The three week camp for future maritime cadets ended July 18 with an award ceremony held at Pastor Emett Archer’s Youth Ministries.
36 eighth and ninth grade students attended the camp, held at Central Abaco Primary School, and studied subjects including Mathematics, Science, Report Writing, Maritime Geography,
and CPR. The future maritime cadets also went on a field trip to the Port Authority and Albury’s Ferry, as well as a local swimming pool for swimming practice. The camp allowed the students to practice classroom theory and get plenty of exercise. The cadets reported each morning at 9 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.
The course, which was coordinated by Captain Glender Knowles with assistance from Sandra Edwards, included drill practice and marine knotting, taught by Lead Mechanic Forbes of the Royal Bahamian Defense Force.
According to some of the testimonies proffered at the ceremony, all of the rising cadets enjoyed the camp and appreciated the lessons they learned. Many of them say they are ready to come back next year.
During the award ceremony, which was monitored by camper Micahal Trembley, the cadets showed their parents what they had learnt during the camp. Following a formal march into the hall, the young adults performed drill exercises on stage. Several cadets took the microphone to explain what they learnt and what they enjoyed the most.
Edwards left parents and cadets with sentiments about the soon-to-be cadet’s futures. She described many career opportunities offered to graduating cadets, mentioning Shavado Smith, for example, who is now ready to go and work on a ship.
Shavado who assisted the instructors during the camp, studied Maritime Science at Holland College in Prince Edward Island and at the College of The Bahamas. He is looking forward to soon join Campbell Shipping in Nassau.
Before introducing the guest speaker, Paterson James, Glender Knowles congratulated the campers on the completion of their course. Paterson James, who retired from the Defense Force in 1994, had a life of adventure while on active duty. He was posted on the HMBS Flamingo during the attack on the ship by Cubans. Several crew members died, he recalled, as the ship sank, but he helped save many lives.
During a Court of Inquiry regarding that incident, James was congratulated and awarded the Purple Heart Medal, as well as a medal of Gallantry. As he reminisced on his past, he said that his life was changed completely by the decision to join the Defense Force. James told the parents that they had made a good investment in enrolling their children in the camp. He spoke of the many career opportunities offered for life at sea, not only as crew members, but also as doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists. James is hopeful that more Bahamian young adults choose the sea for their future.
“Do your best to fulfill some of what I said. You are going to take your rightful place in the world,” James said in closing.
Following a step-dance demonstration by a group called “The Destination,” which was made of three girls and two boys, the campers were awarded participation certificates. The certificates were handed out by a representative of the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture, Ishmael Morley, and a representative of the Department of Education, Felamese Sawyer.
Selected distinguished campers received medals and trophies from a member of Campbell Shipping Company. Campers who earned this special recognition were Nathaniel McKinney for Mathematics and Geography, Adrian Newbold for Mathematics and Swimming, Ebany Hanna for Report Writing and Science, Allaire Johnson for Geography, Ernest Clarke for Report Writing, Kathlyn Russell for Science, and Destiny Murphy for Swimming.
The assembly enjoyed a treat of cake and soft drink before leaving the venue.