Dozens of local cadets are putting their skills to the test in Guelph this week.

The Guelph Cadet Activity Program is preparing the group of young people to spend a few nights out in the wilderness, while teaching them some valuable life lessons.

The 12 and 13-year-old cadets, along with the staff cadets in their upper teens, will take part in an overnight outdoor adventure.

“[It’s] a camp for four days, three overnights and they’ll be experiencing canoeing, swimming, orienteering,” said Capt. Scott Gibbons with the Cadet Activity Program.

From working on their fitness, to team navigation skills through geocaching, all of it will be on display at the Guelph Navy League building as part of a two-week summer training program.

Gibbons said he thinks the biggest takeaway that the cadets get from this program is the relationships established over the years.

While the physical skills are a focal point, the life skills acquired through these programs are a secondary benefit.

“It doesn’t teach you just Canadian Armed Forces skills, it teaches you life skills too,” said Christopher Price, Cadet & Flight Corporal.

For others, it can be a time to grow and discover who they are.

“For me, it built a sense of who I was,” said Halei Tester, a staff cadet. “I really found myself within the cadet program and was able to build from that. I learned skills I probably would’ve never learned. I’m getting opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten. “

The Canadian Armed Forces doesn’t have to be the end goal once the cadets graduate from the program.

“Some of our cadets do go into the Canadian Armed Forces, however other cadets may choose to go to civilian applications and that’s fantastic,” said Capt. Gibbons.