For the first time since 2019, Cadet annual camps are back. These summer camps, which are taking place all over the UK, offer those involved an opportunity to get outdoors, spend time with friends and gain plenty of practical new skills.
In the case of Glasgow & Lanarkshire Battalion, the Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) spent a fun-filled fortnight at Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Strensall, North Yorkshire.
With both field and water-based training on offer, there was plenty to keep the Cadets engaged during the two-week camp. The planned activities included archery, martial arts, zip lining, field assault courses and adventure training at the local water park, so there were plenty of exciting options available for both individual and team development.
‘I learnt a lot of military skills during camp,’ said Daniel, a Cadet with E Troop Royal Signals. ‘I now have a good sense of survival in the field and how to protect myself from the elements. I have also met new friends and learnt how to socialise amongst new people.’
Lance Corporal McGready, also of E Tp, had nothing but praise for the camp: ‘Strensall was my first proper annual camp and overall it was really enjoyable. My favourite activities were the day out at the water park, doing fieldcraft and camping out in the basha (tarpaulin cover). I enjoy sleeping outdoors and it puts key skills to use; whether that’s the location of the basha or having the necessary equipment packed away properly in case of an attack during the night.’
Not only are the Annual Camps a great learning opportunity for participants, but many CFAVs and senior Cadets also welcome the chance to share their own knowledge and experiences.
‘I had a great experience during my two weeks at Strensall Barracks,’ said Sergeant Mswaka. ‘It was my first annual camp and the training and activities held were all beyond my expectations. I was given a chance to teach the Cadets and it really helped to build my confidence. The lesson was personal camouflage and concealment, giving them examples of animals and how they use their camouflage to hide from predators. The lesson gave them more understanding on why the Army and Army Cadets use similar tactics.’
Staff Instructor (SI) MacCrimmon said of his own teaching experience at the camp: ‘My first annual camp as a CFAV was an unmissable experience. Watching the Cadets grow in confidence and ability in a short space of time is inspiring. My particular highlight was running the obstacle course. Seeing Cadets taking on the obstacles regardless of their ability, with some facing their fears, then overcoming them and achieving what some of them felt impossible was brilliant. Good effort, everyone!’