Local cadet earns big honours at camp
Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 01:45 pm
At 13-years-old, Kyra Mack has experienced some great challenges but has had some great accomplishments as well, recently winning top honours at a cadet camp in Vernon B.C.
Kyra, a Master Cpl. with the Mallaig Army Cadet Corps, won the Best Cadet in Platoon award at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre, which ran from July 7 to 25.
Her accomplishment was all the more impressive considering that Kyra copes with muscular dystrophy and rheumatoid arthritis, conditions that directly affect one’s ability to perform in drill activities. Drill activities include marching, following commands and physical coordination.
“I just kind of worked through those problems, and kept in mind that as long as you try your hardest, you’ll get to where you want to go,” said Kyra. “You don’t need to let anything stop you.”
Every summer, over 1,200 army cadets from Western Canada attend the camp, expanding what training they already get from their home corps. Kyra competed against 28 other cadets in basic and ceremonial drill.
“It was really hot and humid, but it was really fun – I loved it. I made a lot of new friends and had a really good time,” said Kyra.
“It was very fun and I made lots of new memories there. I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It was a really good experience because I have never been out of Alberta.”
The course, in addition to drill, focused on problem solving, time management, team building, and effective communications, to prepare high-ranking cadets to properly command cadets of lower rank, at the 10-member squad level.
Christine Mack, Kyra’s mother said, “She practices whenever she can and is a very active, determined child.”
She noted that Kyra’s corps recommended her to go back to Vernon next year, for a six-week leadership course.
“As parents, we are very proud of her accomplishment, because she succeeded in something she was interested in. She didn’t give up, despite her disability, and kept on going. She’s a good role model,” said Christine.
“She’s one of those kids who has a goal in mind and she’s going to reach that goal. Even if she falls, she’ll dust herself off and keep on going.”
Another moment Kyra fondly recalled was doing rifle drill at the camp, an activity at which she excelled, getting the best ranking, despite not having any prior experience.
Kyra notes that she has already learned the basic fundamentals of leadership and is excited to start back into the program over next summer’s six-week program.
“I know next year I’ll have my own corps to look after.”