In 1941, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (RCAC) was chartered, with one of its main purposes to “train up” Canadian youth to replace air crews overseas when they became old enough to join the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at age 18. Girls were officially allowed to join in 1975. RCAC 222 Shuswap Squadron, formed in November 1993 through the hard work of Don and Maye Cann, Barry and Rhonda Henry, and Jim Hall, derived its name from the ‘Royal Air Force (RAF) 222 (Natal) Squadron’, created in April 1918. Shuswap Squadron was granted its own crest, which incorporates the Spitfires flown by the RAF 222 Squadron, and their motto, “Pambill Bo”, a Zulu phrase meaning “go straight ahead”, in 2007
The main objectives of the program are to promote good citizenship, leadership and physical fitness, and to stimulate an interest in aviation. Funding is a partnership between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the local Sponsoring Committee.
Cadets who participate in the program learn valuable skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork and citizenship which will serve them well for the rest of their lives. They can also earn up to 12 high school credits for advanced training. Most importantly, they form life-long friendships.
The Squadron is able to offer these opportunities to the youth of the Shuswap/North Okanagan at no charge due to the dedication and fundraising efforts of parents and cadets as well as the generosity of many organizations in the Shuswap, including Shuswap Community Foundation, and numerous individuals who have donated both time and money to help make the program successful.
The decision to create the Royal Canadian Air Cadet 222 Shuswap Squadron Endowment was taken in order to achieve two ends: to provide a vehicle whereby the Squadron’s J. B. Millar Flying Scholarship can grow to cover the costs required for power pilot cadets to maintain their private pilot’s licence for the first year, and to provide a stable source of funding for the basic program so it can continue to be offered at no charge, as well as optional activities not covered by DND for youth in the Shuswap.