2 COY Bronze DofE & 2 Star expedition

2 COY Bronze DofE & 2 Star expedition

15 June 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On 10th June 17 cadets and 4 adult instructors met at Waterbeach Cadet Training Centre (CTC) to begin an exciting and productive expedition weekend.

The first evening began with introductions and a full pre-camp brief, including a full safety briefing on the location of the external campsite we would be attending in Godmancester. After this, the cadets were issued equipment from CTC stores which included their tents, emergency shelters, 1st aid kits, cooking equipment and other expedition safety kit. The Cadets then spent the rest of the evening till 22:00 fine-tuning their route cards, menu plans and activity plans, followed by half an hour free time and then bedded down in their respective tents.

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Checking the tents at Waterbeach.

The groups were then split into their 3 leader groups for tuition and any extra training that was required on all of the equipment issued. The Bronze DofE expedition is usually only one night in a tent, but due to the large numbers of cadets attending, we opted to sleep the extra night in the tents at Waterbeach and get the cadets into ‘the camping spirit.’

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Group one ready to begin their journey.

On the second day, the cadets were woken up at 06:00 to strike camp, then a last cooked meal at breakfast at 07:00, followed by another safety brief and issuing of maps and compass to each group. We boarded 2 mini-busses and headed for the starting positions at Buckworth, just outside of Alconbury.

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The 2 Star training cadets on their walk.

The groups comprised of 2 DofE Groups of 7 cadets in each group and one 2 Star expedition Non- DofE group of 3 cadets who just needed this expedition as a pre-rec to go onto Silver and Gold expeditions later on in their ACF Careers.

The Cadets then set off on their walks, which they would do largely by themselves with adult supervision only in key safety specific locations to ensure they had sufficient water and were drinking and eating.

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Finding the way.

The cadets walked all the way to their camp site at Godmanchester, totalling over 19km in very warm conditions. They then unpacked their tents and their sleeping systems and cooked their evening meals, with some also cooking marshmallows as a snack. They enjoyed the shower facilities at the camp site and then had some down time with a lovely visit from OC2 J Major J Annis and Lt J Blundel, before getting to bed at around 21:30. The cadets were well asleep by 22:00 allowing the Adults a little bit of time to themselves before we all went to our tents for some rest.

On the Sunday, all the Cadets got a great night’s rest and began to wake up at 07:00 and took all their kits out of their tents to allow their tents to air, then cook their breakfasts. The cadets then took down their tents packing up all the poles and pegs then hug out the fly sheets to dry before packing them ready to move off.

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Cadets preparing their own meals.

The leaders and assessors checked that all the cadets had eaten and that their water bottles were full, then the 1st group moved out of the campsite at 08:45 and headed into Godmanchester. From here they continued to the nature reserve, enjoying some activity time watching the nature along the way, and then headed to St Ives. Total distance covered just under 14km, so a little shorter day’s walking which gave them more time to take in the beautiful locations they passed through.

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Arriving at the camp site.

The owners of the campsite as well as many members of the public commented on how polite and well behaved our cadets were, which is a real credit to themselves and their respective detachments and 2 Coy.

So, a big thank you to all 17 of the cadets that took part: a fantastic achievement. Last of all I would like to thank Major J Annis for all his support in the background, and a massive thank you to my staff on the event, without who this amazing weekend could not have happened.

Text by SSI Lloyd Lester. Photos by SSI Marc White.

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The adults and Cadets who took part.

Participating Adults

SSI Lester Assessor/Leader

SSI M White (Assessor)

SSI D Irving (Leader)

SSI A Smith (Leader)

Participating Cadets

Cdt Vanier Cambourne

Cdt Dimopoulos Cambourne

Cpl W Clarke Huntingdon

Cdt Davie Longstanton

Cdt Sparrow Cherry Hinton

LCpl Tidbury Chesterton

Cdt Howlett Chesterton

LCpl Coltman Swavesey

LCpl Corby Huntingdon

Cdt Skinner St Ives

Cdt Brown St Ives

LCpl Wagstaff Huntingdon

LCpl Wankowicz Chesterton

LCpl Lawrence Huntingdon

Cdt Xu Cherry Hinton

LCpl Tranter Huntingdon