Cadet Alexis Simpson of Campbell River eases into a curve while mountain biking in Kalamalka Lake Park near Vernon Cadet Training Centre as part of her six-week Expedition Instructor Course.

Cadet masters mountain bike

More than 1,500 army, navy and air cadets from western Canada will have spent up to six weeks in the Okanagan Valley training centre

Cadet Alexis Sampson, 15, from Campbell River is having the summer of her life in Vernon on the Expedition Instructor Course.

She is over half way through the six-week course and has been busy mountain biking, hiking, canoeing and enjoying the beauty of the Okanagan.

She is also learning skills like leadership and planning, as well as how to teach younger cadets to use camp stoves and other expedition equipment.

Sampson is a cadet with 1726 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Comox, where she has the rank of Master Corporal. She makes the drive to Comox several times per week for training because she gets so much out of the Cadet Program.

Some of her favourite experiences include shooting a .22 rifle during a familiarization visit with the Canadian Army. In the future, she hopes to attend summer training at Rocky Mountain in Banff, AB and next summer she is planning an exchange to Paris.

Sampson will start Grade 10 at Timberline Secondary this fall. When she finishes training this summer she will be eligible to attend national or international expeditions and to work as a staff cadet at the training centre.

During the summer, more than 1,500 army, navy and air cadets from western Canada will have spent up to six weeks in the Okanagan Valley training centre, expanding the training they receive at their home corps, developing new skills and forming friendships.

The Cadet Program is a national program for young Canadians aged 12 to 18 who are interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities while learning about the sea, army and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Cadets make valuable contributions to Canadian society on a daily basis in terms of environmental, citizenship and community activities.

Cadets also learn valuable life and work skills such as teamwork, leadership and citizenship.