Basic Expedition: Week 1

Story Time

Hello everyone. Long time no see. If you didn’t see my blog post at the end of July I have been away at cadet camp for three weeks and I got back a week ago. I would have posted earlier but I’ve been so tired and had no ideas.

Being at this camp was one of the best experiences of my life. Supposedly I was able to have experiences that people from all over the world have spent thousands of dollars to experience for free (even getting payed $60 a week). I met so many amazing people and army cadets is great.

Getting There

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On July 31st I left for cadet camp across the country. Unfortunately they go my itinerary wrong so there was nobody waiting for me in Toronto. Good thing I know how to fly because I made it to Kelowna just fine, except for the part I hadn’t eaten since 8:30 am and it was now 6:30 pm.

At the airport in Kelowna I saw some Air Cadets (I’m an army cadet and we don’t like air cadets) and hung out with them (they were actually pretty cool). The person who was supposed to drive us to the camp was late and when he arrived his car was too small. We had to wait around for another car but in the meantime I got Tim Hortons for dinner.

We didn’t get to the camp until after 8 and we had to wait for our luggage. We waited so long that they just put us in the check in line. Little did we know that our luggage was waiting for us at the line. It was annoying.

I eventually got to my barracks after 10pm (after lights out) and everyone on my side of the barracks was asleep except for someone I knew last year. She showed me my bed which I quickly made. I took two minutes to brush my teeth, take out my contacts and change then I hopped into bed and slept.

The next day I woke up and half the barracks was up. I stayed in bed because nobody on my side of the barracks was moving. I didn’t know what was happening. Eventually I was woken up and a dew girls filled me in on what was happening. I was the last one to get there last night so I was completely lost.

The Next Few Days

The first few days we were getting to know each other and learning the basics of expedition. After hearing my last name everyone called me Air Bender. They thanked me for cool breezes and got mad at me whenever it rained. I didn’t really care but some people were super annoying and I wanted to pull a Celeana Sardothian and get rid of them (I’m looking at you Michael and a few others. I really hope these people never read this because they will know who I am and my thoughts…).

The FTX

By the first weekend we were going out on a Field Training Exercise (FTX) to prepare for our expedition. We would go biking, hiking, canoeing and we would do orienteering and eat Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). It would be pretty chill.

The first day we got our bikes and they “taught us how to ride uphill and downhill properly”. It didn’t teach me anything and right after we had to go on a bike ride, uphill, in 42 degrees Celsius. I walked my bike most of the way and I never finished. I had to stop once and they all thought I had heat exhaustion. They rushed me off to the Medical Inspection Room (MIR) and I was perfectly fine.

I was taken back to the site we were staying at right before dinner. I was welcomed back by everyone asking if I was okay and if I had air conditioning in the MIR. The answer to both questions was yes. That night I really got to know the people on the course with me because we were just hanging out.

The next day was pretty boring. We went on a really short hike and we did a really annoying “orienteering exercise”. I was just looking at a map and finding where it was in real life. I was in a group of four and this one guy and I were the only ones who did anything. We eventually teamed up with some other people and then it was 3 people working and 5 people slowing us down and fooling around. I don’t have much tolerance for people fooling around when there is work to do.

On the final day of the FTX was canoeing. I was super excited about that but when I found out we had to bike there I was scared because of what happened on the first day of the FTX. The biking wasn’t hard, it was actually fun. It was mostly downhill and I love the wind in my face and the rush that goes with biking downhill.

At the beach we were getting ready to go canoeing but we had to get in the water first. We were all in shorts, t shirts, and running shoes (that were brand new because I bought them before camp).  When we finally got into the canoe we did a flip test. Essentially what we did is we flipped the canoe, fell out, helped another team flip our canoe over, and get back into the canoe. A lot of people had trouble doing this but the people I was paired with were smart and we did the test super quickly.

After the test we got out of the water and coincidentally the people taking Basic Marksmanship were at the beach. My best friend in the entire universe was taking Marksmanship so I got to see her (I just moved across the country from her so this was a big deal).

Thankfully we took a bus back to the base. I did not want to bike uphill all the way back. We got real food (mess hall food is amazing) and that made me happy.

 

I still had two weeks at the camp but I’m going to post that later this week. The next part will have a lot more photos. I didn’t take any photos at the start and you’re not missing anything because all the pretty sights will be in the next part.

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