Summer Camp Guide for Parents


The Army Cadet program conducts summer training that is very different from community and youth summer camp programs. Army cadets who attend summer training will participate in some of the activities that one would normally associate with summer camps, such as games and sports, however the majority of the days are spent in a structured and organized training environment giving the cadets challenging experiences. The Summer Training program for Army Cadets exists nationally. There are approximately 8,400 Army Cadets that attend summer training each year. Cadets will usually attend training in their home region, but as they get older and progress through the program they may have the opportunity to attend courses elsewhere in the country or visit another country in North America or Europe. Training Centres are located in British Columnbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.

Life at an ACSTC

Life at a cadet camp is quite different from life at home. First, it starts at 0600, that is 6:00 am, and before breakfast the quarters must be cleaned and prepared for an inspection. By lunchtime cadets have completed four periods of instruction and by supper time a whole day of activities expected to challenge their limits and teach new and useful skills. The cadets will attend parades, learn - army - terms, and participate in safe, adventurous training designed to provide meaningful experiences that will benefit both the individual cadet and the local corps once they return. Advanced training is conducted at Rocky Mountain National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre (NACSTC) near Cochrane Alberta and Connaught NACSTC in Nepean Ontario. Senior cadets may have the opportunity for employment at one of the other ACSTCs as a staff cadet.

Common Questions and Answers:

Why do we have summer training?

The summer training program is meant to compliment the mandatory training that occurs at Army Cadet Corps. The star program is designed to qualify cadets for promotion. Summer training is expected to provide necessary experience for senior cadet development.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to the parents or cadets. Courses are completely funded and supported by the Department of National Defence (DND). Funding and support include: Transport to and from the training centre Food and accommodations Uniforms and equipment Supervision and training

Who is in charge of the training and supervision?

Summer training centres are operated under the supervision and direction of Cadet Instructor Cadre officers, Non-Commissioned Members from the Canadian Forces and Primary Reservists, as well as senior cadets employed as Staff Cadets. Most of these individuals also work at a local cadet corps during the fall and winter. Cadets are under constant supervision during training, meals, on free time or after lights out.

How is the safety of cadets ensured?

The safety of cadets is the highest priority during all cadet activities. The staff are well trained and experienced to help instruct, supervise, and support the cadets during their time at camp. Training that provides for their physical safety include first aid training and the completion of the Cadet Harassment and Abuse Prevention (CHAP) for all adults who work within the cadet program. Further to the training provided to staff: All activities go through a planning process before they are authotized in accordance with the General Safety Guide for Cadets. A security staff, usually Military Police, are hired to conduct regular rounds and monitor the security at the training centre. Rules and regulations are published and disciplinary matters are dealt with accordingly. All canoeing activities are conducted in accordance with Watercraft Safety Orders and all abseiling, climbing activities and adventure training are are completed with qualified personnel in accordance with the Adventure Training Safety Standards.

Who can apply and how?

Any currently serving army cadet can submit an application for summer training called the Application and Approval - Cadet Activities, commonly referred to as the CF 51. The application can be obtained from the Corps Commanding Officer (CO). Once the form is completed it can be submitted to the CO who will send it to the headquarters for cadet selections. There are a limited number of spaces available to attend summer training. The medical portion of the CF 51 is vital and all cadets must have it completed before they can be accepted to camp. The medical does not have to be signed by a doctor however each CF 51 application is reviewed by a military medical liaison officer and more information may be requested based on this review.

How do cadets get to an ACSTC?

Once a cadet is loaded on a course they will be booked on buses or flights by the Movements Section at the Regional Cadet Support Unit Prairie. These travel arrangements will be passed on to the Corps CO, then to the cadet and parents by the CO. The CO will notify parents of the departure location and times. Cadets may also be delivered to CSTCs by parents if they choose.

How do we visit our son/daughter while they are at an ACSTC?

On each application there is a section on the first page that discusses weekend leave/passes. It is very important that this section is filled out correctly. A cadet can only be allowed to leave the training centre if a person authorized on the CF51 signs them out. The authorized person arrives at a duty centre where they meet the cadet and sign them out. Proper picture identification must be produced before the cadet can leave. The authorized individual will sign a leave pass and the cadet will be allowed to leave. Although cumbersome, these procedures are in place to protect all cadets. Faxed authorization may be accepted however, the same parent who signed the CF 51 must sign the fax. Without ID or authorization on the CF 51 leave will not be allowed.

What happens on each course?

The courses are designed to build on the skills of previous summer courses as well as provide new material for the cadets development at the home corps. Check out the links for an outline of the courses: Summer Courses Advanced Training

What is a typical day like?

A normal day in the life of a cadet at a summer training centre runs something like this: 0600 Reveille (wake-up) and morning routine 0730 Breakfast 0830 Company Parade 0900 Morning training occurs 1200 Lunch 1300 Afternoon training occurs 1700 Supper 1830 Evening activities and sports 2200 Lights out As you can see the days are full and packed with activities. The training is meant to challenge the youth to grow, learn new skills, and develop into young leaders in their personal lives. In the evenings cadets are given the opportunity to play sports, complete personal chores such as laundry or shine boots, make calls home, meet new friends and establish relationships with other cadets from other towns and cities in, Canada and even the world. All this in one day!

Where is the training conducted?

Army Cadets attend summer training at a selected ACSTC. Each training centre across the country ensures the cadets are provided with the following: Decent accommodations, separated by gender, Nutritious and well-balanced meal options, Supervised leisure activities, Access to on site health care and emergency services, Phones, postal, laundry and banking services, Spiritual guidance or personal support if needed or desired. It is normal for some cadets to feel homesick when they first get to their summer training centre. Staff at the centres are well trained in dealing with the needs of lonely cadets and it will not be long before most cadets adjust. With jam packed training days most cadets are quickly immersed in - camp life. So do not be too surprised if you do not receive a phone call until it is time to come home!

When does camp take place?

The summer training period is conducted over six weeks starting with the first week in July and finishing the middle of August. Courses vary in length from the two and three week basic level courses, to the six week leadership and advanced courses, as well as international exchanges. Course dates are generally given to geographical areas however other arrangements can be made in special circumstances such as relocation during the summer if there is a serious conflict in these dates. These situations may be made only on individual, case-by-case requirements, as changes can be quite costly to a program with limited funds.

How does the summer training program work?

There are several courses available to army cadets depending on age and training level completed at the corps and previous summer courses completed. A cadet will attend one course per summer. Generally the courses follow this format: In the first summer a cadet is most likely to attend one of General Training. This course provides a an introduction to summer training center life . In the first summer a cadet is most likely to attend one of the Basic Courses. They provide a basic familiarization of army cadet training and build on the training delivered at the corps during the fall, winter and spring. The Basic courses are: - Army Cadet Basic Leadership - Army Cadet Basic Marksman - Army Cadet Basic Military Band / Pipes and Drums - Army Cadet Basic Expedition In the third summer an army cadet is most likely to choose one of the following courses to attend. The aim of these courses is to prepare cadets to assume senior leadership positions at their home cadet corps. Course content emphasises instructional technique and practical leadership. The Cadet Leader Instructor (CLI) Courses are: - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Drill and Ceremonial - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Adventure - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Rifle Coach - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Marksman - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Band - Army Cadet Leader Instructor - Pipes and Drums

Advanced Training Courses and International Exchanges

generally focus on confidence building, advanced leadership techniques and provide high-end adventure experiences. The advanced training courses are intended for senior cadets who have completed a CLI level course. These courses are: - Leadership and Challenge - Army Cadet Parachutist - Royal Canadian Army Cadet - National Rifle Team - Advanced Military Band - Advanced Pipes and Drums - Maple Leaf Exchange - Outward Bound Scotland - Outward Bound Wales - Outward Bound Arizona - Germany Exchange - International Army Cadet Exchanges If you are unsure as to which course your son or daughter should be applying for, be sure to contact the Commanding Officer (CO) of your cadets' corps. They will be able to give you more details or answer specific questions that may not have been covered here.

"As the Maple, so the Sapling"

This page was last updated on: March 15, 2014.