Youth on the Sunchild and O’Chiese reserves will gather for the first meeting of a new cadet corps next month.
Efforts to develop a cadet program along the lines of the immensely popular program in Hobbema have been going well, said Rocky Mountain House RCMP Const. Todd DePagie, who is helping organize the initiative.
A five-member volunteer board has been set up to oversee the program and organizers are busy establishing a non-profit society so local corporate sponsors can be pursued.
A parent information and registration night has been set for Wednesday, March 17, on the Sunchild Reserve. The first official cadet meeting will take place April 6 at the Sunchild School.
“Number-wise, I’m not completely sure what we’re looking at,” he said. “I’m hoping to have at least 50 kids between the two reserves.”
Community members have voiced their support for the cadet project, but there is still plenty of room for volunteers willing to serve on the board or act as instructors.
“We are looking for a little bit more involvement,” he said.
Work is underway in designing a unique logo for the cadets. It is expected to involve a buffalo and eagle. The uniform supplier for the Hobbema cadets is expected to provide similar outfits for the Sunchild and O’Chiese corps.
DePagie, and possibly one of the other constables with the Rocky detachment, will head to an instructor training course in Edmonton later this month to prepare for the cadet role.
It is hoped the cadet group will help youngsters on the two reserves develop self-confidence, pride and discipline. Organizers expect that once established, the corps will lead to a drop in crime rates and boost school attendance.
The Hobbema Cadet Corps was organized about five years ago and has proved hugely successful with more than 1,000 youths registered. The program was modelled on one developed a decade earlier by an RCMP corporal for the Carry the Kettle Reserve near Regina.