Since the end of March, Army Cadets up and down the country have moved their training online to ensure that the cadets were not falling behind in their cadet progression and also trying to help improve people’s Mental Health by staying connected during lockdown. Throughout lockdown the Elgin cadets have been engaging with the Battalion’s Online Programme, from weekly training lessons to online competitions and challenges and even breaking Guinness World Records. Fifteen cadets from Elgin were welcomed back to their detachment where they – keeping to Social Distancing guidelines – spent the night celebrating their achievements over the last 8 months in lockdown.
A slightly delayed certificate was presented to Cadet Lance Corporal Curtis Dickson (15) who received a ‘Best Dressed Cadet’ certificate for his turnout in March and Detachment Instructor Sergeant Instructor Natalie Sutherland-West (21) was presented with her First Aid at Work Certificate.
The final presentation that was made was to seven cadets of Elgin who were awarded 'National Sports Competitor' Badges for taking part in the ACF Virtual 1 Mile in June, where competing against cadets across the UK they had to run a mile and upload their run times to Strava. Cdt Hayden Chappell (13), Cdt Odynn Duff (13), Cdt Jay Pybus (13), LCpl Curtis Dickson, LCpl Mitchell Collie (16), LCpl Liam Munro (15) and Sgt Jakub Bialkowski (17). LCpl Munro was also awarded a Gold Medal for coming 1st in the Scottish Senior Team Competition of the Virtual Mile.
Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Instructor Graeme Wells (28) said: “March seemed like a long time ago from when the detachment last trained in person, however, after a long windy road we are finally back and I know the cadets are just as pleased to return as myself and my staff. Over the past 8 months our Elgin cadets have not let lockdown get them down, even during a global pandemic the detachment has had cadets complete their Bronze DofE Award, take part in various National Sports Competitions from the comfort of their own home and even had 8 members of the detachment break a Guinness World Record, where they broke the record for most attendees completing a Mental Health Course in 24hrs on World Mental Health Day."
The Army Cadets are allowed to return to face to face training in Scotland as it falls under the youth sector and classified as a designated essential service that engages young people within their communities and also acknowledges the wider networks of peers, community and culture, as well as supporting the young person to realise their potential and to address life’s challenges critically and creatively.