In August 2014, four cadets and two staff from Wantage Air Cadets attended a week long camp at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire along with other cadets from Thames Valley Wing. Here Cdt Edwards shares his experiences through his camp diary.
For my first camp I was quite nervous, luckily three other cadets from my squadron were going too. Walking on to the bus there was just silence; everyone sitting at least a seat away from each other. No-one knew each other. Thankfully at the next stop the other people from my squadron got onto the bus too, so I had some people to talk to. As we got off the bus we were shown where we were going to stay, told to get in to uniform and to meet out side in 10 minutes. Outside we were split in to groups for a FamEx [Familiarisation Exercise] which meant finding our way around the station. Then we had dinner, some free time followed by lights out at 10:30.
Wake up is at 6:30; everyone just did not want to get up! At breakfast we were told we were going to the beach. For an hour and a half we played volleyball, then we were allowed to go around the town, now everyone was much more relaxed and friendlier. Lunch was something we all called horror bags, you might get a good one or a bad one, no-one wanted an egg sandwich! When we got back we did drill until we had to go to dinner. Then we had free time, in free time we could iron our uniforms, clean our rooms for inspection or do what we want.
We had our first inspection today, it was after breakfast, they were quite strict, if you had a single bit of dirt on the floor of your rooms you would lose a point. After that we did some leadership activities, so we would know each other better. We did drill again because on the day 5 there would be a drill competition. All the points we got from everything like inspection, activities, sport etc. would accumulate, to see which was the best group. After we went swimming. Then we had some time to get changed have a shower, and then we had dinner. After that we went bowling.
When we woke up we were told what we were doing for the day, I happened to be going on the King Air (Beech B200) flights. I loved the parts when I
was not throwing up! The view was amazing and the pilots were great. Then I went no.8 shooting for the first time.
We had the drill competition today, our group was amazing in practice but just mucked it up in the actual event. Also I went on a Tutor (Grob 115e) flight,
my first that I have ever been on, and I actually got to fly it! My instructor was really nice and very helpful; I would definitely do it again. Then later we
went to a squadron where we did more leadership activities.
Went L98 shooting, which was really fun and can’t wait to do it again. Then we went to a museum, it had one of those old war tables. After that we packed. Later we had a disco. Then the paper plate awards were given out. Also the staff gave out their awards like best cadet, best group and best in inspection.
This morning we played football and ruby whilst waiting for the bus to arrive. My great time on camp was finished. Everyone was sad to leave each other, we all have had become good friends. Summer camp has helped me with my drill, I have tried new things and met some new people. I will definitely be going on summer camp next year!
Cdt H Edwards,
Wantage Air Cadets