August 30th 2018

Making new friends and gaining confidence in the ACF

Confindent Boys

Confident cadets during a fieldcraft exercise on annual camp

The school holidays mean different things to different people. Adults may worry about how they can organise activities for their children or how they will pay for childcare, whilst young people may wonder how they can fill the long summer days at home.

Being an Army cadet is all about having fun, adventure and meeting new friends. Activities cadets can take part in include water sports, rock climbing and mountain biking, as well as more green-based training like fieldcraft and shooting.

Basically, if you are a cadet there is no need to be bored over the summer as you can spend up to 10 days enjoying an annual camp meeting new friends who are based in various detachments around your county who are all aged between 12 – 18 years-old.

The Cadet Magazine got the opportunity to meet a few young people from Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) who have described why they enjoy being a cadet and why they would encourage others to join them.

Cadet Abigail Hackney, aged 13, from Gainsborough Detachment, said: “There are loads of new experiences you can enjoy in the ACF but also gather skills to go on to your CV for the future. It’s also really fun and you get to meet loads of new people whilst taking part in adventurous activities. I’ve gained both physical and mental strength through the ACF and overall my confidence has grown loads.”

Cadet Lance Corporal Elliot Dovewoods, aged 14, from Cherry Willingham Detachment, explained: “I joined the ACF two years ago and think I have become much more confident in myself over this time. I’ve also developed my leadership skills. Before I joined the ACF I was quite lazy and didn’t do much but as a member of the ACF I’ve achieved things I wouldn’t have been able to ever do otherwise like drill, fieldcraft and learning First Aid.”

Cadet Lance Corporal Keely Church, aged 15, from Washingborough Detachment, commented: “I’ve found that everyone is really positive and kind in the ACF. My highlights from this year’s summer camp were meeting new people and getting out in the field with my cadre. At first I thought I would dread coming along to the ACF but actually I’m ow in my third year and I love it.”

Confident Girls

Fieldcraft is one of the skills that helps build confidence in cadets

Cadet Kyle Roberts, aged 14, from North Sommercotes Detachment, said: “I always enjoy meeting new people ad making new friends at annual camp. A lot of people that join the ACF have similar interests so it’s great to spend time with them. Being a cadet gets you out of bed in the holidays and it gives you something fun to do .If wasn’t at camp I’d just be at home bored watching You Tube videos so I’d encourage people to join cadets and get out to try new things.”

Cadet Jorden Metcalfe, aged 14, from Cherry Willingham Detachment, commented: “Camps are really good as they are quite long and you get to meet new people. There is no way that you can’t make friends as you are put with people who you may not know so you get to experience different activities together.”

Cadet Chloe Smith, aged 14, from Skegness Detachment, explained: “In cadets it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl as you are all equal and you can make a new group of friends. There are a vast range of activities we can take part in so depending on what you like you can choose to get involved in different things.”

The ACF has almost 39,000 cadets in more than 1,600 detachments all over the country and is one of the country’s biggest youth clubs. Visit to find out how you can get involved as a cadet or adult volunteer in your area.

"Before I joined the ACF I was quite lazy and didn’t do much but as a member of the ACF I’ve achieved things I wouldn’t have been able to ever do otherwise"