We had uniforms and handbooks, and we worked toward badges, just like in other programs. Each session began with our song and pledges, then a time in our squadrons to tally up our points for the week. The rest of the evening was spent on a missions lesson, a Bible story, a movie, a craft, or a party, and reminders to keep working on those pins and badges at home.
During my CYC days, there were Cadets (grades 4-6) and Crusaders (grades 7-9); later they began programs for younger children -- Heralds for grades 1-3 and Joybells for kindergarteners.
I loved Lucille Robinson's monthly missionary stories and the challenge of memorizing scripture; I enjoyed the fellowship of a large children's program in a relatively small church; and I felt safe and cared for at CYC. Our church had a strong sense of family, and CYC allowed the kids and the grown-ups to be a part of each others' lives.
I especially liked singing in the Cadet Quartet. My brother Tom and our friend Suzy traded off singing alto and tenor, and Tom's best friend, David, and I sang soprano. (David is now a deep bass, but that didn't come till he got into Crusaders!) Our repertoire was limited to Great is Thy Faithfulness and one other hymn that has long since slipped my mind, but, boy did we know those songs well! And we were pretty good for a group of young kids! (Suzy had many talents. She was also the best baseball player of all the Cadets. She even had her own mitt, and would bring it along on the nights that we went to the playground at Longfellow School for recreation night!)
|David, me, Suzy and Tom
Do you like our outfits? We got points for wearing dark skirts/trousers and white shirts. I think the boys wore hats, too, but they didn't wear them inside the church.
Each week we recited the Cadet Promise (with hand motions): "Taking Jesus as my example and Saviour, as a Cadet Crusader I will try to increase in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man." Our handbook, Cadet Trails, laid out a systematic program to help us fulfill this promise, and we spent the year demonstrating our growth through the pins and badges we earned.
Our efforts were rewarded at Honor Council, the last night of the year, where we received our awards before the whole church.
|Tom, David, Margurite and Suzy displaying their pins and badges
|Some of the Cadets receiving our awards
That's me, third kid from the right, in front of my dad.
Mom's on the far left.
(Thanks, Suzy -- now Sue -- for loaning me the slides from CYC days. It was fun to see them, and to remember)