On 10th - 12th of December, it was finally the turn of No 1 (Hereward) Company to enjoy what is the most talked about camp in the cadet’s calendar, Christmas Camp, the first for Major Stewart since his appointment as Officer Commanding the Company. Even COVID-19 was not going to stop the camp from happening. Cadets from across the Peterbourgh and Fenland areas of the county descended on Waterbeach, for what turned out to be a fun competition. With 97 cadets on camp and 21 Adult instructors, it was a full and busy weekend.
Cadets practice stripping and re-assembling the Cadet GP rifle. Picture: Doug Stuart
Most arrived on the Friday night and were excited to see what the weekend was going to hold for them. After their initial briefings, cadets were split into their detachment groups, where they could all talk about their tactics for the weekend, and who was going to win the Best Detachment Cup. As well as talking tactics, the cadets had the opportunity to log onto cadet portal and register.
Cadet Dillon (March Detachment) running during a PT challenge. Picture: Doug Stuart
On Saturday morning all the cadets were ready to go. The weather was a bit dull, however that was not going to stop their enthusiasm for the first residential camp in over two years. There were lots of stands to get through during the weekend, like Command Tasks, CIS (Communications and Information Systems), PT, Air Rifle shooting, First Aid and lots more. The cadets all knew that they had to work together as part of a team to complete the stands.
Cadet Stratkauskas, Walton Detachment, takes part in a first aid exercise. Picture: Doug Stuart
Cadet Groves (exempt from wearing a mask) of Wisbech Detachment, fires the air rifle. Picture: Doug Stuart
County Sports Officer SSI Jordan Bullman said: ‘the cadets did a stamina run, a 100m sprint, as many press ups as they can do within a minute, and as many sit up as they can do within a minute. They had to bounce a ball against the wall for 30secs, and complete the PT exercises ‘Bailey’s bridge’ for 30secs and ‘Mountain Climbers’ for 30secs.'
Cadet Holland (March Detachment) during a PT challenge. Picture: Doug Stuart
County Signals Officer Lt Al Protacio said: ‘with many of the cadets not having done any signals training, I had to give them a crash course on semaphore, the Personal Role Radio (PRR) and how to speak correctly on the radio - Voice Procedure (VP). With the semaphore, they had to send and receive messages quickly and accurately using the flags. With the PRR, they were trained on how to assemble and use it and the safety precautions involved.’
Cadets practice semaphore. Picture: Doug Stuart
Saturday evening, and the cadets had an evening of entertainment in the form of a disco. All the equipment needed had been purchased from Company funds, with the money having been raised by Cadet RSM Rice over lockdown. With happy smiling faces, the cadets then went to bed ready for the Sunday’s competition to continue.
Cadet Corporal Cooper said ‘the best part of camp was definitely the command tasks, we were asked to make Lego figures whilst blindfolded.’ Picture: Lt Heather Bradbury.
The following morning the cadets had just the final part of the competition to go through. This was Drill, which cadets actually really enjoy as it’s a chance to show what team work can do when they work together well.
Cadets during a drill exercise. Picture: Doug Stuart
The final part of the day was to give out the trophies for the weekend, The first presentation was awarded to the cadets who took part in the Lockdown Mile. They were awarded a badge each for taking part in the event during lockdown. The second was an adult promotion: SI Johnson was promoted to SSI on completion of his ALM course at Frimley Park. Then came the part the cadets were waiting for, the awards for the individual stand winners and then overall detachment winners.
Cadets CSM Cameron-Wickes (middle) and Cadet LCpl Mazur (second from right) receive sports awards. Picture: Lt Bradbury.
First place for PT went to March Detachment, Ramsey Detachment were awarded the trophy for Navigation, Fletton won the First Aid Stand, Command Tasks were won by Ramsey and Wisbech, March were awarded the CIS stand, Shooting was won by Talavera, and Fletton won the Drill competition. The overall winner for Best Detachment went to Talavera.
Cadet Cpl Keedy receives the award for Best Detachment (Talavera) from OC Major Stewart. Picture: Lt Bradbury
Overall the cadets had a fun weekend and it was fantastic getting back to a residential camp.
Text by Lt Heather Bradbury