70 years and still going

While summer cadets are leaving the Vernon Cadet Training Centre, a group of former cadets are arriving.

This weekend marks the last days for the cadets in 2019, but it is also a reunion weekend for past cadets as part of the camp's 70th anniversary celebrations.

Francois Arseneault, with the Vernon Cadet Camp Museum, said many former cadets have returned to their old barracks for a trip down memory lane.

Among them was Mark and Roxanne Hood, who met at the cadet camp in 1980.

Both were in the band and after camp, they went their separate ways and carried on with life.

But the universe has something in store the former cadets and bandmates and 25 years after they first met, they reconnected online and a romance blossomed.

“We've been together 16 years,” said Mark.

“Our anniversary is on the same date we said goodbye in Vernon in 1980,” said Roxanne.

Arseneault said more than 90,000 youths went through the cadet camp since it formed in 1949, all have stories to share.

One of the best-known former cadets is Canadian movie star Tommy Chong, who attended the camp in the 1950s.

Chong left the cadets a sergeant and went on Hollywood fame, starring in numerous movies and TV shows.

Arseneault said many of the cadets carried on with their military careers, with a few achieving the rank of general.

All of the cadet camp history, which opened as an army base in 1912, is on display at the Vernon Cadet Camp Museum.

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