The Navy League of Canada Saskatchewan Division
For children in Saskatchewan looking to develop unique skillsets and become more well-rounded individuals, a great option is to join the navy… the Navy League of Canada Saskatchewan Division, that is.
Partnering with the Department of National Defence and funding by Saskatchewan Lotteries through the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (S.P.R.A.), the Navy League of Canada delivers dynamic programming with a nautical theme to the youth of Saskatchewan through two programs: the Navy League program (ages 9-12) and the Sea Cadet program (aged 12-18).
“In both programs, youth can be part of a team dedicated to promoting the physical and mental fitness of young men and women in the cadet program,” says Provincial Executive Assistant Jean Landree. “Beyond the nautical skills, we educate our youth in leadership, citizenship, self-discipline and respect of others.”
The Navy League of Canada currently has seven Sea Cadet Corps and six Navy League Corps located in various towns and cities across Saskatchewan. The programs are reliant on volunteers, especially from parents. All of the corps meet weekly to practice skills such as sailing, biathlon, boating and parade marching. In the summer, Sea Cadets have the option to earn money as staff cadets at various camps across Canada or go on an exciting international exchange.
“We’ve had kids in troubling spots in their lives enroll in our programs and it truly makes a big difference in their lives,” says Landree. “A lot of the youth who come out of the program actually then come back when they’re older and teach the next generation. We have university students, members of the RCMP, nurses and a wide variety of other professionals that come back.”
Landree says that First Nations and Canadian newcomers are attracted to the Navy League because of the very affordable costs. The Prince Albert and Fort Qu’Appelle chapters in particular have a high number of self-declared Aboriginal people enrolled.
One aspect of the Navy League that appeals to minority groups is the organization’s level of acceptance.
“Our vision is to make the Navy League a place where there are no social or economic barriers for children to join,” says Landree. “Everybody wears a uniform and therefore everyone is equal. They are there to learn self-discipline and respect for others, since they are functioning as a team.”
According to Landree, without Saskatchewan Lotteries funding the Navy League’s junior program simply wouldn’t be able to continue functioning.
“We wouldn’t sail without the Saskatchewan Lotteries funding,” says Landree. “The money helps us pay for instructors to travel around the province. We have a lot of dedicated parents out there, but we’re all vying for the same dollar.”
For more information on the Navy League of Canada Saskatchewan Division’s programs and services visit www.nlcsd.ca.
The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association provides leadership, facilitation, programs and services to enhance the impact of recreation for the quality of life in Saskatchewan. To find out more about how recreation works for and you and your community, visit www.spra.sk.ca.