540 Golden Hawks is one of 450+ Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons in Canada and has been offering the Cadet Program to the youth of Oakville since 1951.

The Cadet Program provides youth with opportunities to develop valuable life and work skills such as teamwork, leadership, and public speaking, along with personal benefits of increased self-confidence, discipline, initiative, and decision making.

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Cadets
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Staff Cadets
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Adult Staff

Introduction

  • Age range
    12-18 years old

  • Recruit intakes
    September & November

  • Training year
    September-June

  • Parade nights
    Tuesdays
    1830-2130 hrs

  • Parade timings
    1830-2130 hrs

  • Parade location
    T.A. Blakelock High School
    1160 Rebecca Street, Oakville, ON

Aims

  1. To develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership
  2. To promote physical fitness
  3. To stimulate interest in the air element of the Canadian Forces

Motto

“To Learn – To Serve – To Advance”

To Learn

Cadets learn about a wide range of topics relating to aviation, citizenship, instructional technique, principles of leadership, wilderness survival, and much more.

The training program is structured and caters towards the developments needs of youth as they progress in age, maturity, and responsibility.

Training extends to the summer months for those cadets selected to attend a summer training course at a Summer Training Centre. Summer courses range from 1-7 weeks and extend the training offered locally at our Squadron.

To Serve

To Advance

Youth leading youth

As our Cadets advance through the program they are given increased opportunities to practice and develop leadership and instructional abilities.

By the time our Cadets reach their fifth year in our Squadron they are formally responsible for the development of their peers and subordinates, as well as planning and executing Squadron activities.

Training Program

Serving the youth and families of Oakville since 1951

Our training year closely follows the school year and runs from September to June.

Mandatory training is comprised of Tuesday evenings and approximately one weekend a month, however we are an incredibly busy Squadron with extra-curricular activities almost every day of the week, all year long.

Participating in an extra-curricular activity is optional, but greatly enhances the experience of Cadets taking part and often leads to success within the Cadet Program, as well as develops skills they can continue to use as they move ahead in their academic and professional careers.

We are an incredibly busy Squadron with optional activities almost every day of the week, all year long. Participating in an extra-curricular activity is optional, but greatly enhances the experience of Cadets taking part and often leads to greater success both within and without the Cadet Program.

Competition teams include:

  • Biathlon
  • Effective speaking
  • Marksmanship
  • Military band
  • Parliamentary debate
  • Precision drill
  • Sports

We also offer a flying scholarship program, March Break trip, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, and a summer canoe trip to Algonquin Park.

540 Golden Hawks prides itself on being a ‘youth leading youth program. As our Cadets advance through the program they are given increased opportunities to practice and develop leadership and their instructional abilities.

By the time our Cadets reach their fifth year in our Squadron they are formally responsible for academic instruction, planning and organization of events, as well as the development of subordinates.

In short, the Cadets themselves are the staff!

Our adult staff team is responsible for the behind the scenes facilitation of the program, as delivered by our Staff Cadets. Our adults are ultimately accountable for the quality of the Program and provide adult supervision of all activities as well as mentorship and guidance to the youth under our care.

Our adult staff team is comprised of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and are supported by a number of civilian staff members. All of our staff either have full time day jobs, or are pursuing post-secondary education.

The vast majority of our Adult Staff were Air Cadets before and all of them are here to give back to the community and the program that raised them.

Field Training Exercises

Tents, military rations, and weather that will challenge you

Cadets spend these weekends learning outdoor survival topics such as shelter building, fire safety, survival psychology, and more.

Extracurricular Teams

Hard work pays off

Many of our Cadets maintain a high level of activity and engagement with our Squadron by participating in extracurricular teams on evenings and weekends throughout the training year.

Our staff have observed that Cadets who participate on a team are more likely to have greater success with the Cadet Program overall due to building stronger relationships with peers, as well as increased opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills.

Our teams include: biathlon, effective speaking, marksmanship, military band, parliamentary debate, precision drill, rifle drill, and sports. Of special note is our military band, which has had the honour of being awarded Top Band in Ontario for 3 years in a row.

Summer Training

There’s a reason it’s not called summer “camp”

Summer Training provides Cadets with an opportunity to pick one (or more) specialized streams to supplement their regular training at 540 Sqn.

Streams include aviation, aerospace, wilderness survival, music training, drill and ceremonial, fitness and sports, and more. This is also when cadets can earn their Glider or Power Pilot’s license.

Courses run during July and August and range from 1 to 7 weeks long.

Glider Familiarization

The Air Cadet Gliding Program has been an essential component of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets since the beginning of the program.

Each fall and spring, our Cadets have the opportunity to experience the thrill of flight. These familiarization flights can be foundational to the development of each Air Cadet as they “slip the surly bonds of earth” for the first time. An experience that can never be forgotten.

Flying Scholarship

Where Canada’s future airline pilots are made

Yes! Cadets who successfully complete the flying scholarship program receive either a Private Pilot License or a Glider Pilot License, both issued by Transport Canada.

These licenses are internationally recognized and enable our Cadets to fly friends and family not only within Canada, but also to the United States. The licenses also put them at an advantage if they choose to pursue aviation as a career.

Cadets can start Ground School training at 15 years old, obtain their Glider Pilot License at 16 years old, and obtain their Private Pilot License at 17 years old.

We have many Cadets who get their Pilot’s License before they get their Ontario G1 Driver’s License.

A lot of hard work, determination and perseverance. Our five month Ground School program expects candidates to complete weekly assignments and exams to a high standard.

Cadets must be prepared to dedicate multiple hours of studying every week in order to be successful. Topics include meteorology, air law, navigation, flight instruments, aircraft engines, principles of flight, and airmanship. From an academic perspective, it equivalent to a Grade 12 or higher course.

Not every Cadet becomes a pilot, and the Air Cadet Program is much more than just about being a pilot (although the pilots will say otherwise).

There are a wide range of other aviation industry related jobs that the Air Cadet Program introduces our Cadets to, such as aircraft maintenance, airport operations, and aerospace.

March Break Trip

Each year 50 Cadets are selected to attend the annual Squadron March Break trip. Selection is based on multiple criteria including: attendance, attitude, participation, and fundraising efforts.

Previous trips have included:

  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Ottawa
  • Quebec City
  • Washington, DC

Algonquin Canoe Trip

At the end of August, a small group of cadets are chosen to go to Algonquin Park for a 5-6 day canoe trip. Completely detached from civilization and technology (no electricity or cell phone signal!), the cadets spend the week canoeing and portaging deep into the park and sleeping in camp sites along the edges of its lakes.

Cadets are chosen to attend based on their attendance, attitude, and participation throughout the training year, as well as the results of their written and practical canoe skills evaluation.

Cadets are provided all necessary canoe training; previous canoe experience is not a requirement to attend.

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program is a non-competitive program that operates in more than 130 countries and territories. It is not part of the Cadet Program, but is offered by our Squadron Staff as an extra-curricular due to the ease in which Cadets can achieve much of the Award simply by participating in Squadron activities.

The Award was founded by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip to encourage personal development and community involvement for young people between the ages of 14 and 25 through four distinct areas:

  1. Community Service
  2. Skill Development
  3. Physical Fitness
  4. Adventurous Journey

Since its establishment in Canada in 1963, more than 500,000 young Canadians have taken the challenge to achieve Bronze, Silver, or Gold levels of the Award.

Cadets are entitled to wear the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award pin upon successful completion of each level, making it an easy and subtle way of stating a Cadet is above average.

To Learn

Cadets learn about a wide range of topics relating to aviation, citizenship, instructional technique, principles of leadership, wilderness survival, and much more.

The training program is structured and caters towards the developments needs of youth as they progress in age, maturity, and responsibility.

Training extends to the summer months for those cadets selected to attend a summer training course at a Summer Training Centre. Summer courses range from 1-7 weeks and extend the training offered locally at our Squadron.

To Serve

To Advance

Youth leading youth

As our Cadets advance through the program they are given increased opportunities to practice and develop leadership and instructional abilities.

By the time our Cadets reach their fifth year in our Squadron they are formally responsible for the development of their peers and subordinates, as well as planning and executing Squadron activities.

Training Program

Serving the youth and families of Oakville since 1951

Our training year closely follows the school year and runs from September to June.

Mandatory training is comprised of Tuesday evenings and approximately one weekend a month, however we are an incredibly busy Squadron with extra-curricular activities almost every day of the week, all year long.

Participating in an extra-curricular activity is optional, but greatly enhances the experience of Cadets taking part and often leads to success within the Cadet Program, as well as develops skills they can continue to use as they move ahead in their academic and professional careers.

We are an incredibly busy Squadron with optional activities almost every day of the week, all year long. Participating in an extra-curricular activity is optional, but greatly enhances the experience of Cadets taking part and often leads to greater success both within and without the Cadet Program.

Competition teams include:

  • Biathlon
  • Effective speaking
  • Marksmanship
  • Military band
  • Parliamentary debate
  • Precision drill
  • Sports

We also offer a flying scholarship program, March Break trip, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, and a summer canoe trip to Algonquin Park.

540 Golden Hawks prides itself on being a ‘youth leading youth’ program. As our Cadets advance through the program they are given increased opportunities to practice and develop leadership and their instructional abilities.

By the time our Cadets reach their fifth year in our Squadron they are formally responsible for academic instruction, planning and organization of events, as well as the development of subordinates.

In short, the Cadets themselves are the staff!

Our adult staff team is responsible for the behind the scenes facilitation of the program, as delivered by our Staff Cadets. Our adults are ultimately accountable for the quality of the Program and provide adult supervision of all activities as well as mentorship and guidance to the youth under our care.

Our adult staff team is comprised of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and are supported by a number of civilian staff members. All of our staff either have full time day jobs, or are pursuing post-secondary education.

The vast majority of our Adult Staff were Air Cadets before and all of them are here to give back to the community and the program that raised them.

Field Training Exercises (FTXs)

Tents, military rations, and weather that will challenge you

Cadets spend these weekends learning outdoor survival topics such as shelter building, fire safety, survival psychology, and more.

Extracurricular Teams

Hard work pays off

Many of our Cadets maintain a high level of activity and engagement with our Squadron by participating in extracurricular teams on evenings and weekends throughout the training year.

Our staff have observed that Cadets who participate on a team are more likely to have greater success with the Cadet Program overall due to building stronger relationships with peers, as well as increased opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills.

Our teams include: biathlon, effective speaking, marksmanship, military band, parliamentary debate, precision drill, rifle drill, and sports. Of special note is our military band, which has had the honour of being awarded Top Band in Ontario for 3 years in a row.

Summer Training

There’s a reason it’s not called summer “camp”

Summer Training provides Cadets with an opportunity to pick one (or more) specialized streams to supplement their regular training at 540 Sqn.

Streams include aviation, aerospace, wilderness survival, music training, drill and ceremonial, fitness and sports, and more. This is also when cadets can earn their Glider or Power Pilot’s license.

Courses run during July and August and range from 1 to 7 weeks long.

Glider Familiarization

The Air Cadet Gliding Program has been an essential component of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets since the beginning of the program.

Each fall and spring, our Cadets have the opportunity to experience the thrill of flight. These familiarization flights can be foundational to the development of each Air Cadet as they “slip the surly bonds of earth” for the first time. An experience that can never be forgotten.

Flying Scholarship

Where Canada’s future airline pilots are made

Yes! Cadets who successfully complete the flying scholarship program receive either a Private Pilot License or a Glider Pilot License, both issued by Transport Canada.

These licenses are internationally recognized and enable our Cadets to fly friends and family not only within Canada, but also to the United States. The licenses also put them at an advantage if they choose to pursue aviation as a career.

Cadets can start Ground School training at 15 years old, obtain their Glider Pilot License at 16 years old, and obtain their Private Pilot License at 17 years old.

We have many Cadets who get their Pilot’s License before they get their Ontario G1 Driver’s License.

A lot of hard work, determination and perseverance. Our five month Ground School program expects candidates to complete weekly assignments and exams to a high standard.

Cadets must be prepared to dedicate multiple hours of studying every week in order to be successful. Topics include meteorology, air law, navigation, flight instruments, aircraft engines, principles of flight, and airmanship. From an academic perspective, it equivalent to a Grade 12 or higher course.

Not every Cadet becomes a pilot, and the Air Cadet Program is much more than just about being a pilot (although the pilots will say otherwise).

There are a wide range of other aviation industry related jobs that the Air Cadet Program introduces our Cadets to, such as aircraft maintenance, airport operations, and aerospace.

March Break Trips

Each year 50 Cadets are selected to attend the annual Squadron March Break trip. Selection is based on multiple criteria including: attendance, attitude, participation, and fundraising efforts.

Previous trips have included:

  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Ottawa
  • Quebec City
  • Washington, DC

Algonquin Canoe Trip

At the end of August, a small group of cadets are chosen to go to Algonquin Park for a 5-6 day canoe trip. Completely detached from civilization and technology (no electricity or cell phone signal!), the cadets spend the week canoeing and portaging deep into the park and sleeping in camp sites along the edges of its lakes.

Cadets are chosen to attend based on their attendance, attitude, and participation throughout the training year, as well as the results of their written and practical canoe skills evaluation.

Cadets are provided all necessary canoe training; previous canoe experience is not a requirement to attend.

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program is a non-competitive program that operates in more than 130 countries and territories. It is not part of the Cadet Program, but is offered by our Squadron Staff as an extra-curricular due to the ease in which Cadets can achieve much of the Award simply by participating in Squadron activities.

The Award was founded by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip to encourage personal development and community involvement for young people between the ages of 14 and 25 through four distinct areas:

  1. Community Service
  2. Skill Development
  3. Physical Fitness
  4. Adventurous Journey

Since its establishment in Canada in 1963, more than 500,000 young Canadians have taken the challenge to achieve Bronze, Silver, or Gold levels of the Award.

Cadets are entitled to wear the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award pin upon successful completion of each level, making it an easy and subtle way of stating a Cadet is above average.