Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps’ annual review goes virtual

Chief Petty Officer Second Class Dayna Beauchamp was sworn in as the corps coxswain during the annual review.

MANITOULIN – On Monday, May 31, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps (RCSCC) Manitoulin held its 17th annual Ceremonial Review. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was held virtually via the Zoom platform.

“This year has been a very trying year for all of us, but the Manitoulin Sea Cadets have shown that even in these unknown waters we managed to navigate our way through together and hopefully smoother sailing is in the near future,” said Lt(N) Sylvain Boucher, commanding officer with RCSCC 348 Manitoulin. “The Corps was able to do a great deal of training in the short time face to face and virtually. When we were able to be face to face, our numbers grew and there were several nights with 100 percent attendance. Since going back to the virtual format it has not been easy, but we are very thankful to all the cadets that attended so faithfully and the parents and caregivers that made sure they could access all the different training opportunities that were provided not just by ourselves, but other corps as well.”

“The training staff looks forward to getting back in person with hands-on learning, but we also look forward to implementing extra virtual training to give cadets experiences that we are not able to provide in person,” CO Boucher continued. “Overall, the 2020/2021 training year has been a learning experience for staff and cadets, and we are looking forward to seeing what the 2021/2022 training year will hold.”

A few cadets who over the past year have shown exceptional dedication not just to in-person training, but virtual training as well, were also promoted. 

The following cadets were promoted in rank: Yashua Marsland and Samuel Pennings now hold the rank of Leading Cadet; Landon Aelick and Breaden Bond are now Master Cadets; Savannah Crack, Rhys Allison, Benjamin Pangowish and Lydia Pennings now hold the Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) rank.

PO2 Pennings was also the recipient of the Ed Kift Esprit de Corps Award for the cadet that has shown true dedication, leadership and the sheer joy of being a cadet.

Commanding Officer Sylvain Boucher, who is now officially a naval lieutenant, also acted as the master of ceremonies.

“This cadet has gone above and beyond this year participating in virtually every in-person, virtual and cadet activity program opportunity,” CO Boucher said of PO2 Pennings. “This cadet’s attendance record is above 90 percent and she even achieved a gold standing in the March break cap training. PO2 Lydia Pennings’ enthusiasm is infectious and encourages the entire corps.”

“It is always a very bittersweet time when our senior cadets age out and move on to the next chapters of their lives,” the commanding officer continued. “This year we said goodbye to three of our senior cadets.” 

The following cadets are turning 19 soon or moving on to post-secondary education:

CPO2 Lauren MacKay, a guardsman with the corps, will be studying business and attending Sault College in September.

CPO2 Quentis Wood, the corps boatswain, was sworn into the Canadian Armed Forces on Tuesday, June 2 and is joining the Royal Canadian Navy. He starts his basic military qualifications course June 10.

Petty Officer Second Class Lauren MacKay has officially aged out of the corps.

CPO1 Abigail Harper, the corps bugler and outgoing coxswain, will also be attending Sault College in September and has been accepted into the nursing program.

“These cadets have been with us since 2014 and we wish them all the best,” CO Boucher said. “Each cadet was presented with the traditional pewter mug engraved with the last rank they held, position, years of service and corps logo.”

During the evening, CO Boucher was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Navy) by Lieutenant Commander Rodney Turcotte, commanding officer of RCSU Central-Northern Ontario area. 

The evening concluded with the swearing in of the corps new coxswain. Chief Petty Officer Second Class Dayna Beauchamp was selected and took over the position of Corps Coxswain for 2021-2022.