Exploring our Nation’s Wilderness for Canada Day
Nanaimo, B.C. – This Canada Day, Air Cadets raised a flag on Vancouver Island’s Cape Scott Trail to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Ken Welte was a chaperone on this memorable four-day, three-night hike to help Air Cadets earn their Duke of Edinburgh awards. Ken frequently takes Air Cadets on hikes and ensures that they have fun while learning important skills.
Ken is certified in Wilderness First Aid and he completed Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) training last year to become a volunteer member of Ladysmith’s Search and Rescue team.
“On July 1, we gathered on the beach and the guys built a castle tower to hold our flag. It was awesome to see them relaxed and just be kids outside the classroom. It was a great way to celebrate Canada Day,” says Ken, a REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast (Nanaimo).
During the six-day adventure, the Air Cadets traveled 900 km by car and hiked 65 km through forests of massive trees, down ravines and alongside the ocean, creeks and lakes. The weather was mild and mostly dry, which was perfect for hiking and their time at the Nels Bight campsite.
“This was a gold-qualifying hike for the Duke of Edinburgh award,” notes Ken. “There are four or five things that youth do for the award and one of them is a multi-day hike, canoe trip, something like that. BC Duke of Edinburgh’s example of a gold qualifying hike is the four-day Juan de Fuca trail, which is about 26 km. Our hike was more than twice that distance.”
The Air Cadets also completed two first aid drills to keep their skills sharp during the long-distance day treks.
All of the Air Cadets on this trip were males between the ages of 14 and 18. Any trip with female Air Cadets requires a female chaperone. Ken’s wife would have liked to help out again, but is recovering from a previous hiking injury.
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