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Day 1: The Arrival

“Welcome to Depot”

RCMP Academy welcome sign

2005-06-19

At first glance, it all seems very overwhelming but exciting at the same time. Day 1 was full of surprises and new experiences. Upon arrival at Depot, I met so many new faces that it’s hard to even provide an estimate of the number. In addition to my 29 troopmates, I also got to know my big brother/sister troop and countless other cadets.

As rookies, we wear special name tags that identify us as such and thus everyone feels compelled to greet us with “Welcome to Depot.” So with less than 24 hours in, I’ve likely already heard this phrase well over a hundred times! I've been told to expect more of this sort of thing over the course of the next week, or at least until we get our proper name tags.

Although this whole business of greeting the new cadets may appear to be redundant, I find it shows camaraderie. The willingness of the more senior cadets to help out the newcomers, give solid advice based on the benefits of their experiences, and in general show us around, helps tremendously in adjusting to what are likely drastic life changes for many of us. As a result, I feel quite comfortable in my new and foreign surroundings.

While on the subject of surroundings, I was pleasantly surprised in regards to my accommodations. I had completely expected a dormitory where almost everything is shared (sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, etc.). As it turns out, I, along with the other female members of my troop, will be staying in private rooms, each with its own bathroom! [Editor’s Note: not all cadets are assigned private rooms.]

Overall, my first impressions are very positive. I expect many more surprises (encouraging as well as disheartening) and look forward to the many challenges that are destined to come my way.