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A storied history

The Calvinist Cadet Corps has been around since 1952. Here are a just a few of the milestones we’ve passed between then and now.

  • September 11, 1950

    First Constitution Written

    Later that year the CRC synod appointed a committee to study Boy’s Club activities during the year.

  • October 16, 1952

    First Constitutional Revision

    This was the actual beginning of the Calvinist Cadet Corps.

  • November, 1954

    First Cadet Guidebook presented

    Final draft was presented to the Federation Board by Mart Keuning

  • November, 1955

    First Clarion published

    The first issue of the official magazine for counselors

  • September, 1958

    Jake Heerema hired as Executive Director

  • December, 1958

    First issue of Crusader published

  • August, 1961

    Mart Keuning hired as Executive Director

  • 1962

    Counselor's Guidebook and revised Cadet Guidebook published

  • September, 1963

    Stu Hamstra hired as Executive Director

  • January, 1964

    Mart Keuning hired as Executive Director

  • 1965

    Merit badge booklets and counselor aid booklets introduced

  • July/August, 1966

    First International Camporee

    Held in the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado, with approximately 300 in attendance.

  • July/August, 1969

    Second International Camporee

    Again held near Denver, Colorado.

  • August, 1969

    Mike McGervey hired as Executive Director

  • February, 1970

    Cadet Congress adopts set of goals for cadeting

    Congress also mandated a revision in the Cadet program materials to better meet these goals, and added the dimension of “witnessing” as a formal and integral part of cadeting.

  • March, 1971

    Cadet Corps moved into United Calvinist Youth building

  • July/August, 1972

    Third International Camporee

    Held in Land-Between-the-Lakes, Kentucky, with just over 400 in attendance.

  • October, 1972

    Calvinist Cadet Corps celebrated 20 years of service to God

  • 1973

    Voyageurs begun

    An advanced program for 14-15-year-old boys

  • 1974

    Guide Trails drafted

    A program for 12–14-year-old boys

  • July/August, 1974

    Fourth International Camporee

    Held at Mt. Pilchuck Tree Farm in northwest Washington, about 60 miles from Seattle, with approximately 450 in attendance.

  • 1976

    Guide Trails developed

  • June, 1977

    Dave Koetje hired as executive director

  • July/August, 1978

    Fifth International Camporee

    Held at Hoag’s Lake in Manistee National Forest, Michigan, with approximately 600 in attendance.

  • 1981

    The Junior Cadet program introduced for 7- and 8-year-old boys

  • July/August, 1978

    Sixth International Camporee

    Held at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with nearly 900 people attending.

  • 1982

    Calvinist Cadet Corps celebrated 30 years of service to God

    After 30 years of ministry and growth, cadeting was a network of 3,000 counselors working with 14,500 boys in 600 clubs throughout North America.

  • July, 1983

    Dick Broene, former Corps President, hired as executive director

  • July/August, 1984

    Seventh International Camporee

    Held at Sonny Meadows near Yosemite National Park, California, with approximately 800 in attendance.

  • July, 1987

    Eighth International Camporee

    Held at Camp Beaver Dam near Orangeville, Ontario, with approximately 1,050 in attendance. It was the first international camporee to be held in Canada.

  • 1989

    Junior Cadet program added merit badges and ranks

  • August, 1990

    Ninth International Camporee

    The ninth and largest international camporee to date was hosted by Hawkeye Council near Cedar Falls in northeast Iowa. It was also the most challenging, as a flood forced the men to find a new location and make drastic changes merely five days before the event began. A total of 1,150 campers had to be rerouted and settled in a new spot. God, as always, provided the blessing needed, and a wonderful experience was the result.

  • July, 1993

    Tenth International Camporee

    The 1993 International Camporee broke attendance records, bringing 1,300 people to a wilderness setting between Kalkaska and Grayling, Michigan.

  • July, 1996

    Eleventh International Camporee

    The international camporee broke attendance records at 1,813 campers. The camporee was in Bow Valley Provincial Park — the Canadian Rockies in Alberta.

  • August, 1999

    Twelfth International Camporee

    Held at London Mills, Illinois, the event attracted 1,082 participants to experience God in the wilderness.

  • January, 2000

    Cadets were offered a new top award – the Servant Leader award

    To earn it, a boy has to progress through all the ranks of cadeting, show significant leadership in a council event, and participate in a Christian service project for at least five days. A significant award, it would not be earned by anyone in cadeting for years to come.

  • January, 2001

    Congress adopted a mission statement for the Calvinist Cadet Corps: “Helping boys to grow more Christlike in all areas of life.”

  • July, 2002

    Thirteenth International Camporee

    The second-largest international camporee to date was held at Camp Chinook in Southwest Alberta. The 1,538 registrants experienced some new activities, such as fishing, kite building, climbing, and rappelling.

  • October, 2002

    Cadeting turned 50 years old

    Records showed that it had 632 clubs, 4,113 counselors, and 12,878 Cadets.

  • September, 2003

    First issue of Cadet Quest published

    Cadet Quest replaced Crusader as the magazine for Cadets ages 9-14.

  • April, 2004

    Cornel Rylaarsdam Memorial Fund established

  • July, 2005

    Fourteenth International Camporee

    Held at Camp Diamond Trail near Runnells, Iowa, with 1,288 campers in attendance.

  • August, 2008

    Fifteenth International Camporee

    Held at Camp Northern Lights in Ontario, Canada. Rain and mud forced an evacuation of camp half-way through the week.

  • July/August, 2011

    Sixteenth International Camporee

    Held at Camp Whitetail near Reed City, Michigan. 

  • January, 2014

    Mission Statement/Counselor Landmark

    Congress approved making the CCC mission statement a landmark for Cadet counselors: “Helping boys to grow more Christlike in all areas of life.”

  • July, 2014

    Seventeenth International Camporee

    Kamp Lone Pine, near Blackfalds, Alberta

  • February, 2016

    Steve Bootsma hired as Executive Director

  • July, 2017

    Eighteenth International Camporee

    Held at Camp Elk Run in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with over 1,200 in attendance.