Vernon Military Camp
The Vernon Army Cadet Camp
During WWII, many Canadians came to the Vernon Military Camp for their initial army training. In the waters of nearby Lake Kalamalka, these trainees learned the military basic skills required before they went overseas to the frontlines of the war in Europe. It was here that they conducted training in disembarking from troopships that would be put to use off the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Vernon Military Camp operated in conjunction with the Army’s Battle Drill School nearby in Coldstream in producing trained soldiers.
After WWII, the camp’s focus became serving as a training facility for the Canadian Army Cadet Corps and thousands have passed through its gates in the many decades of its operation in this role. A number of those have gone on to serve in the Canadian Forces as both reservists and members of the regular force. Most have gone on to civilian occupations however all have taken with them some valuable lessons about citizenship.
Photo: KPA#636 Training at the Vernon Military Camp
Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre
Although it is primarily used as a cadet training facility now, there is a squadron of the British Columbia Dragoons located in facilities nearby. During the summer of 2003 when BC was threatened by a severe wildfire crisis the military value of the Vernon camp was underlined again when it was used a staging, training and support base for the thousands of Canadian Forces members deployed to BC as part of Operation Peregrine, the military’s fight against the forest fires.
Or at least help preserve it. Join the Kelowna Museums Society and keep history alive through exhibitions, programming, collections, conservation, and research. Our vision is to inspire a community to be alive with its history – connecting people and place.