Blyth's Oliver Sawchuk named Top Air Cadet at national camp
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Blyth’s Oliver Sawchuk was recently named the top Air Cadet at a special nation-wide camp, held in the Ottawa area.
The four-week course consisted of one week online and three weeks at a camp near Ottawa. It focused on the drill and ceremonial instructor aspects of the Air Cadets. Sawchuk, who locally is a member of the Wingham Air Cadets, applied to be part of the class months ago and was chosen from among many applicants from all over the country.
Sawchuk said that, while some of the days the members were relegated to staying in their tents for most of the day, due to the weather, much of the program was about getting up very early and marching in formation, learning all along the way.
He says he was happy to take part in the camp, as it is very widely desired from cadets all over the country. So, his application didn’t guarantee that he’d be part of the four-week course.
In Sawchuk’s specific camp, he said, there were about 50 other cadets. There were two other camps, one for all three of the Cadet elements, and Sawchuk was chosen as the best cadet of his camp, an honour that truly surprised him when it was announced at the event’s final parade. The award honoured Sawchuk for his drill, dress, conduct, teamwork and overall training performance over the course of the four weeks.
He says he was surprised when his name arose as the top Cadet at the end of the camp, as there were so many others there. He said he met people from all around the Toronto area, as well as from the east coast from provinces like New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, many of whom are now good friends.
Sawchuk says he got involved with the local Air Cadets four years ago. His interest was first piqued because of his uncle’s involvement with military planes and he just always thought it was interesting. The Air Cadet season runs from September to June and he meets weekly with his club, based in Clinton.
Sawchuk says he’s not sure if his passion for the Air Cadets will be a factor in deciding what he wants to do for the rest of his life, which he hasn’t quite decided yet, but he says it’s definitely a possibility.
Sawchuk’s mother Julie said she and her husband Theo were both very proud of Oliver for earning this honour. Julie said she was the “crying parent” in the crowd when the announcement was made. She says they were both very proud and thrilled for him, knowing all of the hard work and organization that is prided by the Air Cadets and exhibited by Oliver over the course of the four weeks.