Cadets Helping Navenby Detachment Thrive

"Whatever we do in Cadets it’s always fun."

27 September 2019

Cadet LCpl Paige Taylor (left)

After listening to a presentation at her youth club, Cadet Lance Corporal Paige Taylor was an early recruit for the detachment.

“Up until then I’d never thought about the Army Cadets but it looked like fun so I thought I’d give it a go. Before that I was lured by the thought of flying and joined the Air Cadets but we were rarely airborne and seem to spend a lot of time in the classroom. I thought there would be more action in the ACF and that turned out to be the case.

“ I’ve made so many friends in the ACF, the training’s great - but you still have time to have a laugh and a joke, especially during our breaks,” she says.

“Being local gives me time to complete my homework and get ready for Cadets.

“I know all the teambuilding skills we are developing will be very handy later in life.

“ I missed the first part of this year’s annual camp as I was on a family holiday. I turned up half way through with a tan and was soon nicked-named Cheetos!

“I enjoyed the fieldcraft cadre - even our instructor’s singing which kept up our spirits when the rain arrived and temperatures dropped!

“Many of my family have RAF backgrounds so I do get some tongue-in-cheek remarks! I’m considering seriously a career in the Army, possibly with the medical services.”

Cdt Alex Birkett (centre)

Cadet Alex Birkett is nearly 1 star complete. “I still have my expedition and I’ll do this on October camp, but I have done loads of 2 star activities,” he says.

“ During my time with Navenby Cadets I’ve really seen the detachment grow. The fruits of our recruitment campaign – flyers in shops and schools, that sort of thing.”

Alex says being a member of the junior football team that reached the cadet regional finals (they finished 3rd) has been one of his highlights. “Before I joined I didn’t know there was a football team so that’s been an extra bonus for me.

“2 star fieldcraft training has been another highlight and 2 star drill training was fun too – even though the rifle seems heavy at first!

“I tell my friends that whilst we always take it seriously, whatever we do in Cadets it’s always fun.”

Cdt Charlie Jennings (right)

Cadet Charlie Jennings joined after attending a Year 8 presentation at his school and has nearly a year under his belt:

“Shooting a rifle really appealed, as I’d never shot before. I knew there would be discipline - you have to be serious at some point - but I could see there was scope for lots of fun too.

“The thought of doing drill shouldn’t deter anyone from joining – yes it seems tricky at first but you soon get the hang of it.

“Of course, parading in front of the public, such as on days like today, can make you a bit nervous but you get a great feeling of pride representing the ACF.”

Being on a recce patrol and 2 nights under canvass at annual camp have been his standout moments so far.

Looking back at his cadet exploits during the school summer holiday, he says: “Yes it was tiring but you have your friends around you to help keep your spirits up - so there’s no shortage of support. The thoughts of returning to your billets with hot showers and all that hot food in the canteen helps keep you going!

“So far it’s been an amazing experience for me. I’m learning lots of new skills that are fun and equipping me for the future. This is something you really appreciate the more time you’re in the Cadets.”