces living and training with their Canadian counterparts at one of three Cadet Centres – Whitehorse, Argonaut or Rocky Mountain.

Sgt Jack (pictured above, second from right) was one of the twelve cadets selected to represent the UK in the exchange at Whitehorse.

“I would repeat this
exchange in a heartbeat”

For the majority of the exchange Tristan was out in the field learning leadership skills, expedition training and doing some adventurous training, with the main part of the exchange being an 18-day expedition – undertaken by foot, bike and canoe.

Prior to completing the expedition, cadets were taken up in a Twin Otter Spotter aircraft to view the route from the air, which SSgt Jack said was: “Fun if you did not get airsick easily as the plane was not very big and didn’t handle turbulence well.”

Up and Away! Sgt Jack gets ready for a bird’s eye view of his expedition route.

Tristan was not always doing training, as there were plenty of day trips organised for the UK cadets, visiting the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the McBride Gold Rush Museum.

Being so close to the US, the cadets even travelled over the border to Alaska for a day trip to Skagway.

Tristan commented: “You could wander about and visit anything that took our interest. Although, the price of food was unbelievable – £23.50 for a pizza for example!”

Part of the exchange also had the cadets fending for themselves as part of a 24-hour survival package which saw them build a shelter from a tarpaulin and anything else they found in the wilderness and remain there with no contact with anyone.

Upon reflecting on his experiences in Canada, Tristan said: “If given the opportunity I would repeat this exchange in a heartbeat, I would recommend it to all cadets.”