Forty cadets aged between 13 and 18 years from Greater London South East Army Cadet Force spent the half term break 28 May to 4 June 2022 in Snowdonia North Wales as part of an adventurous training package aimed at challenging and developing the young people by encouraging them to try new experiences and promoting a sense of adventure and challenge.
As part of the action-packed week, the cadets took part in a series of different adrenalin-filled activities which included: mountain walking, kayaking, coasteering and rock climbing, with the week culminating in an overnight expedition. This expedition enabled the cadets to put some of their skills they learnt into practice. The week also included a fascinating and educational visit to the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Centre which was very popular with the cadets and adults.
The young people came from a diverse range of backgrounds from the South London Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Bexley and Bromley. The camp was an opportunity for cadets to learn outdoor skills and stretch comfort zones in a safe environment. It also strengthened their teamwork, confidence and communication skills as well as many other inter-personal skills.
Notable quotes from parents and cadets were:
“[My child] absolutely loved it. Thank you so much. He can’t stop talking about the adventure. “
“[My child] had a great time and can't stop telling all the fun he had.”
“I have never seen [my son] so happy and confident .. you have all done so much for him thank you all “
“Wow - that view is fantastic!” (said by a cadet on a mountain walk)
Our adult staff also reported that their cadets were raving about the camp afterwards to adults and to each other.
The weather was quite variable but generally kind to the cadets apart from midges as usual in the evening which were quite a nuisance!
Due to the gap in training caused by COVID, this was the first time for many of the cadets to access the great outdoors and from conversations during the camp it appears that some cadets had not really been out of London before. Therefore this adventurous training camp was very important in rebuilding the morale and motivation of cadets and adults in our Sector. And after the success of this camp, we aim to continue providing adventurous training in Snowdonia and elsewhere as part of our wider offer to our cadets.
The cadets and adults are immensely grateful to the Ulysses Trust, RFCA and ACCT for their very generous funding provided to this project with such positive support. It made our project a real success and was really appreciated!
Report by Lt Col Simon Johnson & SMI Vince Proto