Junior Rangers from six First Nations gather for winter training exercise in Muskrat Dam
Over 50 Junior Canadian Rangers from six communities gathered together in Muskrat Dam for the 3rd Annual Junior Canadian Ranger Northwest Explorer from March 1-3.
The exercise is an annual event that teaches and confirms winter survival skills, traditional skills and Ranger skills.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to have the JCRs snowmobile and drive in using the winter road. It is our most popular training event of the year and the JCRs really like the opportunity to come together and make new friendships and renew old friendships with other JCRs that they don’t get to see very often,” said Warrant Officer Mark Kendall, Junior Canadian Ranger instructor for northwestern Ontario.
Junior Canadian Rangers from Bearskin Lake, Big Trout Lake, Muskrat Dam, Round Lake, Sachigo Lake and Sandy Lake honed their skills in ice fishing, snowmobile safety, snowshoeing, shelter building, radio communications training, leadership games, cooking, stump stoves and traditional crafts.
During the weekend, Muskrat Dam Chief Gary Beardy, a Canadian Ranger, explained to the kids the importance of positive life experiences.
“Being a Junior Canadian Ranger is a positive first step in a young person’s life,” Beardy said. “The skills they learn as a Junior Ranger will follow them to adulthood.”
One of the Junior Rangers who participated in the event said it was a great chance to connect with other youth from the communities.
“I had a really good time driving the snowmobile and ice fishing,” Junior Canadian Ranger Ocean Barratt said. “It was good to see old friends and make new ones.”
The Junior Canadian Rangers will now begin to gear up for spring training in the northwest. This training will include ATV and boat safety in preparation for their annual trip to Geraldton, Ont. for Camp Loon, which sees 20 communities gather for a summer camp in July.
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