Over 350 young people and adult volunteers are currently taking part in the highlight of the Kent Army Cadet Force (Kent ACF) training calendar and enjoying two weeks of fun packed, exciting and challenging activities across the county. Whilst camp is different this year due to the pandemic, Kent ACF are laying on an exciting programme of training under Covid secure non-residential conditions.
The Lord Lieutenant, The Lady Colgrain is the county’s official representative of Her Majesty The Queen, she saw Kent cadets taking part in various adventurous training activities, shooting on the range and also meeting cadets out on exercise and training in the field, she said:
“I was very impressed by the young people, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic and disruption to their training and education for such a long time; they are so resilient and upbeat.
It was a pleasure to meet them, hear their stories, see their enthusiasm, and marvel at how they tackled challenging exercises. I am full of admiration for their achievements and commitment to the Army Cadet Force.
They are a credit to the county and everyone who supports them. Without the volunteers who give up their time to develop these cadets and keep them safe, they would not have so many rich and varied experiences. I’m sure their time in the Army Cadet Force will help them throughout their adult lives. I’m so grateful to all who take part and make this annual camp such a special event.”
Colonel Richard Long, Commandant of Kent ACF says:
“We’d like to thank the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain for taking the time out of her busy schedule to come and visit us. Annual camp gives our young people the opportunity to experience a range of challenging and fun activities with the other members of the ACF from all over the county; often forging new friendships and making memories that will last a lifetime.
The ACF develops young people to be better citizens and also allows for structured training leading towards progression within the organisation and qualifications that are valued in the workplace. We really do provide young people with a springboard to go onto better things helping them positively contribute to society.
I would like to thank all of the adult volunteers and instructors who are making Annual Camp 2021 possible”.
The Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, Company Sergeant Major Arina Stelmokaite escorted Lady Colgrain (pictured above) throughout the day and commented:
“It was a pleasure meeting the Lord Lieutenant for the first time during my time as her appointed cadet. Showing her around made me so proud of what I have done over my 5 years in the ACF, and I am ever so grateful that I am an ambassador for the organisation.
All of the cadets enjoyed the visit and were able to share their own experiences too!”
For many cadets the highlight is spending a number of nights living out in the field, learning military tactics and field craft in mock ambush situations. Other training also includes: First aid, adventurous training, competition shooting, navigation and drill and turnout - amongst many other activities on the ACF syllabus - allowing cadets to earn star levels and gain promotions.
A recent report from The University of Northampton, entitled ‘What is the social impact and return on investment resulting from expenditure on the Cadet Forces in the UK?’ The report outlines a significant return on investment in the Cadet Forces, with the cadet experience offering potentially life-changing opportunities for career progression and vocational qualifications. This results in increased career prospects for those who may not hold traditional educational qualifications.
The study confirms the positive impact that being a Cadet can have, by levelling up outcomes in education, employment and health for young people.