connect with 858
If you are:
- a young person between 12 and 18 (or a parent or guardian of a young person) interested in aviation, looking to develop leadership skills, and seeking an opportunity for your absolute best to shine (not to mention making new friends); OR
- a Sunshine Coast business owner or manager interested in contributing to 858 Skookumchuk Squadron’s youth programs with a monetary or in-kind donation; OR
- a pilot, military veteran or just someone with a keen desire to contribute to Sunshine Coast youth as a volunteer;
…we’d love to hear from you. Simply fill out the form below and someone will get back to you within 48 hours.
Thank you for your interest in 858 Skookumchuk!
former air cadets say...
Royal Canadian Air Cadet alumni have gone on to some very prominent and exciting careers. Here are words from just a few:
I dreamed of spaceflight. Watching the first humans leave our Earth to walk on another planet was a young boy’s dream, ignited. I thus clearly knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea how to get myself there. So I did some research. When I looked at what space explorers knew, I saw that they were aviators, engineers and test pilots. Growing up as a farm boy that looked great to me, but I needed to learn how airplanes worked, and how to fly. The Milton 820 RCAC Squadron had recently formed, so I joined and grew up with them from 1973-1977. The lessons I learned there I still draw upon daily: self-discipline, teamwork, technical competence, flying, and leadership. To be able to command the International Space Station in 2012/13, I know full well that it was the Air Cadet experience that allowed me to fly so high. Per Ardua ad Astra! (820 Chris Hadfield Squadron 1973-1977)
Col Chris Hadfield – Canadian Space Agency (First Canadian to walk in space)
Being part of 630 Beauport Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets as a teenager, provided me an excellent foundation for my career in aviation and with the Canadian Forces. I had the chance to be initiated to flying, learn about leadership, discipline, and aviation. Taking part in the various activities and participating in the summer camps gave me the opportunity to develop skills and personality traits that are required and used everyday in my present career: interpersonal skills, public speaking, reliability, discipline, and assertiveness. I was positively influenced by the friends I made and the mentors I had early on with the Air Cadets. The six years I spent with the organization certainly gave me the tools to attack life head on and work hard. (630 Beauport Squadron 1984-1990)
LCol Maryse Carmichael – Commanding Officer: Canadian Forces Snowbirds
The Air Cadet program played a significant role in the achievement of my life’s goals and dreams. As a young boy I had a passion to fly and an interest in the military. Thus, it seemed a natural fit that I should join 614 RCAC Squadron in London Ontario at the age of 12. My time spent with Air Cadets was nothing short of tremendous. It was filled with many challenges and fantastic rewards, and its focus was much broader than the flying and military experience I expected. The program has something to offer for all of Canada’s youth. The highlights for me were the flying scholarships and the friendships. It would be many years later, upon further reflection, that I would truly come to realize the full extent of what the program had given to me. The leadership experiences and the challenge of flying had given me a boost of self-confidence and the courage to set an ambitious course for my life. I’ve never looked back. There are few certainties in life, but one thing I am absolutely certain of is that I would not be where I am today, were it not for the Air Cadet program. For that, I am most grateful. I take a piece of the Air Cadet program with me everywhere I go, and I look forward to taking it to space one day in the future! (614 Forest City Squadron 1988-1994)
Maj Jeremy Hansen – Canadian Space Agency
From a very early age, I had a strong interest in flying and learning everything I could about aviation. In 1984, with my family’s encouragement, I joined 132 Spitfire Squadron in Brampton and spent six excellent years as a cadet, followed by five years as an officer. I fondly remember all the camping trips, tours, summer camps, and parade nights that taught me the self discipline, leadership, and teamwork that have been vital to my success as an airline pilot and professor. I had so much fun learning the skills that I would eventually use every day in my career. I had no idea at the time how much my time with the Air Cadets would shape my future. I owe the Air Cadets a debt of gratitude because of all the opportunities I received: Summer camps where I learned to fly; an international exchange to Germany where I experienced a different culture; and the leadership skills that comes with progressing up the ranks as a cadet, to name a few. Most importantly, though, I think about the strong bonds and friendships that I formed. These memories and experiences will stay with me forever, and I encourage all young people to take advantage of all that Air Cadets has to offer. (132 Spitfire Squadron 1984-1990)
Gary Anderson, Air Canada Pilot/Flight Instructor and Professor – Seneca College Aviation Program
“The cadets played an important role in my life. When I joined 51 Air Cadet Squadron in Ottawa, and then 783 Air Cadet Squadron in Montreal, I had no idea how the adventure and experience would influence my career. I quickly realized the value of the activities and diverse programs that were offered. During the course of the six years that I spent as a cadet, their programs provided me with decision-making skills that I still use today. Moreover, the guidance and advice I received from mentors helped me develop my leadership skills and their influence guided me to structure my education with clear professional goals. In addition, the constant challenges that were placed in front of me prepared me for my future. But above all, it is as a cadet that I discovered the fascinating world of aviation for which I developed a profound passion that still drives me today.”