1 September 2016
Autumn may be an in-between time but it's a great time for being outdoors. As long as you’re wearing several layers, you’ll be warm enough to enjoy long days outside before the colder weather arrives.
When you volunteer with the Army Cadet Force, there are lots of things to do outside. We have thousands of adult volunteers across the UK, and they are all enthusiastic about being active, enjoying nature, having great outdoor adventures, and mentoring young people. A lot of our volunteers spend much of their time outside, leading various outdoor activities throughout all four seasons.
Head into winter with a fighting spirit by participating in sports. Sports are a great way to spend time outdoors in autumn – running up and down keeps the cold at bay, and you get to bond with your teammates. At the Army Cadet Force, we do it all, from rugby, football and swimming to hockey, cross country and athletics.
We have annual national competitions for each sport as well, giving cadets the opportunity to compete at a higher level.
Don’t pack up your walking boots as soon as summer ends; nature walks are a popular activity for autumn days. Countryside walking routes are less crowded, the ground is crisp with frost, and you can see nature changing all around you. You can collect seeds to plant next year, gather conkers or capture the autumn sunlight in a photograph. You can go for a beautiful walk anywhere in the UK, but the Yorkshire Dales, Somerset and the Peak District have some especially attractive walking trails.
Autumn is the perfect time to go orienteering. Navigating using only a map and compass is fun and challenging, and the emptier paths in autumn only add to the sense of adventure and exploration. Along with first aid, fieldcraft and camping, orienteering or navigation is a key part of outdoor expeditions with the ACF. To mix things up, you can try orienteering in a new terrain or on your bicycle. And don’t worry about inclement weather; just think of it as another layer of challenge to your navigation expedition!
To combine exercise, being outside and giving back, why not take part in community projects? Getting involved with the community is a big part of volunteering with the ACF, as we emphasise the importance of good citizenship and community building to our cadets. Many of our community projects happen outdoors, such as rubbish clean ups, tree planting and playground building. In 2010, we even partnered with the Woodland Trust to plant over 150,000 trees around the UK. Community projects add a whole other aspect to outdoor activities, giving them greater meaning and value.