January 25th 2017

Looking back on annual camp 2016

Heanor Gate CCF water activity on annual camp

Heanor Gate CCF water activity on annual camp

For many cadets, heading out to annual camp is the highlight of any year.

For those in Combined Cadet Forces (CCF) it can be something to really look forward to as a celebration of the end of the school year.

CCFs have to bid to be a part of camps and are allocated places on them across the country. It means they frequently camp with other schools giving cadets have the opportunity to meet a host of new friends from right across the country.

Heanor Gate Science College CCF was formed in 2013 as part of the Government’s pledge to create 100 units in schools as part of its Cadet Expansion Programme and will be one of 500 schools to have an in-house CCF by 2020.

As a result of the in-school units more people are being given a taste of what life is like as a cadet who may not have even thought about joining a cadet unit in their own time before.

That provides them with a whole host of opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have – including going away on annual camp.

Cadets from Heanor Gate CCF had a memorable 2016 trip that involved flying to Inverness for a week’s stay at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Heanor Gate CCF during annual camp

Heanor Gate CCF during annual camp

Here’s what they had to say about last July’s trip.

Cadet William Bostock, aged 13, said: “There isn’t anything I didn’t like about the camp. It was amazing. The things I enjoyed most were the games, seeing aircraft like the Typhoon, Tornado, Sea King and Nimrod, evenings on the beach, sailing on motorboats, the banter with the sergeants and most of all just having a good laugh.”

Cadet Lance Corporal Tom Hathaway, aged 14, commented: “It was the most amazing experience that I have ever had.

“I was able to see how an RAF Squadron works and was able to work as a team throughout the week not just with our group, but with other cadets from another school.

“I had the opportunity to participate in various activities from swimming, football, riding a speed boat and having the amazing opportunity to have a go in the RAF Typhoon flight simulator which was my favourite experience.

“The time gave me the opportunity to work closer with others, building trust and respect and also teaching me a lot about discipline, personal responsibility – and how to iron!”

Cadet Rhys Sullivan, aged 13, added: “The best part was being able to stay and experience being on a working base.

“Meeting the aircrew and engineers was amazing and interesting. This was such an incredible experience and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity. Our free time was really nice too as Lossiemouth is a really beautiful place and we had great times on the beach.

“I hope there will be many more camps to come and would love to be selected to attend others in future.”

Cadet Mollie Ogilvie, aged 14, said: “I enjoyed camp the most for its activities and planning. All the activities themselves were interesting and engaging.

“The frequency of teamwork based exercises was good. They encouraged the cooperation and trust of people you had only just met and also increased the bonding between students. I intend to keep in touch with the friends I made on camp.

“I felt as if I came away from camp with more knowledge and independency and I’m a better cadet because of it.”

Miriam Watson, the Director of Vocational Learning at Heanor Gate Science College, said: This was the first time that Heanor Gate CCF had been to RAF Lossiemouth and it was a wonderful experience for the cadets that attended.

“We have just heard we will be visiting RAF Wittering in Rutland for our annual camp this year which will provide yet more wonderful experiences.”

“It was the most amazing experience that I have ever had."