Around 250 Air Cadets with accompanying staff have attended a Multi Activity Camp to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of their parent service, Royal Air Force.
The Cadets, from all corners of Central & East Region, have undertaken activities that are designed to offer an insight into the Past, Present and Future of the RAF as well as sampling elements of Royal Air Force Air Cadet training
Based at the Defence Training Camp at Beckingham, Lincolnshire, the cadets have taken part in activities including clay pigeon shooting, swimming, archery, mountain biking, orienteering and paddle sports. Visits were made to RAF Stations giving cadets a close look at the present day
RAF and to the Newark Air Museum and the City of Lincoln to provide the sense of history. The future are the cadets themselves and their activities are designed to maintain the Air cadet motto, “Venture, Adventure”. They have received training that included simulated flying, leadership and teamwork skills and the opportunity for gaining educational awards during the camp. It is hoped that the camp has inspired some of the Cadets to become “the Next Generation”.
The camp was visited by the Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who declared: “it was great to see this long-planned and much-anticipated event become reality. Over 200 cadets and a strong support team of CFAV were actively engaged in a very wide range of fun activities and, whilst I was only able to stay for a while, I could see that everyone involved was having a great time. Thank you to the CE team for marking RAF100 in such a memorable way”.
The camp was also visited by Air Commodore Rich Barrow, the “brains” behind RAF 100 including the London Fly Past. He was accompanied by the Station Commander from RAF Honington, Group Captain Dave Tait.
With the sun mercilessly beating down on Beckingham’s Parade Square, the cadets formed up for the camp’s Final Parade and were greatly honoured to have the Air Officer Commanding 22 Group, Royal Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Warren “Bunny” James, as their Reviewing Officer and to to award the prizes.
Due to the heat, after respects had been paid, the cadets were invited to sit and were entertained by a faultless display of Continuity Drill by the Cadet Drill Squad before the trophies were presented. The honour of being named the top cadet of the camp went to Cadet Archie Bunn of 73 (Huntingdon) Squadron and the top cadet non commissioned officer went to Cadet Corporal Joseph Snape from 198 (Hinkley) Squadron.
Wing Commander Nathan Wilkes, who originated the idea and worked hard to ensure it happened said; “The camp has been a great success due to the enthusiasm of the cadets and the hard work and dedication of the whole staff team. It’s taken almost a year in the planning and many hours of work by the staff on top of their normal duties and civilian jobs to ensure that during the week the activities were safe, enjoyable, educational and FUN. The logistical challenge of ensuring the cadets were in the right place at the right time when some of the activities were up to forty minutes away from Beckingham, although daunting, was accomplished seamlessly due to exceptional logistic management. All the staff are to be congratulated on a “job well done” and I thank them all for their time, their skills, their patience and dedication”
Cadet Corporal Saffron Kettle from 485 (Harborne & Quinton) Squadron considered the Camp “a brilliant experience” and her particular favourites were Mountain Biking and Orienteering.