About the Cadet Training Centre

Located on the southern outskirts of the City of Vernon, Vernon Cadet Training Centre (CTC) is perhaps one of the most picturesque training centres in all of Canada. 

Vernon opened as an army cadet camp in July 1949, just two years after the camp had been stood down as a World War Two Canadian Army Basic Infantry Training Centre and support camp for the Coldstream Ranch Battle Drill School.

That summer, some 1000 army cadets from British Columbia and Alberta arrived by passenger rail and trained for ten days, a further 240 stayed behind to take six weeks of trades training. Since 1949 some 75,000 cadets from across Canada have trained at this famous camp.

In the 1940s and 50s, training focused on Infantry Basic Training, Driver Mechanic and Signals, over the years training changed with the times and today the emphasis is on leadership, adventure training, and fitness all with a military flavour. The camp's name has changed over the years, "Alberta - British Columbia Western Command Trades Training Camp" 1949-52, "Western Command Trades Training Camp" 1950s, "Vernon Cadet Trades Training Camp" 1956-61, "Vernon Army Cadet Camp" 1962-1996, but it very much still reflects its early days with most of it's WWII constructed H-Huts barracks and mess halls still standing and used every summer albeit updated.

HM Queen Elizabeth II visited the camp in 1959 during her cross-country tour. In the 1967 celebrating Canada's centennial, Band Company and the Guard toured the province after camp for a two week Tattoo tour of BC. In 1977, USMC Jr ROTC Cadets from Washington State began a 13 year exchange program with the camp. In 1994 the camp hosted the first ever reunion for an army cadet camp, some 1800 former cadets and staff returned for the four day reunion. In 1999 the camp celebrated it's 50th anniversary with another successful reunion and museum exhibit. In 2009 the third Vernon reunion is being planned coinciding with the camp's 60th anniversary.

It is now the oldest continuous serving cadet training centre in Canada having surpassed Banff in 1999 and Ipperwash in 1994. Ipperwash was also a WWII era H-Hut camp. Today only a few 1941-45 constructed H-Huts remain elsewhere in Canada, most have been demolished or forgotten. Camp Vernon has the largest and best conditioned examples of these once ubiquitous buildings.

Those attending Vernon take peculiar pride in bragging and/or complaining about the heat, daily summer temperatures are usually 28-32 degrees Celsius, it's not uncommon for the thermometer to hit the mid 30s and on some instances have touched 40 degrees. The saving grace is the low humidity and a remarkable lack of insects and mosquitoes.