Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Can Still Hear The Snare in The Square

Summer always evokes memories of summer cam p for me. And it wasn't a sleepaway camp where we made crafts, made out by the campfire and ate smores. I went to cadet camp for 5 years. It was more like 6am wake up calls, french fries for every lunch at the mess and grueling wedge head (because I was an air cadet and even when I was at an army camp in Whitehorse, I had to wear my wedge - fabulous for the forehead).

Believe it or not but these were some of the best summers of my life. I felt like I lived, loved and laughed the whole 7 to 8 weeks that I was at camp. I went to Band Camp in Vernon in 1990 - a hideous hair year completed with Sun In streaks in my hair and an impossible crush on a guy named Ferris. I then wen to on to win a panel to go to Tech camp in Borden 1991. I made a radio and won top Tech cadet in BC. I was able to learn about Inuit culture (Whitehorse 1992) when I was a staff cadet. I will never forget the humiliation when I marched up to the dias when they called out Warrent Officer positions - they said Curly and I thought that they said Curry. I ended up being an admin clerk. Which may be the place where I fell in love with flying staplers. Then it was onto Penhold for true Air Cadet Camp (the first 3 were mainly army cadet camps with a few positions for air cadets to beat drums or staple documents).

I surprised myself (and I think my home squadron officers) when I landed a WO2 position at Penhold. I suspect that this had much to do with the fact that I had no history with the people on staff (and hence no rekindled friendships) and a massive ear infection which rendered me deaf. So I had no one but myself to commiserate with and this meant that I didn't talk myself into blowing off lesson plans, didn't talk myself into sneaking out after hours and didn't really make any friends until after the staff cadets had been assigned. I was determined to work hard and redeem my previous placement the summer before.

And of course then there was Penhold 1994 - when the mighty had fallen and the old regime had been replaced. Which ultimately led to me having a demotion (although same pay rate) to flight sergeant and one of the most moody summers of my life.

I will blog more about this - but for now given the time of year - I am always transported back to that initial excitement of leaving home for summer camp.


Jen said...

Ahh yes I too rememebr. Now I feel bad being so old that you had to face PACC that last year on your own.

The smell of canned startch is always on that takes me back as well. Amazig how we never wore sunscreen abck then but didnt burn and now we can tgo outside ofr 1 hour without getting tan lines? Oh the winds of change.

I wonder what its like now? Funny with the WO positions, I don t know how I got mine either. Surpirses all around. But thank GOd it happened liek that cause we had the best time that year!

Anonymous said...

I went to Penhold twice back in 84 & 85. It was the BESTTTTTT time for me. My family moved to the states after that. I loved cadets and the summer polishing my boots and marching, going to the cantene have remained with me till now.

I wanted to find a site with pictures so I can reminisce. I hope my kids will have the same interest and love for cadets. (no children yet but I am planning ahead).


Tassi said...

There are lots of pictures of Penhold ACC on Facebook. You can join some of the groups - I think that there is one for people who attended pre 1990.
Good luck!