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See Also Rocky
Mountain NACSTC for more information
The National Army Cadet Camp was located in Canada's oldest park, Banff National and
had since 1948, when it was first a "tent camp" near the
"Indian Days" exhibition grounds. In 1953 it was moved a few
miles north east on the north side of the highway to its permanent
location. In 1955 the log-cabin style barracks and mess hall were completed.
Originally the idea of the Camp was to give a reward
for the "Master Cadets" of the country, at least 60% of the program then involved visits,
touring and recreational activities. The Camp followed the English "Outbound Schools"
where 16-17 year olds were put into situations where they encountered new challenges. Gradually over the years
some aspects of rock and glacier climbing and white water activities were introduced. In the seventies these became an
integral part of the training program and specialized mountaineering and watermanship
civilian instructors are engaged to teach these subjects.
Leadership training has always been stressed along with the outdoor challenges of mountaineering, all within the territory of Banff National
The course, now entitled "Leadership and Challenge" is designed to challenge the
cadets leadership, cooperation and stamina by using mountains and rivers of the park as the training ground.
During the six-week duration, the program involves sports, radio communication,
map, compass, and orienteering. Cadets learn to go beyond what they thought they could
do by being put into situations where they learn leadership endurance, self-confidence, initiative and the ability to work
The camp celebrated it's 50th
anniversary in 1998 and trained at that location for the final time in
July and August. In 1999, the facilities at Banff were closed and the Rocky Mountain
National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre was established nearby 45 km
northwest of Cochrane, Alberta. The Leadership and Challenge Course remains
the premier training course for Army Cadets.
In it's 50 years, over 11,000 cadets trained in some of the most
challenging environments any cadet could imagine: hiking at 8000',
climbing Mt Cory, camping on glaciers, whitewater canoeing in ice cold
rivers. Cadets from all points of Canada as well as exchange cadets from
the United States, UK, France, the Caribbean and youth from Germany have shared
experiences at this famous camp. It
was by far the jewel of cadet camps.
Though no longer at the foot of Mt
Cascade, the very essence of the camp continues on at Rocky Mountain