12-year-old named ‘Best Camper’ at GDF Cadet Camp

– first National Cadet Corps Cadet Camp held

– it provided the perfect setting to ensure the inculcation of values and learned skills to mould the minds of Guyana’s future leaders – Chief of Staff

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Twelve-year-old Alliah Shaw of Hope Secondary School was named ‘Best Camper’ at the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) first National Cadet Corps Camp. The seven-day pilot programme was hosted at the Colonel John Clarke Military School (CJCMS) at Tacama.

Shaw was named best camper from a field of 289 cadets who completed the camp today. Participating schools included Mackenzie High School, Berbice High School, Hope Secondary, North Ruimveldt Secondary, Stewartville Secondary and St. Ignatius Secondary. Six parents were also a part of the camp.

Sharing her experience with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Shaw said “it was good. At first, I thought I would be nervous and I would make mistakes but as the days went by, everything got better.”

Shaw, who wants to become a soldier one day, said the camp makes her more eager to fulfil her dream. “It teaches us to be disciplined; it teaches us how to interact with other cadets, it shows us the life of a soldier and how they interact with other soldiers.”

Her mother, Ashmini Shaw, who also participated in the exercise shared her pride in her daughter’s accomplishment. “We allow her to make her choices and then we guide her and motivate her and I am very proud of her and her achievement,” she stated.

Staff Sergeant Kirwyn Mars said one of the most important things the cadets learnt was time management. “To get up, have to come to PT (personal training), then you have to go, bathe, catch the mess hall and then back to the drill square or into their classes. It helps the children to manage time and in managing time, it helps them to become disciplined,” he underscored.

Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Patrick West commended the young cadets for participating in the camp and staying the course. He opined that the week of activities provided the perfect setting to ensure the inculcation of values and learned skills to mould the minds of Guyana’s future leaders.

“When you return to your homes and school, share your experiences and be good ambassadors and recruiters for the Guyana National Cadet Corps. Live up to the image we want society to have of you” the Chief of Staff charged the young cadets.

For their participation in the camp, Brigadier West said all cadets received a stipend of $8000 each.

Over the seven days, the cadets were introduced to leadership, communication and lifestyle skills training. They participated in sessions which explored topics such as, substance abuse, the pluses and minuses of Social Media Use and building self-esteem. They were also engaged in athletics, drills, hiking, a spelling bee and impromptu speaking competitions.

The most successful school at the camp was St. Ignatius winning prizes for the Spelling Bee competition, Best Portuguese speaking student and was first runner-up in the ‘Good leadership and discipline’ (GLAD) competition. The Mackenzie High School won the GLAD competition while North Ruimveldt Secondary finished third.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Derick Bridgemohan.