Vernon Army Cadet Camp is a well known facility to Okanagan residents
with its influx of young people from all over Canada every summer for
Army Cadet training. Many however may not realize that the Vernon Cadet
Camp has had a long history in the area in support of Canada's army
dating back to the beginnings of a military presence in the region.
The Canadian Army's Vernon Military Camp saw many recruits pass through
in training for Canada's campaigns overseas.
An aerial photo
Vernon Military Camp in1940
WWII many Canadians came to the Vernon Military Camp for their initial
army training. In the waters of nearby Lake Kalamalka these trainees
learned the military basic skills required before they went overseas
to the frontlines of the war in Europe. It was here that they conducted
training in disembarking from troopships that would be put to use off
the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944. The Vernon Military Camp operated
in conjunction with the Army's Battle Drill School nearby in Coldstream
in producing trained soldiers.
D- Day landings
WWII the camp's focus became serving as a training facility for the
Canadian Army Cadet Corps and thousands have passed through its gates
in the many decades of its operation in this role. A number of those
have gone on to serve in the Canadian Forces as both reservists and
members of the regular force. Most have gone on to civilian occupations
however all have taken with them some valuable lessons about citizenship.
Army Cadet class
it is primarily used as a cadet training facility now, there is a squadron
of the British Columbia Dragoons located in facilities nearby. During
the summer of 2003 when BC was threatened by a severe wildfire crisis
the military value of the Vernon camp was underlined again when it was
used a staging, training and support base for the thousands of Canadian
Forces members deployed to BC as part of Operation Peregrine, the military's
fight against the forest fires.
A Canadian Forces helicopter
pilot before lifting off from
the Vernon Military Camp
during Op Peregrine