The 17-year-old from Spaniard's Bay is a part of the Royal Canadian Army Cadet National Rifle Team. Earlier this summer, she travelled to the Connaught National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in Ottawa and then went with the team to Bisley, England. There, she competed against hundreds of people from around the world in marksmanship.
"I've learned a lot about how to feel the wind — what adjustments I need to make for what type of wind," Kavanagh, a Warrant Officer from 2372 Avalon North Army Cadets in Bay Roberts, told The Compass over the phone from England. "A lot of little tricks here and there on how to keep my position steady and just a lot of stories. It's been a really good experience, in and of itself."
Julie started off with a C11 rifle before picking up a C12 last year — the same kind she's using today.
In England, she's met people from teams representing places like Austria, Cuba and Germany, among many other countries. She was scheduled to leave Europe after a month-long stay last week to return to Ottawa, where she will remain for two weeks before returning to Newfoundland.
"It's been long, but worth it," she said of her experience this summer with cadets.
Those in the know about cadets would be aware of the many opportunities it provides young charges to travel and train in different skillsets, whether it's handling a rifle or navigating a sailing ship.
"It's very sad, because in Newfoundland itself, it's honestly starting to die out," Julie said of the cadet movement. "There's nowhere near as many people as there used to be, and no one knows about the experiences."
The young cadet credits the program for making her more willing to try out new things.
"The best thing I've gotten out of cadets is just being more adventurous, being more out there," said Julie, who will attend Grade 12 at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts this fall. "Like before I joined cadets, I didn't really do much. I was more of an inside person, didn't really want to go outside. But it's made me take every moment as it comes, one day at a time."