Army cadets have just got back from an action-packed 10-day camp – and other youngsters are being offered the chance to get involved.
Rock climbing, ghyll scrambling, kayaking and clay pigeon shooting were just some of the many activities which members of Bourne’s Army Cadet Force detachment took part in last month in Warcop, Cumbria.
The youngsters, aged between 12 and 18, also learned field craft skills and first aid during the camp, which was attended by cadets from across Lincolnshire.
Second Lieutenant Paul Hutchings – who has been detachment commander for three years following a 22-year career with the RAF Regiment – said it was great experience.
He said: “It’s one of the highlights of the year for our cadets. They all returned home exhausted but very happy.”
Bourne’s cadets meet every Wednesday evening – and the detachment is currently looking to recruit new members from those who are just starting in Year 8 at local schools.
Although it is funded by the British Army, there is no pressure put on cadets to pursue a career in the military.
New members are given their own uniform and get to learn military skills such as weapons handling and drill, alongside non-military skills.
Former cadet Laura Cooper, 22, who is a now an adult volunteer with the Bourne detachment, said the camp demonstrates the many new skills young people can gain.
She said: “Being an army cadet means you get to try your hand at all sorts of activities which most people don’t get the chance to try.
“It’s a great way to make friends, gain confidence, and develop new interests and is a brilliant thing to have on your CV when applying for college, university or jobs in later life.”
Laura, who lives in Elsea Park, Bourne, said her experience as a cadet helped her secure her current job as a software application consultant.
She added: “Being able to talk about the leadership skills I had gained during my time as a cadet was crucial to me getting the job I wanted.”
Cadets can study towards BTEC diplomas and a range of other internationally-recognised qualifications.
Bourne’s Army Cadet Force detachment currently has about 30 members, with space for up to another 25.
Laura added: “Cadets have to leave the detachment aged 18 so each year we say goodbye to some and look to recruit 12-year-olds who are just starting in Year 8 at school.
“There’s so much to gain from being a cadet, and I hope we’ll get lots of interest from potential new recruits.”
Anyone interested in joining can attend one of the Wednesday evening sessions, held at the cadet hut in Austerby, Bourne, between 6.45pm and 9pm, to see if it is for them.
Joining the cadets costs £15 and a weekly fee of £1 is payable. Uniform is provided, but cadets do have to buy their own boots.
For more information, stop by at one of the Wednesday evening meetings, or e-mail email@example.com