Cadets: 68 years of history


A gem of a museum at the Vernon Cadet Training Centre has been opened to the public.

Through colourful displays and photos, the museum chronicles the 68-year history of the cadet camp which opened in 1949, four years after World War Two.

“Over the past 68 years some 90,000 cadets and young people have come from across Canada to train here in the summertime for up to six weeks each year,” said Francois Arsenault, curator of the Vernon Cadet Camp Museum.

While the small museum is jammed with photos, uniforms, badges and accoutrements, everyone's favourite part is the barracks' room display.

Using mirrors, an optical illusion has been created showing a large barracks room as it was in the 1970s.

With the help of a former radio DJ, 70s music and ads blare from an old radio beside the bunk bed.

“The cadets really do enjoy it. It's a bit of an education for them and I hope that it inspires them and gives them something to think about and really connect with their past.”

Arsenault himself was a cadet at the camp.

“I came here in 1978 as a young 15-year-old kid from the prairies and I absolutely fell in love with the place. The experience was tremendous.”

While the museum is geared to cadets and staff, it's got some fun items and lots to see for history buffs.

The public is welcome to visit on Saturdays in July and August between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

To visit the museum, park on the west side of Highway 97 next to the parade square and enter the camp through the tunnel, turn right and head to the museum.

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