On the days of the 29th of June to the 6th of July, I attended an Air Cadets Summer Camp in Lincolnshire along with 26 other Cadets of ages ranging from 13 to 19 years old.
The ATC (Air Training Corps) is a youth group for 13 to 20 year olds. With over 40,000 members across the UK, the ATC’s aims are to:
- · Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people
- · Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life
- · Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
The Air Cadets is full of adventurous opportunities for teenagers; you can do anything from learning how to navigate all the way to learning how to fly and then actually flying. There are countless opportunities.
On this camp alone, I stayed in the accommodation of the RAF, in RAF Conningsby, home of the jets; Phantoms, Tornados and Eurofighter Typhoons, where I got to see each of those aircrafts and learn much about each of them. I was able to visit the squadrons on a very personal basis and study about what it is like in the RAF. I was also able to shoot rifles, attend navigation exercises, night exercises with some of the RAF staff, participate in the RAF fitness test, visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (where it holds one of two still working Lancaster Bombers in the world) and most importantly, make many new friends of several different ages around Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
I learned several different skills on this camp, skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication though the activities, such as during the night ex, where we were dropped off in a forest and were given a map. We were then told to locate items situated around the terrain and shown on the map, however, there will be several different groups scouting the area so you will need to use stealth skills so that you will not be detected. We also had to advance as a team and were not allowed to depart from one another. Once being captured, we would have to bribe our way out or bargain our way out so that we would be set free. It would be a night that I will not be forgetting any time soon.
There were so many activities and it was an overall amazing experience. This is only one of many Summer Camps to come in the ATC, all of which to have different experiences but for all to be as enjoyable as one another. I would recommend this and the Air Cadets to just about anyone who is looking for an adventure and to have fun.
By Dylan Godfery, Year 10 Student