By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Two local Sea Cadets will get a first hand look at life on the seas as they serve as crew members aboard a Royal Canadian Navy ship this week.
Brianna Goodyear and Hailey Button, both 15, have been deployed to British Columbia, where they will undergo training aboard a Navy ORCA class patrol vessel.
Button told The Express she learned of her selection for the program when she was at school.
“My mom texted me when I was in the middle of math class and my teacher came up to me and I said I was accepted for deployment to B.C. so I kind of started tearing up,” she recalled. “I was completely shocked.”
For Goodyear, she “ran downstairs screaming to my mom in excitement” upon receiving the news.
The duo, who departed this past weekend, will take on several roles while on the ship including helmsman, lookout and gallery assistant, and also participate in exercises such as simulated firefighting, flood and casualty emergencies.
Beyond these responsibilities, both are excited to get acquainted with other cadets from all over Canada.
“I’m really excited to meet all the other people who are going and make new friends, that’s a big reason why I’m involved in the program,” Goodyear states.
Button says it was to be her first time travelling on a plane, which while a bit nerve-wracking for her, also brought on feelings of enthusiastic anticipation.
“Overall, it’s just excitement taking over my body.”
Lieut. Lisa Mason, commanding officer of the 106 Sir Francis Drake Sea Cadets in Oshawa, says Goodyear and Button were two of 32 cadets selected from across Ontario to take part in the training program.
Calling them “top of the line cadets,” Mason was thrilled to learn two of her members were chosen for deployment.
“It’s a very rare opportunity. I am extremely proud of our girls.”
At their final meeting before leaving for their trip, the two girls espoused the merits of the cadet program.
Button, describing herself as naturally shy, says it has improved her confidence and brought her “out of her shell.”
“The skills you take away from it are amazing, I’ve learned knots I didn’t even know existed and I’ve learned how to sail. The overall experience is the best thing you can take away from it.”
Now in her fifth year as a cadet, Goodyear says she’s benefited from the program in many ways.
“The cadet program is a great opportunity for anyone, even if they are not interested in the military, to get fit and learn about our history as
well as doing community service,” she says.
To learn more about the local Sea Cadet program visit facebook.com/OshawaSeaCadets or www.cadets.ca