The Army Cadet Force gives young people extraordinary opportunities for adventure. Cadet Corporal Houghton was one of three Cambridgeshire cadets who got to take part in exciting activities on the edge of the Lake District earlier this month. Here, she tells us what happened.
From Sunday the 1st of August to Friday the 6th of August I was at Halton Training Camp near Lancaster, on the edge of the Lake District on a multi activity CCAT (Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training) course, with two others from Cambridgeshire ACF, Cdt LCpl Eleanor Grace from Cambridge Detachment (3 Coy) and CSM Rhyder Cameron-Wickes (1 Coy). The course is for cadets aged 15 and over to try five different activities over five days. You can then choose to go on and pursue your interests further.
Cdt Cpl Houghton prepares to go caving. Picture: Tom Bailey.
On the Sunday we arrived and were introduced to other cadets from across the UK, then we were sorted into our groups and dorms for the week. I was in a group of 6, with cadets from both CCF (Combined Cadet Force) and ACF counties.
On Monday we went kayaking. My group went to the river behind the camp, where we put the kayaks into the river and dressed in our wetsuits. We spent the day learning essential kayaking skills and playing group games.
On the Tuesday we went rock climbing and abseiling, and learnt how to attach ourselves to the wall with the single pitch ropes and attempted to climb the routes. It was a tough day and I got stuck a few times while climbing, but still enjoyed the challenge and the fantastic views when I reached the top.
Cdt Cpl Houghton rock climbing. Picture: Cdt LCpl Grace.
On Wednesday we went into the Lake District and over the course of the day we hiked and climbed a trail that took us over two peaks. It was very tiring but we had amazing views throughout.
One of the spectacular views, with LCpl Grace in the foreground.
Thursday was my favourite day. We went caving, which I had never done before, but thoroughly enjoyed. We went to a caving system that had an underground waterway in which we squeezed through passages and some open spaces. I enjoyed this day the most because of the water and the underground lake that we found. Despite the lake being very cold, it was very pretty and had an amazing waterfall that we got to climb up.
Entrance to the caving system.
Friday was our last day, and to finish off the week we went canoeing on the river. We joined the kayaking group, and went to see Lune Aqueduct. We made a big raft with all of our canoes and used a sail to get back to camp.
Kayaking under the Lune Aqueduct. Picture: Cdt Cpl Houghton.
Overall I really enjoyed the week and it was great to be able to try all of the activities, some for the first time. In the future I am looking forward to doing some more caving as part of the adventurous training syllabus and it has encouraged me to apply to go on another CCAT course, such as the winter skiing trip to Bavaria.
I would really recommend this course to others, especially if you want to try new things.
Text by Cdt Cpl Lauren Houghton, 3 Coy Cambridge Detachment.