I feel as though my defining moment is more of a series of events rather than a specific moment. I guess I could say it all began back in 2008 when my brother joined Army Cadets. I didn't think much of it, nor did I have any interest myself... until I heard about all of his crazy camp stories. Thousands of lucky Canadians ranging in age from 12-18 get selected every spring to attend 2,3,6, or 7 week Summer Camps. After hearing the jarring and silly tales from my brothers summers, I decided to give Cadets a try in 2011. The program itself alongside the summer camps have shaped me to be who I am today. I think the moment I really realised this was the summer of 2014, before Grade 10. I went on a 6 week course called Expedition Instructor in which 100 cadets get the privilege to spend 18 days in the wild outdoors of Algonquin Park. It was the last day of the expedition, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears while we biked, hiked, and white water canoed without cell service or running water... The last day is what is known as a Solo; 32 hours to live by yourself and reflect on the past 17 days. It was during this reflection time that I realized not only how lucky I was to have gotten to experience this with some of the best young people in Canada, but also how much I really learned. Pushing yourself through physical and mental challenges, being grateful and optimistic, while also being taught how to be a leader. "How to lead" is a very broad statement. Leadership is compromised of many things, such as adaptability, confidence, and critical thinking/ decision making. The leadership I have learned and continue to learn because of cadets has shaped me in the past and shapes me for the future as well. It enabled me to make life long friends from across Canada and across the world, and even allowed me the opportunity to spend another Summer conquering goals and pushing myself while I climbed glaciers and mountains in the beauty of Banff National Park. It seems cheesy, even to me, to say that I would be lost literally (we learned orienteering too) and figuratively without cadets, but I couldn't be the confident person I am today without the opportunities it brings me.
|One of the highest points of my life ;) Mount Olive Summit, 10270 ft above sea level|