Benefits for your child
The Army Cadet Force charter states that it "provides challenging military, adventurous and community activities" and aims to "inspire young people to achieve success in life ... and to develop in them the qualities of a good citizen". This is achieved by "providing progressive cadet training, often of a challenging and exciting nature, to foster confidence, self-reliance, initiative, loyalty and a sense of service to other people" and "encouraging the development of personal powers of practical leadership and the ability to work successfully as a member of a team".
This probably all sounds very serious. In fact the ACF is about fun and friendship, action and adventure, excitement and education. It's a hobby that offers young an enormous range of activities, experiences and opportunities and also has a serious side - following a structured syllabus that can even lead to valuable vocational qualifications, recognised by employers and educational institutions alike.
One of the changes most often noticed by parents of new cadets is that they start to take responsibility for themselves and take a real pride in their uniform. One of the most common reactions we get from parents after cadets return home from annual camp is that they have suddenly started making their own bed and keeping their room tidy!
A cadet survey in 2010 gave the following results:
97.9% said being in the cadets had been important in giving them experience of teamworking
96.7% said it had been important in giving them experience of leadership
91% said it had been important in providing direction and guidance
88.8% said it had been important in giving them experience in confronting risk
68% think it will help them get a job
91% agree that being in cadets makes them want to do well in life
90.8% say it has taught them to respect others
78.5% agree it has helped them stay out of trouble
71.1% agree it helps them get on better with their family