Your memories of VACSTC
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For those who have been fortunate to have spent a summer or many summers at Vernon, the memories are varied and amazing. We invite you to submit any story you would like to share. Be sure to include your name and cadet corps, the camp and year the story takes place in if possible.
As a timid fellow one of the best things that happened to me as a 15 year old was to attend the Vernon Army Cadet Camp during the summer of 1967!
I look back upon those days with alot of fondness not only because of the friends I made, but for many other reasons as well. Who can forget the marches down the hill to the park, the field work we did, standing on a hot parade square and watching fellows fall over all the while refraining from moving to help them because of muttered commands of, "Stay where you are". The salt tablets.
I recall the march up Sugar Mountain (I believe that is the name) and creating a shelter with our ponchos, digging the latrines and overall aching at the end of each day. But it was fun.
I was with the 1725 Royal Canadian Engineers out of Chilliwack, B.C.
I went on to join the Rocky Mountain Rangers out of Salmon Arm for a short couple of years before moving on.
The discipline, training and inter-action with other Cadets and Officers helped to form who I am today.
The culmination of my summer of '67' was to take part in the Military Tattoo. I was one of the crew who took apart an old Willies military jeep as we put on a Cops and Robbers show at Empire Stadium and elsewhere.
A very good time and am thankful for that.
James (now go by Chuck) Morris
20 Sept 2012
When I think back to the time I spent at the
cadet camp, I can’t help but smile. I have many fond memories of the 6 summers I spent there. I would have to say that the fondest of memories I have include the last 2 years that I spent as a staff Sgt in Band Company. I loved instructing the junior cadets and watching their faces light up as they learned and mastered a new basic drum score. Vernon
The cadet program helped to define who I am today. It taught me self discipline, pride and helped me to gain the independence I display in my present life. I have been very successful in my career and I can chalk it up to the 3 D’s from Cadets (Dress, drill and deportment). I am a Peace officer with the rank of Sgt (Team Lead). The confidence that I found in myself (thanks to cadets), helps me on a daily basis throughout my dealings with the public or during the classes in which I instruct other Officers.
I believe in the Cadet movement and it’s abilities to help sculpt our youth today into better leaders for the future!
Kristina Colley (former Warrant Officer)
July 27, 2011
I had so much fun at camp this year, I cant remember the time when I laughed so much and I smiled with out question, but the one thing I’m righting about is my brother… when I went there I seen him and the only thing special about that is because he was in CL my brother had a illness, it was harder for him to get excepted and to go on the 5 day FTX. But he did it.
I am really glad that you guys let my brother have a chance to have a really grate time because I went for 2 weeks and with the amount of fun I had there, just thinking about haw much fun my brother is having!! I will never forget Foxtrot Company, platoon 21, section 3 and all the staff in it!! Sgt. James Wong, Langous and WO. Wii I really hope that my brother will be excepted for CLI next year I would really love to see him happy.
Trooper M Martin
2051 19th Alberta DragoonsRC Army CC
Thursday August 17
Back in ’71, I moved to Prince George B.C. from Dawson Creek and subsequently, joined the Rocky Mountain Rangers Army Cadet Corps. Vernon B.C. was the annual trek to the Army Cadet Camp where life long friends were made and a fantastic life experience. From 71-74, I loved that summer trip with the bus, participating in the 2 weeker, Driver’s Training, Cadet Leader and Band tours. Prince George is hosting the 50th Anniversary of 2618 RMRang this May long weekend and I will be there with bells on!!!
I Remember Vernon 2005
It was August 2005 and It was the first time ive been to summer camp as a Basic. It was an amazing experience for me, because I got to go on the FTX, see the hole camp, and learned about the history of Vernon ACSTC. But I will never forget those happy, funny, joyous moments with my friends, though I wont forget Sergeant Wu, or Sergeant Decar, because they were funny and they were good platoon commanders. Though I didn't go to Summer camp in 2006, because I got a chance to go to China, and Europe, though I thought that I made the wrong choice, but I don't care. Ill still stay in cadets and go to summer camp, probably to Connaught or Banff next time.
Good bye, and good luck.
CPL A. Guerra
2836 1 CER cadet corps
Thursday May 3, 2007
The pilgrimage, everyone who has gone to Vernon takes it. It usually happens the summer after your last summer as a staff cadet. You're 19, so are your buddies, you pile in your best friend's car, scrounge enough money for a long weekend, hoping to stay in a cheap motel, eat at McDonalds just to save few bucks all in the name of making it back to Vernon just to see what it's like without you. This is one of those stories. I hope you enjoy it, if there's interest, I'll post part 2.
The Pilgrimage... July 1981 - part 1
As my brother Simon, was in Vernon that summer, I wanted to visit him there, he was on CL in Charlie Coy. I really missed being there myself and asked another friend in the corps, Mike if he wanted to go with me to
, he thought that would be fun so we decided to go around the second week of camp. But we’d have to plan the trip around his work, just a short weekend was all either of us could afford. I had to ask for an extra day off for that matter. Pretty soon we made a party of it by having an air cadet buddy of ours, Todd Carefoot and former cadet Scott Horn to come along for the weekend trip. Scott was back on leave from Petawawa for a week or two, he’d now be in the Forces almost four months and was beginning his training as an Engineer, in a few weeks he’d be in Chilliwack on course. I had a day off coming and took it for that Friday. I was glad to see Scott, it had been a while. Todd and Mike had never been to Vernon as a cadet but that didn’t matter to them. They liked the Okanagan. Vernon
That evening I packed some clothes in my gym bag, anxious at the trip we were going to take the next day. The sun shone in the back of the apartment casting an orange glow through the length of the long hallway. Every little imperfection in the paint was exaggerated by the long angle of the sun. I didn’t pack much as it would only be for the weekend and almost certainly warmer than here. It was all I could do to fall asleep that night, I was glad to be going to Vernon after all, even if it wasn’t the in the usual fashion. I didn’t think I would see the camp again, given I wasn’t on staff, this would be great!
The next morning Scott and I met on the bus downtown on the way to Mike’s house, we had our overnight bags with us. I had about $45 for the weekend, so did Scott. We were both pretty excited about the trip. Mike still lived with his folks in
Marlborough. Around we showed up at his place. It was sunny and shaping up to be a beautiful summer day. His mom said he had just got home from work and was sleeping in his room, we went downstairs and woke him up just as Todd showed up.
“C’mon Mike, you can sleep in the back of the camper while we drive out, okay? Todd bugged him. “Geeez…”
Mike sat up groggy-eyed, put on his glasses, smiled, picked up his ruck sack and climbed up the stairs. We all laughed about how awful he looked after a long night’s work. His eyes were partly blood shot from the long shift at the gas plant. His mom wished us well and told us to be careful. Out in front of the house Mike climbed in the back of the truck, he had a cab-over camper that fit in the back of a pickup truck, it was really convenient for these kinds of trips or visits to the drive-in theatre. A small bunk over the cab along with a pair of bench seats that made another bunk and lots of storage space filled it out. We threw in our kit-bags and sleeping bags into the back of the truck too and slammed the tailgate shut with a clang. The sun was shining brightly that morning and Mike drew the curtains close, intent on getting at least a little sleep on the rather comfortable padded long bench seat. The window between the truck and camper was left open and once Mike settled down Todd pulled away. Scott and I were also in the front with Todd, Scott turned on the radio, Kim Carnes was singing Bette Davis Eyes on C-JAY 92.
We filled up the huge twin tanks at a busy gas station on
16th Avenuebefore heading out of town on the Trans-Canada. There was plenty of holiday traffic heading westward along Canada’s main highway, camper trailers and motor-homes all on two lanes until 14th Street, only then was it becoming a serious highway. I was looking forward to the drive and the visit. I was excited about this trip never having driven this far west. We'd planned out our accommodations for the weekend, we'd simply sleep in the camper, we'd find somewhere to park at the camp.
Mike was already sound asleep by the time we left the city limits, as Todd drove we talked about Vernon and what kind of camp it was, describing it in great detail to Todd. Todd in turn, told us all about Penhold and Cold
Lake, the two air cadet camps he had been to with Mike over the past summers. They had their similarities but they were different. It was turning into a glorious summer day. There was a certain sense of magic in the air, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, I suppose it was that I was going to see and my friends after all, it just felt great that we were on our way. We passed through Vernon an hour later and slowed down to make it through the old traffic circle. As we passed the traffic circle I looked over towards the cadet camp, and briefly caught a glimpse of its rustic log cabin barracks, cadets milling about. Banff
Just beyond the Norquay turn-off, busy road hard-hatted crews were beginning the long process of twinning of the highway through the park, a task that wouldn’t be completed for several years, but when it was, the antiquated and constantly over tasked traffic circle would be replaced by a more conventional high speed overpass. The rocky hill side was being slowly, carefully blasted and chiseled away hindering traffic for several miles. We drove it all of 60 km/h for a what seemed like a long time, it was only until just past the Sunshine turnoff that traffic returned to normal along the single lane highway. Front-end loaders would scoop up the rocks and rubble into waiting tandem dump trucks to take away for fill at the other end of the construction project, the air was filled with dust around the construction site. It would take many years to complete the project, but be well worth the wait. Todd continued driving to about
Lake Louisewhen it was my turn to drive. The traffic got a little heavier, tractor trailers lined up behind campers and motor homes on the one lane highway, hitch hikers sitting on their bulging backpacks lined the shoulder waiting, hoping to get a ride west.
We weren’t going much faster than 80 km/h but the view made up for it. Shear mountains of granite rose up out of the valley floor to meet the cloudless blue sky. Our highway cut through a carpet of millions of 40 foot pines, the sun flashing in and out of the trees. I loved the freedom of driving on the highway, being out of the city, something I did so rarely.
As I had always flown to
every summer I’d never been on the highway beyond Vernon , so this was already a new adventure in itself, we knew it was at least six hours, but we planned for a little longer just in case something went wrong, as it was it would take us much longer than 6 hours. The highway began winding up hill shortly after Banff Lake Louise, the air was crisp and clear. On the stereo we were listening to one of Mike’s tapes, AC/DC’s Back in Black and enjoyed the scenery which altogether seemed it little out of place considering the music. Forests of pine and fir covered the valley floor reaching half way up the mountain sides before stopping at the tree line, above that only grey rock existed and the occasional patch of snow that had escaped the spring and summer sun’s heat. Mike was still sound asleep.
The climb up the Kicking Horse pass became gradually steeper and our truck slowed down a bit, cars passed us near the top, once over the pass we were welcomed into BC with their own slightly unique road signs proclaiming the province. Ahhh…the magic of it all, one moment we’re in
, the next we’re in beautiful BC, though it didn’t seem different yet. We drove past clear cascading creeks along the mountain side, frothing white water spilling over ancient granite boulders that someday would be reduced to mere pebbles. Paralleling the highway, bright red CP Rail diesels laboring pulling a hundred freight cars up the pass, the engines whined and rumbled, their hissing turbo chargers tossing thin plumes of hot black diesel smoke high in the air. Steel wheels slowly turned on the curved steel rails, the sound like a cacophony of singing metal accompanying the turbo charged heavy diesel rumble of ten thousand horsepower. Spring water was coming down the side of the rock face along the highway, dribbling, rolling off the jagged rocks darkening the face from light grey to almost black. Every few hundred feet another trickle or torrent of water surprised us, ferns and flowers grew where the water landed and splashed. Cars and motorhomes were parked along the side of the highway, their passengers enjoying the fresh air and the amazing spectacle of the trains entering the mountain and exiting it below itself. The spiral tunnels had always attracted attention, carefully we passed cars, motorhomes and busses. Down the Kicking Horse pass we continued, we were coasting, no need to use any gas but we sure used the brakes. I could smell hot brakes from a tractor trailer in front of us, not a normal smell, it stunk a bit kind of like metal almost burning. It was a little cooler up here, almost fresh, it should be considering we were a mile above sea level. Alberta
The tiny charming mountain town of
appeared on the flat plain below the pass, the river spanned the entire mile wide valley in several ribbons of creamy pale blue and turquoise meandering through the flood plane of gravel and sand. The town itself was a storybook collection of brightly coloured, steeply raked tin roofed houses set along the forested hillside and forbidding mountains surrounding CPRail’s mountain pusher facility. Several bright red diesel locomotives lined the tracks waiting for the next call to help a freight train up the Roger’s pass or the Kicking Horse pass. Beyond the town the valley opened up, revealing even more mountains and forests. The heavy traffic that kept us at a slow pace in Field thinned out along the single lane highway. A lot of campers had pulled over in the previous towns and towards Jasper or were now turning off at the Takkakaw Falls-Yoho Valley turn off. There was still some traffic, but now with a seeming purpose of getting somewhere more important than just camping, we were all moving a little quickly. The sun shone down brightly between treetops casting fleeting shadows across the truck. Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight played on Scott’s radio as we began descended down the Golden canyon. Banff
“I can feel it comin’ in the air tonight, hold on
I can feel it comin’ in the air tonight, hold on...”
We didn’t talk much for a while, we were all admiring the beauty of the mountains. Lush ferns and undergrowth grew alongside the road, it was so green it almost hurt your eyes! Soon we entered the Kicking Horse Canyon, this stretch of the highway was twisty and steep, quite intimidating, I slowed down cautiously following the single lane carefully, Mike lay in the back still sleeping unaware of how much the road was beginning to change. Several hundred feet below the highway was the Kicking Horse river tumbling violently over rocks and boulders, its water was frothing brown, churning with the sediments it picked up from the late spring runoff. The steep walled canyon dictated that the road follow the river closely, driving it meant keeping your eyes wide open. Just before the second bridge, the hillside on the left of the highway seemed to be one big wide stream, water cascaded off the mossy cliff face just short of the eastbound lanes. With the windows open the air was cool and refreshing, the sound of the 200 foot wide white water rapids was soothing. We crossed the second bridge and climbed another steep windy section slowing down to just 30 km/h by the time we got to the top which would be almost the speed limit for the last downhill stretch anyway.
The highway returned to being just a mountain highway after that heady twenty kilometre stretch and I breathed a sigh of relief. The
suddenly opened up rewarding us with a magnificent view of the railway and logging town of Columbia Valley . We stopped at the Golden Husky truck stop for a well deserved break, dozens of tractor trailers idled in the parking lot, the smell of diesel mixed in with cedar and the wood pulp. It was sunny and warm, the smell of Cedar and Hemlock was sweet, I could smell the sawmill up the valley, fresh sawn lumber has an unmistakable smell, sort of sweet and wonderful. I knew we were in BC now! Golden
Loaded up with chips, cokes and 7-Ups, we were back on the road an hour later, the Roger’s Pass was a lot less intimidating than the first pass. It was pretty different driving through the snow-sheds, we were inserted into instant blackness after hours of uninterrupted sunlight. I had never driven through a snow-shed or tunnel, this was quite novel. The second snow-shed was the longest, twisting and turning for 800 yards. The temperature once again cooled a bit as we climbed the pass. At the top I marveled at the sight of the stunning glaciers towering above us. Brilliant white caps of glacial snow covered one mountain completely and patches of several other peaks. Along the roadside tourists were pulling over taking pictures, it was easy to see why. The beauty of the region was astounding. The trees were considerably larger and different than the ones we had left behind in
, mostly because of the heavy and consistent amount of rain and snow that fell in the area through out the year. Cedars, hemlocks and mighty Douglas Firs were prominent. Descending from the Roger’s pass, the air warmed up again, and the scenery continued to amaze us. Alberta
We came upon Revelstoke an hour later, another mountain railroad town. Stopping at a roadside gas station and grocery store, I couldn’t get over the heat. Yet, I looked up the steep mountains to isolated strips of brilliant white snow against blue grey rock and green pines. The snow seemed so out of place in this heat. We crossed the suspension bridge over the mighty
Columbia riverbrownish grey and moving steady but slowly, our windows rolled down. The river was still a bit silty from the spring run-off. A freight train was rolling over a bridge to our left, this I had heard, was a real railway town, nearly everyone had a job that had something to do with the CPR. Nestled in the forested valley it was certainly was a picturesque town. Just west of town we climbed the final pass on the way to the Okanagan, This was the least intimidating and easiest pass. It climbed merely 600 feet above Revelstoke through a very narrow and breathtaking gap, appropriately called 3 Valley Gap, before descending, twisting and turning into the north Shuswap. Wow, what scenery! The canyon walls descended almost vertically in places, trees and bushes clung desperately nearly everywhere along the rock walls. It was so green and lush. The road never stayed straight for more than a half mile at a time. A lumber mill appeared along the north side of the highway, logs were piled for several acres, a bee hive burner was smoking away. There was always a bend in or a dip that changed the scenery again. Still heading west, a few more corners and bends and we arrived in Sicamous, finally we saw a sign that told us Eagle Pass. wasn’t far off. We had to make a turn onto highway 97 and head south now. We pulled over for one last rest stop, we were just 90 kilometres from the camp. Mike woke up, Scott opened the tail gate and let him out. After so long a drive, it was nice to shake it out. Scott lit up a smoke as we chatted, traffic passed by the busy highway intersection. Vernon
It was mid-afternoon and we were back on the road, Mike was now taking his turn driving, Scott was in the back of the camper, his head sticking out through the cabin window into the front. This way the four of us could still talk. As we passed the strikingly beautiful
, water-skiers and houseboats were cruising on the mirror-still lake and sunbathers were soaking up the sun, it had to be 85°f easily, with no air-conditioner our windows were rolled down to cool us off as much as possible. Diesel's Sausalito Summer Night played on 940 CJIB on the radio. The highway hugged the eastern shore of the lake, twisting and winding just 20 feet from the waves lapping on the rocky boulder strewn shore. I was excited, we were getting very close to Mara Lake now, I could feel it and smell it. Near Armstrong, I recognized the terrain, Eagle Rock was just off in the distance, ah yes Eagle Rock, where we had all overcome our fear of heights, we were only 20 minutes away from Vernon now. With all the stops, it had taken us nearly 10 hours to get here. Vernon
We crested a small hill north of town driving through a small hill-cut of red shale rock, in front of us the camp quite suddenly opened up along the hillside in the distance, still some eight kilometres away. The rest of the town spread out over the valley, now I remembered why people called it one of the most beautiful towns in
. What a sight! It was almost , we would make it just in time for the weekly Friday night parade. Entering the city from the north, the highway once again twinned and straightened out, acreages and orchards to the left, the glass smooth Swan Lake and the seemingly little used train tracks to the right, Vernon dead ahead. Traffic was busy in town, but it always was this time of year. Stop and go at a half dozen traffic lights, the little town was full of holiday traffic. Canada
...too be continued
3 May 2007
Chief Warrant Officer Brydges, Keli (Retired)
2803 Royal Canadian Engineers, Fort McMurray, AB
Drill and Ceremonial Vernon, BC Alpha Coy 1st platoon 1997
Many of my fondest memories revolve around my summer camp experience's. I was lucky enough to spend 3 summers in Vernon, with the grueling sun, deet, and those way to short grey shorts. My last year spent in Vernon was in 1997, I went for D&C. Yes, that would be the famous mustard gas incident, which I hear is still talked about today. I was so proud to have been accepted to D&C. Back then, that was a big honor in my corps. We were front and centre, all eyes on us while we completed the Feu De Joie and Sunset Ceremony. I remember my pit helmet being way to tight and having to practice Feu De Joie by seeing how long we could hold our riffles up for. No resting it on your shoulders...that was a huge no, no. 5 days with no shower in the field(FTX), that's what it was all about! The obstacle course has and will always be one of the major highlights of my summer camp experience. I wont ever forget the way the boys cringed as they attempted to commando crawl across 1 rope. The zip
line was my favorite! I participated in painting the canon orange that year, got caught and stood to attention for about an hour in front of the Camp Commander at 3 am, as mad as he was for being woke up, I think he knew the sense of pride we felt. If not, we sure did, removing the paint the next evening with steel wool. I still remember the way it feels, and smells the first time you walk into your barracks. The "meat grinder" where we were issued our garbage bag and uniforms. The confiscation of my makeup and civilians and how much I hated the first week, only to love the rest. The last day, saying goodbye to the life I just got used to and the friends with whom I shared all my summer experiences. It doesn't get any better than that. I would have stayed
all year if that had been offered. These day's people don't believe I attended Army Camp. They cant believe anyone would volunteering sign up for 6 weeks of hard work. Most kids go to summer fun camp. Vernon Army Cadet Camp was about pride and discipline while having fun. Its to bad some kids are missing out, so keep up the great work! Army Cadets has afforded me many opportunities in life. I shall return someday, perhaps as an officer for another summer of dedication.
"When God created Alpha even the Devil stood to attention"! That was our catch phrase that summer!
My Fondest Memories
My name is Cheryl Rogers and I was a sergeant this summer at Vernon. I’m from New Brunswick and I had the best experience in Vernon this summer. There was so much to do and so much to see. The kids were great and we all had so much fun. I just like to say that the camp welcomed me and made me fell like I have been going there all my life. So thanks to everyone for making all my memories so enjoyable this summer
MWO Cheryl Rogers
2335 8th Canadian Hussars Port Elgin Memorial Cadet Corps
Port Elgin New Brunswick
My name is Ian Ratchford and I attended VACC in Band Coy many moons ago. If I remember correctly I started attending VACC in 1975. So strike up the band folks and keep in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope we have all had a good life.
Pipes & Drums
Vernon has been like a second home to me since 2002, my first summer there.
I've done all my courses there and my first 2 years staff there. No words
could ever describe how great the place is. When you're out there all you
can think about is going home.... but once your home all you can think about
is being back out there. You forget all the bad things that happened and
remember the wonderful memories. I was in Vernon 2002-2005 and those summers
I will never forget. The friends I've made, the people who touched my life,
the memories will be there forever. The one thing that is true about Vernon
is said every year "It's a heaven and a hell all in one".
407 QOCH Winnipeg, MB
31 Aug 2006
This year (mid july 06' to early august 06') was a most memorable time, Vernon will never ever leave my heart as a home away from home. I just got home today after waking up at 2 in the morning to leave while feeling frozen getting out of bed and thinking about how badly i would miss this time of my life. The friends i made here will always be considered a large influence in my life, as i will never forget them, especially a specific group. I must thank all of the staff cadets and officers at the camp as you cant help but stand back and think of what they had to go through and the life long lasting experiences they will have experienced. Never forget the fun nights talking about anything and everything we could think of. I'd like to give a special thanks to the Sergeants and Warrants involved in the Foxtrot company, especially those of 26th platoon, Ice Cream Man! Sergeant Slaughter is the best haha good memories with our senior cadets. Sergeant Bodnariuk, Blaszcheck and Mackie your efforts were well appreciated. I couldnt help but feel a great sense of pride on the final parade with our Reviewing Officer honoring us with his presence, along with the officers and other cadets that came out to watch, thank you for the support. Never forget that last goodbye to all the first ones leaving us and the emotions people showed after only 2 weeks of basic, showing how close we really became as a family. The scenery of the camp is incredible from tent city, can't wait for next year as i hope to do D&C. Everyone at VACSTC you truly are without equal.
2822 The Royal Westminster Corps
Surrey, B.C. Westies!
Written on August 05, 2006
My name is Chris Bronson and I’m a former Sergeant of the 2308 Canadian Scottish Regiment, in 1990-1994.
I attended Basic<2 weeks>, Fox Trot, CL, Echo, CL Delta and CLI Band Company. That was 16yrs. ago and till this day I still remember how much the experiences and the relationships have impacted my life. Never did I laugh so hard from those late night talks in the barracks after lights out. I can still here some of my staff sergeants freakin’ at us (chuckling). Also did I never cry so hard from having to say goodbye to the wonderful people I had met and developed relationships with. Sometimes early in the morning on my way to work I can still smell the mess halls french toast and bacon cooking. Man I couldn’t wait for P.T. end sometimes. Those times and experiences were not just a series of lectures in the hot sun under those beautiful tents. Sometimes I wonder if my name is still written in stale chalk under those tent walls. Anyway it is many years later and I still can feel and imagine being there. I am still involved with the military some what as I am a part of the British Columbia Regiment Irish Pipes and Drums doing what I always wanted to do after the first time I remember standing at attention on
parade square and hearing the solo piper playing amazing grace behind me. I wanted to be able to do that. And I am. I believe V.A.C.C. is a large part why I am piping today. There is no way I could possibly say how or show how grateful I am to the VACC movement, other than saying from the bottom of my heart …….thank you for all the memories. They will live forever. Dieppe
Sincerely and gratefully,
Sgt .Chris Bronson
2308 CScotR /BCR Irish Pipes & Drums
7 July 2006
Well this was my first year @ Vernon, and I was there for 6 weeks...I had a blast... I made so many friends, I loved my platoon, YEAH 14 PLT, CHARLIE COMPANY:D man it was great when we won the pennant...man great memories... best summer of my life, I'm never going 2 4get it, I love u all, u were my family and base was my home
14Plt, Charlie Company
2005 Vernon, B.C
My fondest memories....wow where do I start?
I was lucky to spend two precious summers at Vernon as a cadet, and I cherish every single moment. My first taste of Vernon was in 2002, I was 14, only been in cadets for 6 months and terrified out of my mind at the aspect of going away for 6 weeks.
I was pretty much terrified for the first 2 weeks of Vernon...I was in Delta Coy, 20 Plt, no where near any of the few other cadets in my corps that came with me, and the few friends I made on the first weekend weren't even in my platoon. I was moved to a different barrack, was very homesick, and made frequent phone calls home. But eventually I became accustomed to the rigorous schedule, and finally learned to love Vernon, calling the barracks home.
Once home I was eager to get back to Vernon for another summer of training and was finally able to return as a course cadet in 2004, but this time, I was a senior, I was D&C! I was so proud to be Drill & Ceremonial, and to get to fire the Feu De Joie! I remember back as a CL Cadet looking up to the D&C cadets saying "I wanna do that one day!" and now I was. My 3 platoon was the best platoon ever, we were so tight, we did everything together, and I made friends for life. But too soon the summer was over and we were all facing Sunset Parade. All of Alpha was outside the barracks giving hugs and crying and saying goodbye, and then it was time to go. That parade was the most proud moment of my life, and even though I suddenly came down with a fever and chills just as we marched on, I still did the Feu De Joie. Afterwards, our beloved staff, WO Cheung and WO Biln, shook all our hands and told us how proud they were of us, and our O.C., Major Dengis, gave us this awesome speech as we all gathered around him, most of us still crying.
And as he was talking, I was looking around at my platoon, my family, and thinking how I might not see these people ever again and it still makes me choke up to think of those last moments where we all dispersed to our old lives, and that wonderful summer was over. Right before I left I found my best friend at Vernon, Tony Wong, and yes...I bawled on his shoulder for a few minutes before I left and as I was driving away with my family, I looked back at the barracks saw some of my platoon mates waving at me. I hung out the window of my car and waved back, yelling "I'll miss you guys!" until I couldn't see them anymore.
Memories like that I will always cherish for the rest of my life, and the lessons I learned those summers I will remember forever. Vernon is my home away from home.
Former Sgt of 1789 R Westie R
27 Mar 2006
My fondest camp memories were the ones with my best friends, mostly as staff. We used to all try get the same days off and we would all go down to kin beach and just be teenagers. No worries about the camp routine we would just go down there and enjoy our youth. It didn't matter from which part of Canada we were from we were all there in that point of time being young. I can't really recall one memory because I had so many at Vernon, but when I think of all the people I spent the summers of my youth with and how often I think about them I sometimes choke up, these people were my friends and as the years go by we loose touch, but it happens .. so when you ask what's my fav. memory was .. it's all the people I met and the friends I will never forget .. my fav. memory was the place and my youthJoshua Millerex member of 1726 C-Scot-R ( Comox ) 97 - 04
23 Jan 2006