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A perfect day at the lake

The sun was out as our senior cadre got their day at Alton Water

A perfect day at the lake

29 July 2021

  • Essex ACF
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I was not very good but I had a lot of fun

Cdt Sherman Brentwood

The Sergeant Carde at this year's camp is extra special, it's the only residential camp course this year.

Our perspective Sergeant Cadets have worked hard in Zoom but unfortunately have lacked opportunities to get hands on experience both in military skills and in teamwork and leadership. Because of this, a bespoke program was arranged for camp this year to push our aspiring senior cadets and to help them gain both the soft and hard skills. Over the last few days of camp this unique cadre of 8 cadets have worked very hard on military skills working out of our training centre in Colchester. They are looking forward to a forthcoming field exercise with a back to back expedition. This will mean a physically tough time is ahead, making today at the lake a much needed chance to relax and take stock prior to the tough the hard work ahead after the tough week they have already had.

The group of 8 was split in 2 training groups to accommodate 2 of our cadets who wanted to ride out on the mountain bikes. The bikers were accompanied by Lt Griffiths, our Expeditions officer and an attached assistant from the Royal Anglian Reserves who had traveled down from Grimsby to join us. The other 6 took to the water with the then Lt. Young (look for more details at the end) and our AT Officer Maj. Coffin.

After our bikers received a brief on safety, they checked out their bikes (by size) from our bike trailer and set off on a 10km ride around the picturesque lake. The next time we saw our cyclists it was time for a well deserved iced cream from the lake side Ice-cream shop.

Meanwhile the rest of the cadre got their wetsuits on and splashed their way into the reservoir. After some time spent practising paddle skills and capsize drills, the cadets were given a number of water based games to play. From 'Super-man Races' to 'Kayak Jenga'. Our cadets had a chance to show both their physical abilities as well as their command task abilities, with the added twist of being in the water. None of the cadets complained that the water was cold, some even said it was warm in the water. The PRO dipped a toe in and definitely thought it was cold, which shows how hard they were working to find the water warm. And this was supposed to be their day for rest and recovery! Makes you wonder how hard they are working during the rest of this camp!

After the games had been played and races won and lost, our cadets had to come back to the bank. We spoke to them when they came ashore and they all reported what fun they had. Stories of the day were swapped between the cyclists and the paddling cadets over sausage rolls and pasties from the camp cookhouse.

To make the session extra special Lt Young who had been leading the water based command tasks was promoted to Captain (the Easter egg you were looking for from above) by our Deputy Commandant for training in a socially distanced event that featured a paddle!

If you move back in the kayak so you are sitting like Yoda your doing it right

Captain Young