Following on from the Government’s Covid-19 guidance and the National Youth Organisation’s roadmap for the Cadet Forces to return to face-to-face training, summer 2021 welcomed the long-awaited return of the annual camps.
As a highlight in the cadet calendar, the annual camps provide the opportunity for the cadets in their respective areas to spend a week away from home with their peers and develop their skills – and have some incredible experiences.
This year the activities were largely based outdoors for Covid-19 safety with bubbles and social distancing, but that didn’t stop the annual camp agendas from being jam-packed with adventure. So what did the Army Cadets in our region get up to this summer?
Warwickshire and West Midlands (South Sector) Army Cadet Force (ACF)
Heading up to the Altcar Training Camp, Warwickshire ACF kicked off their annual camp with a busy programme of water sports, fieldcraft, military skills, STEM tasks and first aid – and a well-received visit from an ice cream van.
The achievements of their cadets were also celebrated with a number of promotions, awards and recognition certificates presented to both the cadets and adult volunteers.
Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) ACF
Using the Nesscliffe Cadet Training Centre (CTC) as their base for the week, their cadets similarly took part in an outdoors fieldcraft and adventure training-led week.
Practising their shooting skills and taking part in simulated exercises for part of the week and got chance to test out their mountain biking and archery skills. They also took part in different practical STEM challenges as teams to come up with creative solutions to problems and tasks.
Hereford & Worcester ACF
Splitting their cadets between the Nesscliffe CTC and Tiddesley Wood CTC, they completed a week-long camp under bubbles and social distancing in training, activity and rest.
The week was structured around a full program of outdoor activities seeing the cadets sleep out under canvas for the majority of the week.
Taking part in adventure training, fieldcraft, sports, communications tasks and STEM activities, the county also managed to run an adult instructors course and a senior cadet cadre.
One of the highlights of their week had to be testing out their brand new climbing wall – which was a resounding success!
Last but not least, Shropshire Army Cadet Force held their annual camp at Nesscliffe CTC.
Following the confirmation of negative lateral flow tests, the fun could begin for their cadets who spent two days and nights out in the field, updating and learning new fieldcraft skills to achieve their Army Proficiency Certificates.
Two days were spent on the ranges (with thanks to RAF Cosford for lending their facilities) and a further day spent in camp honing their target shooting skills. A full day of adventure training including mountain biking, water sports and rock climbing followed this, with a further day back at camp revisiting skills and ticking off some new skills – which led to many cadets achieving their next star grade in the training syllabus.
It was a successful return to annual camp for all four counties in difficult and challenging times. A special thank you to all of the permanent staff at the county headquarters and the adult volunteers who helped to organise and run the camps – and ensured everyone had a fantastic week.
You can view more photos from each of the summer camps in our annual camp gallery.
If you would like to find out more about joining the Army Cadet Force, you can find your local detachment and start the process today.