The Commandant’s big camp out was a roaring success, with many cadets and instructors waking up in their tents, Bashas and various other shelters. Some of our cadet’s and instructors chose to make the experience fully immersive and cooked outside as they would have on an exercise at camp.
The first lesson of the day was Military Knowledge for the basic cadets taught by Cdt Sgt Allen. He presented a History lesson which covered the time line of the ACF from it’s beginnings in 1860 until now. He then questioned the cadets on what they had learned asking for key dates and facts such as what year did women join the ACF? - 1980, and when did the ACF celebrate it’s 150th Anniversary with “Cadet 150”? - 2010.
The concurrent lesson was star two First Aid, with our very dedicated County First Aid Officer Captain Thompson. There were some technical issues, which was completely understandable, as she’s currently spending some quality time with her family in Thetford. But she still managed to give a brilliant, engaging lesson even with the connection problems. The practical lesson on muscles and bone joints involved the cadets making improvised slings from household objects such as belts, blankets and football scarves.
The first star one lesson of the day, Skill At Arms; Safety Rules with the County Shooting Officer. He went through all of the main safety advice, how to hold a weapon, what checks to make and the best practices for this. He also went on to give further details on the specific weapons that a cadet may use throughout their career.
For two sessions, our Training Safety Advisor took the senior cadets through a package of lessons both before and after lunch to cover the principles of selecting and moving into a triangle harbour. Selection tools likes maps, recces and the use of photos were looked at. The cadets were taught what they need to look for when choosing a harbour area.
The presentation then taught the correct sequence for occupying the harbour. An animated presentation was used to used fully explain the movement of the troops on the ground.
The second half of this thrilling lecture centred on clearing patrols and routines to be established once the harbour has been occupied. The cadets gained confidence in their fieldcraft skills as this lesson progressed. This confidence was tested after lunch a when a TEWT (tactical exercise without troops) took place, in which our cadets had to examine maps and aerial photography to select harbour areas for a fictious combat scenario.
During the 2nd star three Fieldcraft lesson, there was another Fieldcraft lesson taking place. This one was for the star ones, being taught by the County Chief Instructor on Health and Hygiene in the Field. As obvious as some elements of this lesson can seem, clean your teeth at least twice a day, comb your hair, wash your body daily, there are deeper reasons behind them than just being clean. When sleeping and staying outside its much easier to pick up potential problems which can lead to very serious infections. Also knowing how to streamline your packing on not having multiple heavy bottles of shower gel, shampoo etc saves on weight, which is extremely important when out in the field.
Following of from this was another Fieldcraft lesson, this time for the basic cadets taught by Cdt RSM Kornilaki. The Camouflage and Concealment lesson taught the cadets how to do their own personal camouflage. They also learned some brilliant concealment techniques, focussing on how to use your surroundings to your advantage. To finish the lesson the Cdt RSM gave the Cadets instructions to do a quiz to test their knowledge.
The day’s lessons ended with star two Military Knowledge. During this lesson the Training Sergeant Major, SMI Elliot looked at the history behind the four main regiments represented by Essex ACF. Once he went through the main elements of all the regiment’s histories, he asked the cadets various questions on the regiments. These questions included identifying various parts of a cap badge and the reasons for the elements of the badge.
The after dinner session included two presentations, one on the Duke of Edinburgh’s award within the ACF, and the other on CVQO BTEC qualifications. These sessions were well attended, with almost 40 participants. A question and answer session took place in the zoom chat area whilst the main presenters, the BTEC and D of E Officers spoke about available awards and what changes are currently in place due to covid-19.
Today saw the launch of another camp competition from DC HR, titled “Sunday Best” our cadets were challenged to prepare their uniform to a gleaming standard. There have already been some really good entries submitted and we look forward to the results of all the competitions during our final parade of camp.
We had two more cadets from Thursday’s first Aid lesson try their hand at making realistic injuries from items found around the home. Cdt Birkbeck of Saffron Walden created a missing eyeball and Cdt Pugh of Colchester detachment created a realistic looking animal bite. These are not for the faint of heart but can be found in our image gallery.
Join us tomorrow to find out about all of the lessons from our penultimate day of training at virtual Annual Camp.