Five hundred and forty-two cadets have participated in the Barbados Cadet Corps’ (BCC) recently held Virtual Summer Camp, which has been described as a “resounding success”.
Acting Cadet Executive Officer, Major David Clarke, said the summer camp was conducted in three phases, over a three-week period, from August 2 to 22.
Giving the rationale for this type of camp, Major Clarke stated: “Since the lockdown and withdrawal of face-to-face training for the cadets, the Barbados Cadet Corps embarked on offering virtual training, so they could still have the opportunity to pursue their various star levels, through online interaction.
“This allowed them to continue engaging in the safe and meaningful activities for which the organisation has been known for 116 years. The Virtual Summer Camp was successful as the cadets were extremely excited to continue their training, while interacting with their peers and adult instructors. The officers too were delighted to review, teach and impart knowledge to the cadets.”
However, Major Clarke stressed that the BCC was a hands-on, physically challenging organisation, where face-to-face activities stimulate the interest of cadets. “In this regard, there is no substitute to physical contact and learning,” he emphasised.
The subject areas examined were Foot Drill, Map and Compass Reading, Field Craft, Health and Safety protocols to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic, Adventurous Training, Interest Periods and Leadership.
The aim of the camp was to create an environment of camaraderie through challenging but enjoyable training, using an online format.
Meanwhile, the academic school year is expected to commence on September 21, and Major Clarke pointed out that the directive of the Ministry of Health and Wellness with regard to the COVID-19 protocols would affect the delivery of training for cadets.
He explained that if the training is face-to-face, then the cadets would be involved in Foot Drill, Map & Compass Reading and other activities of interest.
He continued: “COVID-19 has accelerated the use of the technology and cadets will be participating in online classes and exams during the coming school term and beyond.”
The acting Cadet Executive Officer said it was anticipated that the BCC would stage a Junior and Senior Cadet Instructor Cadre, designed to prepare youth leaders for the future.
In addition, he stated that there would be a recruitment drive to fill the ranks of the Infantry Cadets, the Barbados Cadet Corps and the Sea Cadets.