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Atlantic Canadian youth gear up in race across P.E.I.

Team PEI: Josh Ford, from left, Colton Bulger, Molly Madore, William Forsyth, and Jonathan Ford learn set up tent for the night at Linkletter Provincial Park.
Team PEI: Josh Ford, from left, Colton Bulger, Molly Madore, William Forsyth, and Jonathan Ford learn set up tent for the night at Linkletter Provincial Park.

Expedition “Race to 150” in light of Canada’s anniversary celebrations

Linkletter - An adventure of a lifetime kicked off for 20 Atlantic Canadian Army Cadets on Oct. 21.

The expedition “Race to 150,” in light of Canada’s anniversary celebrations, started at North Point lightstation. Captain Daniel Wheaton, the officer in charge, called the expedition a race with similarities to the Canadian television show.

“It’s a race, like the Amazing Race in style, and it works on a point system,” he said. “The primary transportation is mountain bike, and we’re cycling across the Island.”

Youth ages 14 to 18 engage in outdoor activities along P.E.I.’s Confederation Trail and participate in local community challenges along the way.

“We’re going to have a canoeing component, a swimming race, corn maze, and they will hit the high ropes in Cornwall. Each activity gives them an opportunity to get points, as well as race to be the first ones back each day,” explained Wheaton.

Participants combine core Army Cadet skills in activities such as orienteering and escape rooms, while they travel the length of P.E.I. to end at East Point Lighthouse on Sun. 29.

Wheaton said, “We can get points from collecting geocaches along the trail, picking up garbage, and there’s a scavenger hunt throughout the entire expedition, so there’s a whole lot going on here.”

The Army Cadets run three or four regional expeditions throughout Atlantic Canada, each year.

“This one is special because we want to do something to recognize Canada 150, so this one will give cadets an opportunity to see a place we don’t always go to,” noted Wheaton, who was guiding and mentoring the cadets.

The cadets rotate through leadership roles within the group, based on day and activity. Although, there are four team leaders and two expedition staff on hand tpo take care of logistics and support.

Cadet warrant officer Colton Bulger participated with four others on “Team P.E.I.”

“My favourite part of this expedition is seeing all the views, and the cycling portion,” he said, with a grin.

Youth ages 12 and up can join the Army Cadets.

“They always have open arms,” noted Bulger. “The cadets are more like a family because you are going through challenges the whole time together. It’s a special connection, and this is how the cadets always are.”

At the end of the race, the team with the most points is awarded a provincial championship gold cup that’s been in the Army Cadet program for more than 20 years. And all cadets receive expedition pins to signify they completed the event.

Newsroom@journalpioneer.com

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