Only 10 Canadian Junior Rangers are invited to the National Ceremony of Remembrance in Ottawa for Remembrance Day and four are from the Yukon – specifically, Carmacks.
Four Carmacks Junior Rangers, along with Ranger John Laughlin, flew out of Whitehorse Wednesday morning for the nation’s capital and will be present at the ceremony, which will be held at the National War Memorial Thursday.
“I was really surprised; I didn’t expect to go to Ottawa,” said Sgt. Teagan Unterschute, 15, one of the four selected.
“My cousin Taline was in Junior Rangers and my other cousin Dee was in Junior Rangers, and they got to go – I think – to Ottawa, so that’s why I joined. I wanted to go places.
“It’s just awesome.”
Aside from the ceremony, the four will observe a senate sitting, take part in a parade, as well as some less formal outings such as going to see an IMAX movie and attending an Ottawa Senators hockey game.
“These four here are very well-behaved Junior Rangers, their attendance is spectacular,” said Laughlin. “(Sgt. Teagan Unterschute) has been with our Junior Ranger program for over four years, and the rest were selected through Yellowknife.
“I just submitted an attendance record and they were selected to go. I always tell the Junior Rangers attendance is very important and this is what happens when you attend every meeting – when something like this comes up, you get selected to go.”
Joining Unterschute are Lestate Billy and Justice Billy, now in their second with the Rangers, plus Joshua LaDuc who just joined in September.
“I think every year they pick a different group and this year Carmacks is representing the Yukon,” said Laughlin.
As part of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which encompasses the three territories, the Carmacks patrol is one of 56 in 35 communities across the North. In addition to Carmacks, Yukon patrols can be found in Pelly Crossing, Mayo, Dawson City, Haines Junction, Atlin, Carcross, Ross River and Whitehorse.
“We’re not the same as the (Army) Cadets, these kids go out on the land and learn to fish, how to hunt and skin them – basic survival skills,” said Laughlin. “They learn how to live off the land.”
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