SJA Youth & SJA Connect Programs

St. John Ambulance's Youth Programs are structured health-oriented programs that provides young people with opportunities for social, educational and personal development through training, local community volunteering service, leisure activities and participation at special events. Activities include First Aid, Health Care training, community service, camping and recreational events. Read more below for our program benefits and structures. 

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St. John Ambulance >> Community Services >> Youth Cadet Program

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St. John Ambulance, SJA York Region Volunteer (AMFR) Advanced Medical First Responce Services
St. John Ambulance, SJA York Region Volunteer (AMFR) Advanced Medical First Responce Services
St. John Ambulance, SJA York Region Volunteer (AMFR) Advanced Medical First Responce Services

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Pictured above is St. John Ambulance 2017 1st Annual Inspection in York Region, ON


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SJA YOUTH (Ages 12~17):

St. John Ambulance York Region’s Youth Program is one of the largest youth groups in Canada with over 200 youth and 4 Youth Units operating in our region. Our program caters to 3 age groups:

Learn first aid, leadership skills, personal development and make new friends while having fun! Participants learn leadership life skills along with helping to provide assistance at community service events under the guidance of qualified adult members. 


Administers, trains and helps to supervise St. John ambulance youth Program participants.

St. John Ambulance provides a safe, well-managed service to the community and to those who participate.


• Having Fun!  

• Meet New People   

• Uniforms Provided  

• Social & Camping Events   

• Community Service Hours   

• First Aid Training & Certificates 

• Proficiency & Awards Program

• Leadership Training & Experience

Learn First Aid & Leadership!


York Region currently has TWO Youth Units operating in Richmond Hill, ONE in Newmarket and ONE in Markham. See our Unit Meeting Locations MAP.

Meeting nights are held on THURSDAY’S from 6:30pm to 9:00pm depending on the youth unit and the age group.


NEW! SJA CONNECT (Ages 14~19):

SJA Connect National Program is a health, safety and leadership development program for youth aged 14 to 19 offered by St. John Ambulance Canada. This leadership program prepares youth to assist others in their communities during emergencies and disasters, and engage them through volunteerism in community projects, thereby enabling them to develop self-esteem and a great sense of community.

Participants who join our Youth Cadet Program and who are 14 Years or older will also be enrolled into the National SJA Connect Program to benefit from its Certificate Programs.   

It also provides youth the opportunities to connect with their community and build skills employers are looking for. Participants can practice essential life and communication skills in a flexible, youth-directed learning environment.


In York Region, the SJA Connect program will be offered through two delivery methods for certificate completion: youth facilitator-led session through our Cadet Program and self-guided challenges. (PLEASE NOTE: Not all self-guided modules can be completed through self-guided challenges at this time) Learn more about SJA Connect program here:


St. John Ambulance, established in 1884, is one of Canada's largest and oldest not-for-profit charitable organizations, providing public volunteering opportunities, community service programs in addition to providing FIRST AID CPR & AED courses for the public. Our public First Aid courses help fund the operations of our volunteer community services. Our Youth Program started in Canada in 1933.

As St. John Ambulance is a world-wide recognized organization in over 40 countries, all our older Youth members strive to complete a minimum of 60 hours of community service every year to be recognized as being “proficient”. At the 12 year proficiency mark, a service medal is issued by the Queen of England through the Order of St. John and presented by the Lieutenant Governor.

​While our volunteerism opportunities for youth 12-17 years are catered for students with the intent of being an "active" monthly member in our organization in addition to working towards exceeding their minimum 40 community service hours prior to their high school graduation.

​Our “Active” YOUTH members also benefit through yearly First Aid certificate courses, which are the same as public First Aid courses, but offered at NO COST to our members. This ensures that all our youth members are First Aid Certified and able to provide First Aid support to family and in our community.

Along with providing Public Community Services, our program is centered on learning First Aid, volunteering in the community and completing proficiencies, which are like the badges programs you know of from other organizations.

The Cadet Proficiency Program is an integral part of the total St. John Ambulance Youth Program. It encourages Cadets, ages 12-13 and ages 14-19, to deepen and broaden their interests, talents and skills in many areas. Certificates and the Grand Prior’s Badge, gives recognition to St. John Ambulance youth who have committed time and effort to meet the required standards.   

The Grand Prior’s Award is highly regarded and issued by the Queen of England and presented through in some provinces by the Lieutenant-Governor.  It is an award, similarly to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which our St. John Ambulance members also work towards completing, that holds acclaimed recognition that can be put on their résumés for future employment opportunities. It is the only Cadet merit award badge which may be worn on the St. John Ambulance uniform as long as the individual is a member of St. John Ambulance. 

Our program follows the school year curricular calendar where we take a break from weekly meetings during the summer and major holidays.

For our enrolled “Active Members”, there are always opportunities to participate in summer break volunteering duties as our Medical First Responders and officers continue to provide public community support throughout the year. 

​The FIRST STEP would be to complete the PROGRAM APPLICATION and come out to a few of our meetings and see if this is a program that your child / youth would enjoy. If, for some reasons, it is not a good fit for your child / youth, they can leave the program anytime. Please return all SJA uniform items that may have been provided to them as these are wholly owned by the St. John Ambulance charity.

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SJA CONNECT - Leadership Certificate: Level I

Participants will begin the program working towards achieving the Level 1 Leadership Certificate. The core topics includes St. John Ambulance in Canada, Why Volunteer, Team Dynamics, Conflict Resolution, and Citizenship (Completion time, estimated at a total of 10 hours).


SJA CONNECT - Leadership Certificate: Level II

After successfully completing the Level I Leadership Certificate, the participants will work towards completing an additional five core topics to achieve the Level II Leadership Certificate. These five topics consist of St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid/CPR-C, Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Balanced Lifestyles and Volunteerism Level 1 (30 Hours).


SJA CONNECT - Leadership Certificate: Level III

Ultimately, participants can earn their Level III Leadership Certificate by completing an additional ten elective topics of their choice from the following modules: St. John Ambulance, Health and Safety, Volunteerism and Community, Leadership and Community, and Life Skills.



This section is currently being revised... 





"Grand Prior's Badge Award"

You’ll work towards achieving a proficiency and certificate in each subject at the Cadet Unit meetings. Units usually meet once a week, and it takes around six weeks to earn your first proficiency.


The Cadet Proficiency Program is an integral part of the total St. John Ambulance youth program. It encourages Cadets and Crusaders to deepen and broaden their interests, talents and skills in many areas. Certificates, badges, and the Grand Prior’s Badge, give recognition to St. John youth who have committed time and effort to meet the required standards.


Every youth member must be given the opportunity to work towards the highest of all the Cadet awards - The Grand Prior’s Badge. This award is highly regarded and is presented, in some provinces, by the Lieutenant-Governor. It is the only Cadet merit award badge which may be worn on the St. John Ambulance uniform as long as the individual is a member of the Brigade.

The Proficiency Subjects have been divided into seven categories (see Appendix
A in "The Cadet Proficiency Program" guide 1997 for a complete listing):


A - Knowledge of the Order (Compulsory)
B - Hobbies
C - Outdoor Activities
D - Sports and Physical Fitness
E - Health and Safety
F - Community Service
G - Communications

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The following are the requirements of Cadets/Crusaders wishing to qualify for the Grand Prior’s Award: 

  • Completion of a total of twelve Proficiency Subjects. At least one proficiency in each of the above categories must be completed.

  • Knowledge of the Order is a compulsory category.

  • No more than four subjects may be completed in a calendar year.

  • The Grand Prior’s Badge will not normally be awarded until a Cadet/Crusader has a minimum of three years membership in good standing.

  • Youth who have qualified in a Proficiency Subject prior to becoming a Cadet/Crusader are permitted to include their training up to two years before their enrolment date.

  • Certificates will not be awarded prior to the youth’s official enrolment, or after their 21st birthday.

  • In the case of candidates with disabilities, some proficiencies might require special consideration. In some cases, the Instructor/Evaluator should decide the acceptable level for certification or the suitability of the proficiency requirement(s).

Award Stages

You must complete a certain number of subjects to receive your bronze, silver and gold awards. Please also see the "Criteria" section. Each subject in the Grand Prior Award scheme is offered at three levels so that everyone can participate at their own level.

  • Complete 12 subjects – Bronze award

  • Complete 16 subjects – Silver award

  • Complete 20 subjects – Gold award

  • Complete 24 subjects – Grand Prior Award


As a Cadet / Crusader, you can take part in over 58 subjects from 7 different categories to earn your awards:

Knowledge of the Order "KOTO" (Compulsory)

(Category A) This subject gets you to explore St John Ambulance, learning about its past and future. The Knowledge of the Order is a compulsory category.


(Category B) From entertainment to photography, this gives you the opportunity to get creative. Learn about crafts and music, and how they can help you in everyday life. Subjects include:

  • Astronomy

  • Collector

  • Crafts I

  • Crafts II

  • Electronics

  • Fine Arts / Art Appreciation

  • Gardening / Horticulture

  • Home Repair

  • Knowledge and Care of Animals

  • Music Appreciation

  • Music Performance

  • Theatrical Arts

  • Visual Media


Outdoor Activities

(Category C) These activities help you learn how to live, survive and respect our outdoor environments. Subjects include:

  • Camping

  • Environmental Awareness

  • Map Using

  • Recreational Boating

  • Voyageur

  • Wilderness Survival

Sports & Physical Fitness

(Category D) What skills do you think you are lacking? How could you improve yourself and reach your potential? Learn a new skills or improve yourself through participation in other training providers through our community. Subjects include:

  • Dance 

  • Individual Sports 

  • Physical Fitness 

  • Self Defense 

  • Swimming and Water Safety 

  • Swimming and Life Saving 

  • Team Sports 


Health & Safety 

(Category E) These activities helps you become more aware of your surroundings, from accident prevention to cookery and food hygiene. It is here to help you understand more about your personal safety. Subjects include: 

  • Child Care/Babysitting 

  • Cooking and Nutrition 

  • Family Health Care 

  • Fire Safety 

  • Firearms/Hunter Safety 

  • Hygiene 

  • Road and Home Safety 

  • Snowmobile Safety 


Community Service

(Category F) Learn about looking after everyone - children and adults alike. This element delves into everything from first aid care, leadership, fundraising and how to participate in and help your community. Subjects include:

  • Basic First Aid Course Leader 

  • Basic Rescuer II 

  • Basic Rescuer I 

  • Casualty Simulation 

  • Citizenship 

  • Flight Safety 

  • Fundraising 

  • Leadership 

  • Multiculturalism 

  • Therapy Dog Program 

  • Voluntary Service 



This section improves your communication skills and helps you to understand others. You could practice using a radio, learn sign language or build your IT and listening skills. Subjects include:

  • Communications with Persons with Disabilities 

  • Computer Literacy 

  • Computer Technology 

  • Creative Writing 

  • International Friendship 

  • Interpretership 

  • Journalism 

  • Public Relations 

  • Public Speaking 

  • Radio Communications




The Duke of Ed Award is a process of personal and social development; the activities which make up the Award are a means to this end. Young people learn from the new experiences they have and discover hidden capabilities and talents.


The world's leading youth achievement award. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Programme was started in Canada in 1963 with the purpose of challenging young Canadians between the age of 14 and 25 to achieve personal goals designed to advance their physical, mental, and spiritual welfare and thus to enhance good citizenship. 

The Award's purpose is similar to the aim of the St. John Proficiency Programme, making it easy to integrate the two programmes for the benefit of the young people involved. 

Like St. John Ambulance (SJA), The Award Programme is voluntary and non-competitive; each individual is assessed on effort, improvement and challenge, making the Award attainable by all. The Award Programme is not a youth organization. It is a programme designed to meet the needs and interests of all young people, either through established organizations such as St. John Ambulance, or on an individual basis. Thus, SJA members who are also registered with a local Duke of Edinburgh's Award office can use activities from the SJA Proficiency programme to satisfy requirements of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. 

Upon successful completion of an Award level the young person is presented with a certificate and a pin or brooch (Gold). Members may wear the pin or brooch on their SJA uniform. 

For specific details on each section of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please see the Participant’s Record Book or Award website at 


YOUTH SERVICE AWARDS - Community Service

The Special Service Shield is awarded by the Provincial Commissioner to Youth who have completed a minimum of 200 voluntary hours of service to their community. On completion of each additional 200 hours of service, an appropriate Service Shield will be awarded. While these shields may be worn on the member's uniform until their 19th birthday, these Shields will not be awarded to Youth subsequent to their 16th birthday. St. John Juniors are not eligible for the Special Service Shield. Only the highest Service Shield earned is to be left on a Youth uniform. 







Placement of the Award on a Uniform 

It should be noted that a youth member is entitled to wear their highest earned Youth Service Award Badge on their uniform until their 19th birthday after which it is to be removed from their uniform. Their highest Youth Service Award Badge should be sewn on their uniform just above the location of an optional name tag which is just above the right hand pocket of their uniform shirt. Some youth members may choose to place this Award on a work dress sweater if they have been issued one to wear.