Supporters of 572 Castor Air Cadets are determined to build the program after talk that the squadron could be moved to Stettler if leaders and members don’t step up in the Castor region.
“There is no possibility of a move to Stettler (immediately),” Kevin Robinson, who chairs the Alberta provincial committee of the Canadian Air Cadet League, said during a meeting Monday night with about 35 parents, partners and community supporters.
Plans of any move are “exploratory,” he said.
Without local leaders, Robinson said leaders from the Red Deer area would be more willing to travel to Stettler than to Castor.
The squadron requires more people trained as a cadet instructor cadre (CIC), he said.
“We need four names of people who plan to become leaders, by the end of October.
“There’s no way you want to see this die in Castor. There’s no way I want to see this die in Castor. We are proud of this squadron and Castor is centrally located.”
Castor leaders and supporters were encouraged and relieved to keep the cadets in Castor. Despite expressing concerns in the past week, they’re optimistic about the future of the squadron, which has been in the community for more than 40 years.
“I am very happy with this meeting and I want this going in the right direction,” said Annette Allen, who chairs the squadron sponsoring committee.
“We need to get those CICs.”
Those positions (with pay) can be served by any trained person, and they don’t need to have children in the program, Robinson said.
While the training process takes about eight to 12 months to complete, candidates can start their roles prior to that.
One parent promoted the role during the meeting.
“I want to help because I saw the need,” Todd Wright said.
“I want to stay here and help cadets grow and Annette needs support. This is free, so you have to give you time to keep this going.”
Advisors from the Central Wing say they’re committed to keeping cadets in the community.
“If you want to keep it in Castor, we are here to support that,” said Evelyne Huseby, the Central Wing advisor.
“We know the kids want it.”
Currently with 17 cadets, members travel from as far away as Stettler, Coronation, Byemoor, Forestburg, Hanna and Veteran for training in Castor.
Ideally, 20 to 25 members with adequate leaders helps create a sustainable squadron, Huseby said.
For information, or to become a CIC, contact Allen at 403-575-0997 (cell), 403-578-2752 (home) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.