In 1882 (officially, in 1884) a cadet corps known as The Highland Cadets was raised at the Guelph Grammar School by Captain Walter Clarke, RA, a Crimea veteran who was demobilized in Canada after colonial service and hired as a PTI at the Guelph Grammar School. This unit was later serialized as Cadet Corps #18. Although Army Cadet training for girls was not authorized until 30 July 1975, in 1884 Captain Clarke also formed a locally sponsored girls’ corps known as The Daughters of the Regiment. Along with the Canadian Militia, the Army Cadet program also fell on hard times in the 1930s, and The Highland Cadets, along with many other corps, was disbanded. Cadet training was revived during World War Two as Guelph Collegiate Institute Cadet Corps, sponsored by the Guelph Board of Education and affiliated with the 11th Field Artillery Regt, then fell again into decline after the War.
This Corps was formed 24 Apr 1942, designated Guelph Collegiate and Vocational Institute Cadet Corps, sponsored by the Board of Education and affiliated with 11th (R) Fd Regt RCA. The Corps was disbanded 31 Mar 1948.
It was revived a third time in 1964 as #1882 Guelph Secondary Schools Cadet Corps, and again affiliated with the 11th Field Artillery Regt. In 1976 it was realized that The Wellingtons’ tradition deserved to be perpetuated, so the Cadet Corps, still affiliated with 11th Field Artillery Regt, was re-designated #1882 The Wellington Regiment Cadet Corps. A year later this was changed to #1882 The Wellington Rifles Cadet Corps, which continues to wear the silver version of the badge approved in 1928.
About Army Cadets
The Royal Canadian Army Cadets is a national organization for youth aged 12 to 18. There are more than 25,000 cadets which are split up into over 450 corps across Canada. Each member meets up once a week during the school year on their designated training night to learn citizenship, leadership, drill, effective speaking, outdoor survival, range and more. In addition to training nights, corps may have other optional nights of the week dedicated to sports, drill, range, biathlon or other additional training. During select weekends during the year, many corps engage in outdoor bush exercises, competitions or a variety of other trips.
During the summer, cadets have the opportunity to go to a variety of summer camps. These courses range from 2 to 7 week courses and include basic training, introductory and advanced courses to leadership and instruction, drill and ceremonial, outdoor and sports training, and the Canadian Forces basic parachutist course.