Annual camp is the highlight of the year for most of our cadets in the ACF. Every summer each of the ACF’s counties take hundreds of cadets from their local detachments to a real army camp to take part in a range of challenging, fun, and adventurous activities.
For cadets, it’s an opportunity to participate in an array of exciting action-packed activities that they don't usually get the chance to do in detachments, such as abseiling, rock climbing or mountain biking. For many cadets it's the chance to improve their skills in the subjects they learn in their detachments, such as first-aid and fieldcraft. And all of our cadets look forward to being able to spend a few nights sleeping under a ‘basha’ (improvised shelter) beneath the stars.
Parents usually tell us that their children return from camp with more confidence, new skills and a more independent outlook and having established firm friendships that last well into the future. However, there are other more tangible rewards for those attending annual camp. When they come home, cadets usually bring with them at least one new qualification – having achieved a new APC star level, First Aid or other award. These qualifications can also contribute to BTEC diplomas or Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, all of which look impressive to college or university admissions officers or employers.
When young people are attending annual camp, and away from home for the first time, it’s natural that parents worry. Within the ACF we take our duty of care seriously and our priority – first and foremost – is keeping your child safe. Your child will be in the care of our team of experienced volunteers who have undergone detailed safety checks, are fully trained in all aspects of safeguarding, and have signed up to the ACF’s strict values and standards.
Every ACF county has a full-time Training Safety Advisor to ensure all training is conducted as safely as possible, while still being exciting and challenging. On the rare occasion when an accident does happen, you can be assured that your child is in good hands; many of the ACF’s adult volunteers are trained in first aid and all camps have measures in place to deal with medical emergencies.
For parents, we say that ‘no news is good news’ meaning, if parents don’t hear from their child as often as usual, it’s probably because they’re having too much fun and have forgotten to call home. Please be assured that we will get in touch with you if there’s a need. You will have a main contact number if you need to relay any messages, and our Facebook and Twitter sites are a great way to follow events or get in touch. Remind your child that if they are at camp and they need to talk to somebody, regardless of subject matter, there is always someone, often an independent listener, (person responsible for the pastoral care of all cadets) there for them.
If you have any questions or need further information about annual camp, please contact your child’s Detachment Commander, or visit your local county website.