18 February 2019
One weekend in February, the Waterbeach Cadet Training Centre was a hive of activity with adult training. This was an opportunity for adults to gain qualifications in different disciplines as well as introducing new potential instructors into the Army Cadet Force.
Over the weekend, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers were able to gain qualifications in Archery, Mobile Climbing Tower, Clay Safety Instruction, as well as Familiarisation and Assessment, and Adult Induction Training.
The Archery course was held in Sandy at a dedicated centre. The instructors left Waterbeach CTC early on Saturday morning and made their way up to Sandy in neighbouring Bedfordshire. When they arrived at the Archery Centre they were introduced to their instructor Maggie who showed them the equipment they would be using throughout the course. Maggie demonstrated how to set up a range and targets, including safety distances, and how to select the right sized bows and arrows for the various sizes of cadets. The CFAVs on the course were shown how to set up different ranges for different situations, such as a ‘taster’ session and a ‘have a go’ supervised session.
As part of the Archery course, one of the group was blindfolded and another Volunteer was shown how to instruct someone with a visual impairment. They had to demonstrate how to feel for the arrow and draw it, as well as how to move the archer to get the aim in the centre of the target. The CFAVs were also taught how to instruct cadets with a disability, showing them how to draw the bow with their teeth using a drawstring. Everyone who attended passed the course, as well as having a thoroughly enjoyable day.
This training will enable the CFAVs to set up and operate Archery Ranges at future Training events during weekends, as well as at Annual Camps or detachment locations with the correct facilities.
MOBILE CLIMBING TOWER
The Mobile Climbing Tower course was conducted at Waterbeach CTC and at the RUB shelter at the old Waterbeach Barracks. Nine instructors took part in this course, all of whom gained their MCT qualification in very testing conditions. Due to high winds the group were forced to use the RUB shelter for protection. Once inside the shelter, the course was conducted under the watchful eye of chief instructor Rick Greenland and SI Phil Swadling.
The CFAVs were put through a tough course and pushed to their limits. They learned how to erect the Mobile Climbing Tower and how to deal with different scenarios that the instructors may face once qualified. The course was designed to test the instructor’s ability to cope with the challenging task of teaching climbing skills, developing their patience and resilience. Some of the instructors took to the task relatively easily whilst others had to overcome their fears, especially working with heights. As with the Archery course, all who attended passed and had a great experience on the day.
CPSA SHOTGUN SAFETY OFFICERS COURSE
The CPSA Shotgun Safety Officers Course was attended by eight instructors and conducted by the County Shooting Officer, Captain Keven Pilcher. The course was mainly classroom based, as the CFAVs needed to be taught the safety side of Clay shooting before proceeding with the practical application. The instructors learned how to close and open a shot gun correctly, how to place it into a gun slip or rack, the difference between cartridges and size of shot and gun, as well as how the cartridges are made up. Once they had completed their safe handling test, they were taught how to set up a clay range and what safety aspects they needed to remember, including safety distances, and what PPE to wear. The course also showed them how to shoot and the best method for shooting a clay target. The CFAVs were reminded that they cannot coach the cadets when they are shooting. On the Sunday, the volunteers were assessed in all they had learnt by a CPSA Assessor; they all passed the course successfully.
ADULT SELECTION COURSE
The Adult Selection Course is based on the National Familiarisation and Assessment Syllabus and was conducted for the CFAVs following an Introductory Briefing in December. This weekend was an opportunity for potential new instructors to come along and take part in a number of lessons and tasks enabling them to see what will be required of them as ACF instructors, as well as giving experienced Officers and Senior Instructors the chance to assess their suitability to join the ACF. Tasks included: group discussions on specified topics; 5-minute individual presentations; command tasks; and lessons on the rules and regulations of the ACF.
The Intermediate Instructors Course (IIC) ran alongside this. During Part 3 of the IIC instructors are given lectures on Youth Leadership, Dealing with Problems, Training Safety and Risk and Introduction to Detachment Admin. They are also given more teaching experience. Instructors are then assessed on their knowledge as part of IIC Part 4 by planning and conducting a 15-minute lesson, as required by the IIC Syllabus.
During the weekend, over 50 Officers and CFAVs were involved with the organisation, instruction and gaining of experience in non-APC training, including qualifications which will enable them to offer the ‘Cadet Experience’ something other than the ACF APC Syllabus. CFAVs will now be able to support future training events with the qualifications gained.
We look forward to the next CFAV training weekend in May for potential instructors and BIC, IIC, 1st Aid and NAV.