For almost 250 Air Cadets from across the South and East Midlands, the half term Spring break was an opportunity to get away for an adventure filled week at the Swynnerton Defence Training Estate in Staffordshire.
The RAF Air Cadets(RAFAC) from South & East Midlands Wing took over the 560 acre Training Estate site for a week of activities covering cornerstone elements of the Air Cadet Experience. Activities included target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, adventure training (mountain biking, canoeing, climbing wall etc) leadership and team building, fieldcraft and elements towards the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Many other activities, including sport, ensured the cadets were active from breakfast to “lights out”.
Sixty volunteer staff, took time off from their civilian jobs and families to ensured that the cadets days and evenings were filled with a range of activities, properly supervised and safely executed. Appropriately qualified staff were ably supported by other staff and Cadets over the age of eighteen who had the opportunity to exercise their qualities of leadership and responsibility.
The Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE along with other civil and military VIPs visited the cadets and were suitably impressed with the enthusiasm of the cadets and the dedication and hard work of the supervising staff.
For the person with the overall responsibility, Camp Commandant Squadron Leader Carl Wilson RAFAC, along with the camp Training Officer, Flight Lieutenant Adam Griffin, and their team, the week’s camp was the culmination of almost a year’s planning and preparation to ensure that the cadets received the maximum benefit from the training provided.
Wing Commander Andy Pass RAFAC, Officer Commanding South & East Midlands Wing, declared; “the camp has again been excellent, building on the successful formula of previous years but with changes aimed at keeping the week’s activities fresh and up to date. It has to be said that a camp such as this would not be possible without the dedication, skill and generosity of the volunteers who give up so much of their time to help provide the safe and exciting Cadet Experience”.
Thirteen years old Cadet James Cousins was attending for the first time having been a cadet for seven months “I volunteered for Swynnerton because it offered new experiences all of which have been great fun” said James and when asked which was his favourite exercise he said he had enjoyed them all. “I will certainly be back”, he declared.