Almost 200 people from around the continent met recently in London, Ont., for the 2015 Cadet Counselors’ Convention. Cadets is the group for boys offered in many Christian Reformed churches.
The Calvinist Cadet Corps event, said host Harry Kiers, is a chance for Cadet counselors to get together and “develop themselves so they can minister in an easier, more knowledgeable way.”
Speakers reflected on this year’s theme, “Hooked on Christ,” emphasizing the importance of getting and staying hooked on Christ.
Hands-on workshops included blacksmithing, model airplane building, glass etching, and car care basics, as well as counselor leadership skills. Many of the workshops are designed to help Cadets earn specific badges. “Some badges, such as the leadership badge, are not so easily understood,” explained Kiers, “so we go through it and make it interesting.”
The convention happens two out of every three years, with a triennial camporee for Cadets scheduled in the intervening year. The convention “is family oriented so counselors can bring their wives and kids,” said Kiers. Activities for children are provided through the day, allowing counselors and their wives to attend workshops and sessions.
“Workshops were very well received,” said attendee Jasper Sinke of Ingersoll, Ont. “[They] equipped Cadet counselors with beneficial tools to use in their clubs. The whole weekend was very well organized and very enjoyable. We walk away from this Cadet convention with a deeper understanding of our roles as mentors in the lives of the boys we build relationships with.”
The Huron, Erie, and Bear Creek councils hosted this year’s convention, with participants from as far as Minnesota, California, and British Columbia. The numbers are up from the last convention, and Kiers encouraged more to come. “It’s very important for younger, newer counselors, or first-time counselors, to come out to these events to be part of the greater Cadet counselor corps, and to bring the ambition and excitement that counselors are trying to convey. Don’t be afraid to do your kingdom work.”