Over 100 teenagers from across North Wales have enjoyed a special outdoor experience with a week of challenging fieldcraft activities.
Members of Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force (ACF) travelled to Wretham Camp in Norfolk for their annual camp and to put their training in to practice.
The activities included camping outdoors overnight, personal camouflage, mock patrols and how to work in the field as a section. They are designed to develop the cadets’ teamwork and communication skills, which are both readily transferable to their everyday lives.
16-year-old Elian Lawty from Caernarfon said: “There were some cadets in my section that I didn’t know but we’ve now bonded through the experience. It’s brought us all together and kept our spirits high.
“It’s always good as well when you go back to normal life afterwards, talk to your mates and tell them what you’ve been doing, like covering 12km with kit in four or five hours. It gives me a sense of achievement.
“Give it a try because you do find out a lot about yourself that you wouldn’t find out if you were elsewhere. You get a lot of core values integrated in to you; discipline, respect, integrity, loyalty and it reflects in normal life.”
More than 70 trained and qualified Cadet Force Adult Volunteers organised the annual camp and delivered the activities for the senior cadets, who were divided in to mixed ability sections to present a natural opportunity to develop their leadership and teamwork skills.
Overall, there are 175 volunteers across Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF’s 35 detachments who lead training and also gain their own qualifications. The diverse cadet syllabus covers first aid, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, BTEC courses, music and sport. CLICK HERE to find out more about cadets.
“As a volunteer, there are plenty of challenges for me with organisation,” said Second Lieutenant Elinor Eames, who was a cadet for five years before progressing to an instructor at Menai Bridge Detachment for the last 13 years. “You just try your best to motivate the cadets by being a positive role model.
“It has benefitted my life, too. In my experience of being an NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) and going through the ranks, I was teaching lessons and that’s when I decided I enjoyed teaching and I then went in to my vocation, teaching in primary schools.
“It’s something completely different, fun and exciting. It puts all of us out of our comfort zone, gives us different challenges and it’s very beneficial. It did a lot for me when I was their (cadet) age and it built my confidence. I loved it that much I wanted to carry on. It gave me a lot of social friendships, too.”
Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF will also hold a further camp filled adventurous training activities, including climbing Mount Snowdon, powerboating in Holyhead Harbour, canoeing, kayaking, paintballing, archery and mountain biking.
Interested in becoming an Army Cadet Force cadet or volunteer? CLICK HERE to find your local detachment in North Wales.