Warren Crafton likes heights. Whether hiking to the top of Mount Robson in record time or soaring through the skies on a leisurely solo flight, the 19-year-old former cadet enjoys a challenge.
This week, he is still flying high after receiving the Duke of Edinburgh award program’s Gold Level Certificate. The prestigous award is given to young people who have excelled in four areas physical recreation, personal skill or achievent in a chosen field, expeditions and community service.
Crafton was presented with the award on June 7. He was one of 224 youths in BC and the Yukon recognized for their achievements. The awards ceremony in Vancouver was a proud moment.
“You’re up there crossing the stage with this silly grin on your face to get your certificate,” recalled the 2nd year Science student. “I could hardly understand what His Royal Highness Prince Edward [Earl of Wessex] was saying because he spoke with quite an accent.”
Crafton credits his years with #396 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron in building his self confidence and leadership skills. He entered the cadets force when he was 12 years old, with one goal in mind.
“My reason for getting into cadets was to obtain my pilot’s license,” he said. “But once you get in, you see there is whole lot of other things there as well. Cadets teaches you effective leadership.You are always responsible for those younger than you but in the 5th year of cadets, you start teaching the ones coming up the ranks.” His future plans include flying aircraft for the air force, he said.
Now 19, Crafton has “retired” from cadets. He no longer refers to himself by the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class (WO2.) However, his training including getting his pilot’s license with the assistance of a $14,000 scholarship will always stay with him.
Other Prince George recipients of the Gold Level Awards were Shannon Joyce and Jennifer Bergey. For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program phone 1-888-881-7788.