The Cadet Forces is often about family, in the case of the Carter Family this could not be truer. With both Mum and Dad as volunteers, and all three teenagers cadets in different detachments.
In the Words of Sergeant Instructor Carter H,
So, this has been a long lockdown and as a family the longest time we’ve been away from face to face ACF Duties in over 3 years. The five of us are spread across three different detachments in C Company & everyone has been participating at different levels of training.
There have been Company and detachment zoom meetings and lessons. Many of the lessons have given us a chance to put our uniform back on (although sometimes I must confess to wearing just the top half, looking on point with my bottom half in my PJs hidden out of view). The kids have been delivering lessons and joining in lessons and taking part in the “clap for the NHS” each week. The ACF has certainly been a rock in these uncertain times.
As the BTEC Officer for C Company I’ve been keeping up to date with recent passes and sharing this with our cadets via videos and sharing my congratulations with them. I have enjoyed the challenge of keeping the flame alive for the ACF and using different tools to maintain cadet engagement.
It’s a really strange time for everyone and it’s throwing lots of different challenges our way, be that a dip in enthusiasm, low moods or frustration, all of these emotions plus more. With the whole family involved in the ACF it has become a huge part of our social circle.
The kids can’t see their friends and participate in much needed APC passes (in the conventional ways). As adults it’s hard not seeing our cadets and having the weekly banter with them and the other adults, who after spending most of your time with them become your family.
This is a global situation that no one has had to face before in our lifetime so it’s a tough route to navigate. No one has the answers and I feel that the skills we are taught as adults and the skills we teach our cadets have helped enormously through this tough time. It’s skills like resilience, strength of character, and drawing on our values and standards; courage, discipline, respect, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment. This has helped us all to get through this. I know everyone is eager to get back to normality and for some, their normality is going to look very different to what it was 12-14 weeks ago. The cadets are going to need us adults more than ever and I think we will need them too! No doubt this time next year, this will all be a distant memory and we will be getting ready for our annual camp (where I will no doubt fall over within the first hour of field craft) and we can get back to doing what we all do best... inspire to achieve".