It’s almost the end of the lunch hour at Robin Cameron Education Complex, and that means school is nearly back in session.
However, for the 12 students in the Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) Co-op program, that means something different than notebooks, pencils and erasers. On this day, it means marching around the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation looking for points on a map.
Under grey, windy skies, and the watchful eye of five different instructors, students are walking up and down the road leading out of the school parking lot, getting used to counting off paces. Soon they’ll be back in the classroom, but instead of adding sums and taking notes, they’ll be pouring over local maps and marking points with a compass.
It’s as close to being in the army as the instructors can make it. For three days a week, students march, do pushups and receive lectures on everything from wilderness survival to ethics and military law.
“We try to keep everything as similar as possible because we want to maintain that standard, no matter who you’re teaching,” says 2nd Lt. Evan Brockman, the BMQ course officer. “They’re going to get the same level of training, no matter where they are.”
For the rest of this story, please see the April 15 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.