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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Kub Kar evening proves exciting finish to Cadets’ and Gems’ year

by Adam Gault

In what has become a much-anticipated annual tradition for the boys and girls of the Essex Christian Reformed Church’s Cadets and Gems programs, the Kub Kar Race was held this past Monday evening, thrilling all who packed the Church’s basement for a night of racing fun.

For ten straight years, the boys’ Calvinist Cadet Corps has taken on the Gems Girls’ Club in the friendly competition, going head-to-head for annual bragging rights when it comes to who’s the speediest on the Kub Kar track.

“It’s become a big rivalry between the boys’ club and the girls’ club of our church,” Cadets Head Counsellor, Pete Kuipers, explained. “The boys and the girls always love doing stuff that they can pair off against each other, and try to beat each other. This has grown. Year-after-year we add something.”

As the event has grown in popularity, it has become more elaborate, with racing decor now adorning the walls of the church basement. As well, this year’s race featured a special visit from Bertozzi Motorsports, and one of its race cars.

Kuipers explained the palpable nature of constructing and racing their own vehicles contributes to the enduring strength and popularity of the event, giving the members a creative and competitive outlet.

“They’ve made these things, and they’ve painted these things, and they really like the fact that what they’ve done can go in a race against somebody else,” Kuipers said. “They really like that it’s something tangible, it’s something that they can see that they did. They really take it to heart, that hopefully [their] car will be fast. They don’t get to do this kind of stuff every day.

“I’ve been doing cadets now for probably 15 years at this Church, and [this race] is what finishes off the season,” Kuipers said. “This is going to be the big, grand event for the end of the season, and then everyone takes a break until the fall again.”

The Calvinist Cadet Corps and Gems Girls’ Club are run parallel to each other, every Monday, from September to April at the Essex Christian Reformed Church. Membership consists of elementary school aged boys and girls, as well as their adult counsellors.

The respective groups meet to foster strong relationships between God and each other, as well as garnering life skills involving crafts, camping, and leadership within the community.

Older children and teenagers that stay involved with the programs are then moved into leadership roles themselves as they begin to enter high school.

Although this was their final meeting until September, the Calvinist Cadet Corps and the Gems Girls’ Clubs are open to everyone, and new members are always sought.

Interested parents can contact the Essex Christian Reformed Church by phone at (519) 776-5071, or online at, for all enrollment information.

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