Culture & Events — 21 February 2018
Air Cadets open many opportunities for young members

Warrant Officer Second Class and Deputy Commander of the 906 Machin Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, Paige Ponton spoke to fellow students last week on the many benefits and opportunities available through Cadet programs. Photo by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

Paige Ponton is still a high school student, but on Thursday nights, and a lot of weekends, she is Warrant Officer Second Class Ponton and Deputy Commander of the 906 Machin Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Vermilion Bay.

Ponton spoke to her fellow students at the Dryden High School’s Living Library program. She spoke about all the opportunities Cadets has to offer and hoped to inspire other to check out the program.

While Ponton competed in biathlon with the group she points out that Cadets is great for those who don’t feel their main focus is sports. Ponton won individual gold at the provincial level for biathlon and competed at the National Chamionship.

Ponton said that the effective speaking competitions helped her to be better prepared for her competition today. 

On top of all the great things a cadet has helped her with she still dreams of flying the big planes.

“Learning to fly, it’s something you never really experience until you actually do it. People say it’s easy to fly a plane and then you actually get in the cockpit and you see all the gauges and all the dials and all of the different things that you have to look after and it’s really overwhelming at first but it’s a really great time and it’s taught me a lot,” said Ponton. “The first time I flew I got butterflies and every time I just see a Globemaster or a Hercules plane I just get butterflies again because I just know one day I’ll be up there with them.”

Special thanks to Mrs. Cooper’s class for feeding all those in attendance; DHS Living Library is made possible by a grant from the Dryden Rotary Club.


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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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