Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Final Ceremonial Day

Sea Cadet Awards and Final Ceremonial Day

It was quite a surprise to pick up our son from his last formal midweek cadet night, to find a few called up for awards. Several days later, an entire afternoon was to be devoted to the many varied cadet awards, however this night, they chose to take the load off and hand out a few this night instead. 

There he stood, called up three times! Wow, I was thrilled to live by my motto this night; Everywhere I go, so does my camera. 

In the photo above, our son was awarded the Phase 1 Cadet of the year award, his name engraved on the medal around his neck. None of us had any idea this was taking place, so I'm very thankful we just showed up as usual, daughter in soccer uniform (directly from her game) in tow, and witnessed this scene. 

Next up were two more awards; 
  • Attendance certificate award for the (million) myriad events he participated in during the past year. :) 
  • A new "Chevron Crest" with two bars to replace his current one bar on his left sleeve arm. Another was given to sew on to the left arm of his shirt underneath (called a gun shirt). He has now graduated to Phase 2, and with that, of course, are new crests for mom to help him get sewn on. (I've come a long way you know, as I always referred to them as "badges", but shame on me, they are "crests".Gotta get the lingo right...)

Another recognition was his unheard of early advancement (two months ago) to become a "Guard" on the drill team, having to learn how to use arms and march properly at the same time. 

His shoulder and hands hurt for several weeks until he built up a few callouses, mostly due the grip he had to have to keep control, and for having to switch shoulders off and on during his varied fancy footwork drill routines. 

I've suggested to him to research more the armed guards at Buckingham Palace and the Vatican, and learn the history of this whole topic. 

During the final review ceremonial inspection, similar to the one we see in the media of Queen Elizabeth performing, when she formally inspects her naval troops, a very well decorated Canadian Naval Lt. was invited, and began performing the same type of task to our Navy (ages 8-12) and Sea Cadets (ages 12-18). 

Our son was a little nervous, not having had such a thing before, sweating over just how shiny his boots were or not, hair short enough, fingernails clean, the works. It's great when, out of the blue, he shouts yet again - "Mom, I already need another haircut".... What a problem, huh? LOL

This last Ceremonial Day of the year lasted an entire four hours! Yes, indeed, there was much to share, everything from a plethora of displays made by the cadets, a photo show on a sail boat mast, winning drill team parades, first aid scenarios, the Sea Cadet band performed, awards were given out, and of course, the big inspection and ceremonial addresses of the day.

Parading out after the flag was lowered (sunset), all were signaled the day was officially complete for the dignitaries and families present. 

Yes, he's grown again! And, we definitely think he'll be the tallest one in the family very soon. 

Notice his new Chevron double bars we had to hurry and get sewn on both the gunner shirt and uniform jacket for this special day? 

From now until the Labor Day weekend in September, it's all only weekly sailing on the water from here. With this fun summer activity fast approaching, all Sea Cadets were on hand last Saturday to prepare the sailboats for the water. 

     Thrown on our calendar is also a two day participation in obtaining his Level 2 Sailing (more crests), and a 3 week Leadership/Fitness Camp award in July. He was recognized two months ago as Cadet Corp winner of the Canada Fitness testing award for the most sit ups, push ups, and arm pulls, thus the award of the camp. He likes to keep active, that's for sure. 

Strangest thing of the year? 

Getting weekly telephone calls to keep the communication perfected from those cadets assigned this task, and having them ask for "Seaman ---", and then the rank changed to "Ordinary Seaman ----". I almost choked a few times, thinking it a telemarketer, or a prank call at first, until it was all sorted out and we began to realize the routine of it all. Now we know, Tuesday night a call is expected each week, except now he has raised in rank to be called "Leading Seaman ----", so we'll see if we can figure out who the caller is asking for from now on.

And, last but not least, strange but nice too, the respect amongst this great group of kids has created quite an respectful impact. All of the kids know one another more by their rank and last name, having to eventually learn first names from one another during events. Phonetically, we've never had our last name pronounced so perfectly as it has over the course of this last year! :)