Air cadet camp preparing for last year

For one last summer it will be business as usual at the Penhold Air Cadet Training Centre before it is shut down forever. Sold in the mid-1990s, the centre located in Springbrook has been leased by the Department of National Defence ever since from Harvard Park Business Centre, the company that bought it. That arrangement will soon come to an end.

Final parade at Penhold Cadet Summer Training Centre August 2013

For one last summer it will be business as usual at the Penhold Air Cadet Training Centre before it is shut down forever.

Sold in the mid-1990s, the centre located in Springbrook has been leased by the Department of National Defence ever since from Harvard Park Business Centre, the company that bought it. That arrangement will soon come to an end.

Starting in 2015, cadets looking for summer camps will be redirected to bases in Cold Lake, Dundurn, Sask. or Vernon, B.C.

Stan Monkman, director of public relations for the Alberta chapter of the Air Cadet League of Canada, said it is sad to see the book about to be closed on the cadet training centre.

“It was an institution,” said Monkman.

“It is too bad, but there are powers that be who say that we can save money by doing this another way.”

But for one last hurrah, starting on July 7, cadets will come back to the spot to train and learn as so many have done before.

“Everything goes as usual this year, even though it is the last year,” said Monkman. “The basics, the advanced camps is all a go.”

The final grand parade is currently scheduled for Aug. 15.

“There will be a lot of people coming to that last weekend,” said Monkman. “Alumni from past years, which will be quite a crowd.”

Officers conducting the final ceremony have yet to be determined.

Aside from all the kids going home after Aug. 15, Monkman said the camp will gradually be shut down and the buildings will all, eventually, be turned over to the owner.

“The military will remove all their equipment from everything,” said Monkman. “The supply building has a fantastic stock of items in it and they will all be dispersed to other camps.”

Tracey Henwood, Harvard Park Training Centre, declined to comment on what the future holds for the site Wednesday.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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