Duty Calls

Junior Canadian Rangers Enhanced Training Session wraps up 25 edition

Camp OKPAIAPIK 2019 Closing and Award ceremony was held at the Valcartier Cadet Training Center (VCTC) in Quebec City last Wednesday.

The camp, which means “small snowy owl” in Inuktitut, is the summer 2nd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (2 CRPG) Enhanced Training Session and ran from June 27 to July 3, 2019. this session marked the 25th edition. 

The summer camp was offered too, at most, 280 Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) from 35 remote and isolated communities in Quebec. Participants of the program are young boys and girls, ages 12 to 18 who are involved in their communities.

“Congratulations to the 220 talented young people who have completed the 25th edition of Camp OKPIAPIK. This camp gives young people from 35 communities across Quebec the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through stimulating activities and stimulating cultural exchanges,” Brigadier General Jennie Carignan, commanding officer, 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East.


says Brigadier General Jennie Carignan, commanding officer, 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East.

The program provides structured training for young girls and boys and promotes traditional culture and lifestyles in Canada’s remote and isolated communities. The goal of the Junior Canadian Rangers program is to transmit Ranger skills, life skills and traditional abilities.

During camp, JCRs gain knowledge and life experience that they will use once back in their community. Junior Rangers are divided into three sites according to their interest, experience and age: Base ETS (Valcartier), Advanced ETS (Saguenay) and Leadership ETS (Sherbrooke). 

Throughout the week, the day-to-day role of leadership is assigned to JCR-Staff, permitting them to put in practice their leadership while receiving support and guidance from Rangers and instructors.

The Canadian Rangers train, mentor, coach, and supervise the Junior Canadian Rangers. They help to improve the quality of life for young people in remote and isolated regions by teaching both Canadian Ranger and traditional skills, helping them the tools to be dynamic and engaged members of their community.

The work and efforts of several JCRs, Rangers and 2 CRPG staff members were highlighted during the camp closing ceremony.

“Camp OKPIAPIK is the summer Enhanced Training Session for Junior Canadian Rangers from our 35 remote and isolated patrols in Quebec. These young people are the next leaders in their community and we want to pass on knowledge and ideas so they can thrive and flourish while having an opportunity to meet other Juniors from other patrols and areas. Thank you to all the Rangers, instructors and staff who worked on this 25th edition of the summer camp,” Lieutenant-Colonel Benoit Mainville, commanding officer, 2nd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.


Honours and Awards

The Special Service Medal (SSM) was created to recognize members of the Canadian Armed Forces taking part in activities and operations under exceptional circumstances. 

Canadian Rangers become eligible for this medal after four years of honourable service as a Ranger, perform the duties of a military presence and complete a minimum of 3 Ranger Patrol exercises. Ranger Mary Anogak from Kangiqsujuaq received the SSM.

The Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) is awarded to Members of the Canadian Armed Forces who completed twelve years of service. The decoration is awarded to all ranks, and who have a good record of conduct. A clasp is awarded for every subsequent period of ten years of qualifying service.

Two recipients received their 1st clasp: Ranger Sandy Petagumskum from Kuujjuarapik and Major Yann Léveillé, 2 CRPG Training Company Commanding Officer.

Four recipients received their 2nd clasp: Warrant Officer Boudreault, 2 CRPG Canadian Ranger instructor, Warrant Officer Daniel Dussault, 2 CRPG Canadian Ranger instructor, Master Warrant Officer John Lawton, Chief Instructor and Command and Service Company Sergent Major, and Captaine Manon Duguay, 2 CRPG Controlor.

Other awards included, the Lord Strathcona Foundation Medals that are presented in recognition of outstanding achievement, exemplary attendance and active school participation by the following JCR:

  • – JCR Mason William Marchel Bucklet from Blanc-Sablon;
  • – JCR Caitlin McDonald from Bonne Espérance
  • – JCR Darien Jeremy Fequet from Chevery;
  • – JCR Christian Loyer from Harrington Harbour;
  • – JCR Blaire Marcoux from La Tabatière;
  • – JCR Jean-Gabriel Poirier from Magdalen Islands;
  • – JCR Neil Christopher Joncas from Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon; and
  • – JCR Harley Driscoll from Saint-Augustin.

The Lord Strathcona Foundation Scholarship, valued at $ 250, is awarded to a JCR recipient of the Lord Strathcona Foundation Medal who has distinguished themselves from their peers. The 2019 recipient is JCR Mason William Marchel Bucklet from Blanc-Sablon.

The Canada Company Bursary, valued at $ 1,000, is awarded to the JCR who has distinguished him or herself with outstanding leadership, teamwork, proactivity, commitment to learning, positive attitude, the ability to be a leader and a model to his or her peers. This year’s recipient is JCR Natasha Bolger from Blanc-Sablon.

The International Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a personal development program offered to young people aged 14 to 25, helping them to make a difference in their lives, their communities and their country. 

Participants must complete activities in four distinct areas: community service, adventurous journey, skill and fitness. The recipient of the “Bronze” level is JCR Shelby Woodland from Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon.

The Order of St-George medals was presented to JCR Audrey Mercier de Tête-à-la-Baleine for the Basic ETS and JCR Mason William Marcel Buckle from Blanc-Sablon for the Advanced ETS. The medal honours JCRs who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding performance as a JCR-Staff during the Enhanced Training Sessions (ETS) and their exemplary success in the JCR Program.

The Strathcona Trophy was presented to JCR Kameron Driscoll from St-Augustin as the Best JCR of the Leadership ETS and the recipient of the medal for “Most improved JCR of the Leadership ETS“ is JCR Bobby Tukai from Inukjuak.

The recipients for the Best JCR of the Advanced ETS:

  • – Platoon 6: JCR Mattéo Fournier from Magdalen Islands
  • – Platoon 7: JCR Miguel Beaudoin de Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon
  • The recipients for the Most improved JCR of the Advanced ETS:
  • – Platoon 6: JCR Mark Makiuk from Kuujjuaq
  • – Platoon 7: JCR Drew Pike from Blanc-Sablon

The recipients for the Best JCR of the Basic ETS:

  • – Platoon 1: JCR Jacob Qitsualuk from Tête-à-la-Baleine,
  • – Platoon 2: JCR Greig Munick Etua-Mark from Kuujjuaq,
  • – Platoon 3: JCR Cole Thomas from Bonne Espérance
  • – Platoon 4: JCR Sam Alayco from Akulivik,
  • – Platoon 5: JCR Silas Annanack-Snowball from Kangiqsualujjuaq.

The recipients for the Most improved JCR of the Basic ETS:

  • – Platoon 1 : JCR Mikuan Malec de Mingan,
  • – Platoon 2 : JCR Jackie Jones Tukkiapik de Kuujjuaq.
  • – Platoon 3 : JCR Johnny Kooktook de Kangirsuk,
  • – Platoon 4 : JCR Elayna Einish de Kawawachikamach,
  • – Platoon 5 : JCR Eva Papak Annatok de Quaqtaq.
  • To conclude this ceremony, a JCR. Lane Annanack de Kangiqsualujjuaq transferred to the Canadian Rangers (CR) Program.

For more information about JCR visit their website.


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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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