The 10 candiates from Richmond symbolize who far we all came together. We were all at the original tryouts and at the information meeting but didn't know each other. Throughout the camp we were able to bond and represent Richmond by being the best we could be. It was so incredible to be supported by our school districts and our local RCMP ditachments. We felt and enourmous responsibility to make sure that we represented Richmond in a way they would all be proud of. That was the first time I not only felt the responsibility to represent myself well, but to also represent my community well. I learned to importance of responsibility and reliability through the support and encouragment of all the Richmond staff.
Difference maker project
Difference maker project: 9 days with the RCMP
( 2015 Youth Academy Graduation Class photo, 50 students )
The RCMP youth academy made an enormous difference in my life. From the moment I applied to the moment I graduated. It has given me the opprtounity to get to know myself and what I am capable of. I was forced to push myself to the limit and I now know I can exceed even my own expectations. The person I am now is more confident and self aware than the person who applied in January 2015.
After applying to the youth academy I had to go to a pyshcial tryout and then an interview to determine if I was to be chosen as one of the 50 candiates who would be going to the 2015 Youth Academy. A few months later I was sitting in my socials 11 class listening to a history lesson when out of the corner of my eye I see two RCMP officers standing in the hallway. One of them was Const. Charmichale, our school leison, he had also been one of the members who had interiewed me. The other was Corp.Martin whom I knew from the Youth Squad program I had taken that year. As they waved me over I could feel my heart pounding and my hands starting to shake, I wasn't sure what the out come was going to be but I knew why they were here. Const. Charmichale smiled at me, shook my hand, and congratulated me on being accepted to the 2015 Youth Academy. I let out a huge sigh as I shook his hand, I knew from that moment on I would need to work extremley hard to be the person they had accepted into their program, I needed to make them proud and make sure that they knew they had chosen the right person.
Once we had been accepted, all the candiates attended a meeting where we were given a binder full of expectations and reading material that would be tested upon arrival to Stilwood. I've never been very good at studying and studying during spring break was especially difficult.
( Stilwood camp gymnasium where we did our PT and drill training)
Stilwood camp was the perfect location for the youth academy, it was like being in our own little world, we were surrounded by mountains and stayed at stilwood camp for the full 9 days. The gymnasium was the first thing we saw every morning at 5:20am for our PT (police training) fitness program. The gym represents the struggle we all went through during the camp, but also where we were able to push past our own limits and exceed our own expectations.
(name tags, the last name is bolded because we were adressed by last name)
Upon arrival at Stilwood we recieved our name tags which bolded our last name which we were adressed by, just as we adressed the constables by their last names. The name tags also stated our watch letter, my watch was "E watch" or "Echo watch" using the phoneteic alphabet which were required to learn. Our watch was a group of 10 people from all over the lower mainland who you succeeded and failed with, we were a unit.
( PT video)
During the 9 day camp we had to wake up at 4:45 every morning to go to our PT fitness program. This video is a demo of some of the excersies we did, we performed this at our graduation ceremony for our parents. It was a race between the watches to see who could finish first. PT taught us all what it was to be a team, to rely on each other. If one of the 50 candidates was punished, we were all punished. We succeeded and failed together, this forced us to become a team.
The RCMP crest on our uniforms were something we had to earn together as a team. All RCMP members worked incredibly hard to be able to wear the crest on their uniforms, and so did we, we had to prove that we deserved to wear the crest of the RCMP. It took us 5 days to earn the right to wear the crest, as a team we worked together to make sure the members knew that we respected the crest. (RCMP crest)
( Drill demonstration at graduation ceremony)
Almost everyday after dinner we went to the gymnasium for 2 hours of drill training. We spent over 7 hours practicing our marching, when we weren't marching we had to stand at attention or at ease. We were not allowed to move while we were standing, this took a lot of self control and concenration. Standing still and looking straight ahead is a sign of respect. It took us a long time to get used to not looking someone in the eye when they are speaking to you.
( My group "Echo Watch")
This group of people were my family while I was at the youth academy. I had to trust my group to help me through the 9 days, we were all psychicaly and mentally exhausted and were required to put in 100% for everything we did despite our fatigue. We all pushed each other along, encouraging each other and forcing each other to do our best. I am so lucky that I got to be part of such an amazing team, they are people I'll be friends with for life.
My watch were the people to help push me through my experience but we were all guided by our coach Const.Higgins. He was an amazing role model, he was patient and supportive while still being firm and pushing us to get out of our comfort zones. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of because Const.Higgins had faith in me and encouraged me to push past my own self imposed limits. I don't think I'll ever deny myself the opprotunity to do something just because I think I can't ever again because Const.Higgins showed me that I'm capable of whatever I set my mind to.
( My Coach Constabel Higgins )
These 10 candidates are all from richmond, we were all at the try out together and we all graduated together.