by Peter Moon
The appearance and outdoor survivability of 5 Junior Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario impressed Junior Rangers from across Canada at a national management training opportunity in Quebec.
“Their outside abilities have been spectacular,” said Junior Ranger teacher Sergeant Steven Botelho, who accompanied the 5 on occasion. “They passed on their skills and it was good to see them do it.”
5 Ontario representatives on occasion were among 36 high-level junior Rangers who completed an eight-day management course known as the National Enhanced Management Coaching Session at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier , just north of the Quebec metropolis. Junior Rangers is a Canadian military program for 12 to 18 month olds living in remote and isolated communities in northern Canada.
The 5 were McCartney Beardy from North Caribou Lake, Ryan Kakekaspan from Fort Severn, Thunder O’Keese from Kasabonika Lake, Summer Southwind from Seoul Lake and Madden Taylor from Lake Constance.
“All loved their time and discovered something new about management skills that they will bring back to their communities.” Sergeant Botelho said. “They had fun and discovered so much.”
The coaching included lessons in classrooms and outdoors. They were spared for eight days.
Outdoor activities included a challenging but enjoyable zipline, photo ops, canoeing, bowling alley, shopping mall, and Huron Wendat First Nation Cultural Center.
One of the many training highlights was a two-day canoe trip on the beautiful Jacques-Cartier River in Jacques-Cartier National Park, 50 kilometers north of the Quebec City metropolis. Their troublesome transfer concerned the negotiation of water currents and collective bargaining.
“It was the best thing we’ve ever done,” McCartney Beardy, a Nunavut Junior Ranger, said with his kayaking partner. “It was nice to bond with him. We talked about our totally different stories, how we hunted and how we lived in a different way. We got to know each other.
Junior Rangers from Ontario and elsewhere in Canada, including some for the first time, live with the French language. “Yeah, I wasn’t used to that,” McCartney said. “I found it fascinating to see how some lives are totally different from mine.”
“Scholars helped each other by speaking with junior Rangers who ethereally spoke little or no English,” Sergeant Botelho said. “It was good to see. This was all part of the educational curriculum.