Training Weekend at Waterbeach

Training Weekend at Waterbeach

1 October 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On 22nd-24th September, 81 cadets took part in a training weekend at our County Headquarters which was designed to advance them in key areas of the Army Cadet syllabus. This included drill, navigation and first aid.


Cadets during navigation training.

The cadets taking part in 2* Navigation were introduced to navigational techniques that were not previously covered in their 1* training. This included the use of handrails, collecting features and catching features (features in a landscape designed to help them go the right way, and keep on track). They learnt about how to plan a safe walk, and complete a route card. This involved the ability to use 6 figure grid references, measure distances, estimate walking time and explain the planned route by individual legs. The cadets completed a practical assessment on a local route across Lode and Swaffham Prior. The route had frequent changes of direction, and required the cadets to make route-following decisions and encouraged the use of point features and prominent landforms. The walk was highly successful and proved to be an effective demonstration of the skills they and learnt across the weekend.

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Navigation planning.

Other cadets were at Waterbeach to take part in a First Aid at Work course. This included Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and dealing with breaks, burns, strains and minor and severe bleeds. It also incorporated practice scenarios in which a cadet found an injured person and had to react appropriately, demonstrating DRABC (an acronym designed to help remember the right steps to take when dealing with a casualty). One of these scenarios involved treating a patient who had suffered a serious cut with a broken bottle. Course leader SMI Jules Perry was very pleased with the progress they made, telling them they had all done very well.

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Dealing with a casualty.

Cadets also learned military knowledge, looking particularly at the history of our organisation. Some cadets also gave presentations on their own community engagements - volunteering to help others in their detachments and in wider roles in their communities.

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Rifle drill.

Many cadets also made huge progress in drill, both in marching, and in rifle drill. Cdt Cpl Bethany Adams said; ‘they cadets have lots of motivation, they have really pushed through and done really well. Her sister, Cdt Cpl Lucy Adams, agreed. ‘They are excited to be here and willing to learn. They have done a total of six hours rifle drill and learnt it all in that time. They have done exceptionally well.’

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Sharing a joke during a drill lesson.

As always with our training weekends, the cadets learned many new skills, but also made many new friends and had a great deal of fun.

Text by SI Doug Stuart with SI Emily White. Photos by SSI Marc White, SI Karen Pavitt and SI Doug Stuart.