Your memories of Blackdown 

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For those who have been fortunate to have spent a summer or several summers at Blackdown, the memories are varied and amazing. We invite you to submit in about 250 words (approx) or less any story you would like to share. Be sure to include your name and original cadet corps and year the story takes place in if possible.

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BLACKDOWN CADET TRAINING CENTER 1994-2005

As a Blackdown Officer for the past 12 years I have seen it form the beginning to the present. 1994 Ipperwash (Blackdown) was open to all Army Cadets form Across Ontario. We called it the Sand Box. All you could see were TENTS, I did not know that there was that much Canvas in the Military. Sleeping Quarters tents, Showers tents, Mess Hall tents, Cadet Canteen was even a tent with a small wooden shack. The laundry was done by a DND contract and you could only put 8 items in your laundry bag but you would never know what you would get back. And yes there was Grass way back then and a lot of huge trees for shade. The storm of 95 that blew more than half of the Camp away at 0200 in the morning and not one cadet was injured by the way. 95 was the first year of the Sunset Ceremony that we still continue this day. Over the years we started to see the Camp grow with a new kitchen and parade square, Beach Volley Ball Courts, Ball Diamonds, Company Offices with flush toilets and showers with a laundry room and yes PAVED ROADS. The internet lab was a huge hit for one summer then it went away. We then received the Canvas replacements that I call the bubbles, Tan in colour and cooler in the day they say ???. They took a while to get use to from sleeping under canvas for all those years prior not being able to see the shooting stars at night because of the holes in the canvas and having to move your bed because of the rain. Trying to get use to the bubble was like sitting in a snare drum as it rained but we got use to it. Don't forget Colonel Dog barking all hours of the day and night wanting to go for a walk. Then there was the year that we lost power (we most of Ontario did too) and the first time that the final parade was cancelled.

Too this day I still remember one thing that Lieutenant Colonel G.E. Vitali, CD told me.
He asked me how do you know you did job right as a platoon commander.
My answer was "I don't know Sir"
You know you have done a good job if you see those cadets back the next year.
I look forward to seeing them next year.

R.J MacNEIL
Captain
2332 Army Cadet Corps Ottawa
Blackdown 1994-2005