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Williams Lake Junior Cadets To Hold Meetings at 150 Mile Fire Department Starting September

The Williams Lake Junior Cadets Society will be expanding to 150 Mile House.

Founder and president Crystal Sheridan says based on the numbers she was seeing with the Sea and Army Cadets that she was initially anticipating 10 children taking part in the program.

She says however after closing down for the season, they had 35 kids.

“My guess was tripled,” said Sheridan. “It was expanding very quickly and that’s what prompted the decision to expand out.”

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“It was just to keep the numbers a little bit lower. We have some kids who are quite anxious and some who are quite hyper and just the mix of such a large group is hard for both groups. So we wanted to try to keep it a little bit smaller for all of them to be able to get the most out of the program.”

Sheridan says after being in talks with 150 Mile Fire Stan McCarthy, they were granted space to hold their meetings at the Fire Hall starting September 4th each Tuesday night.

The Williams Lake Junior Cadets Society was founded in April of last year.

“The time that I spent as the chair for the Army Cadets support group we saw a lot of kids wanting to join and expressing interest but they were too young,” she says.

“So by the time they hit 12 they found other activities to do or moved on into other interests. I knew there was a need for the program, I just didn’t realize how large it was going to get so quickly.”

Before taking a break for the summer, Sheridan says the Williams Lake Junior Cadets hosted an awards night on July 27 and were involved in the Stampede Parade and the 4 Directions Festival making slime, chalk art, and bubbles.

She adds with the generous donations from community groups including the Lions Club and the Truckers Association, she has received a ICSI (integrated community safety initiative) grant and most recently funding from Blue Cross to host a mental health/first aid program for adults that work with youth.

“The course focuses on giving adults that work with kids the skills to recognize self harm, suicide, depression, mental health disabilities or anything else that maybe the parents don’t realize is there or the kids don’t talk about or maybe the leaders pick up that something is going on and it gives them the tools to work with those kids and pass them to community resources that are appropriate,” said Sheridan.

“My hope in doing this is that we develop a resource based pool as well so I know if I have a child that’s in need of something that I can send them to this resource.”

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